Monday, July 21, 2003

ESPN has spoken and the voice of the fan in the NFL is Rush Limbaugh? ESPN announced last week that their already unwatchable NFL Sunday Countdown show was made intolerable by the addition of Rush to its roster. What made this program so unwatchable last year was all the non-comments made by all the ex-players (e.g "This team is all about character!") like they were having a family argument over the Thansgiving dinner table. So they decided to "improve" it by hiring Rush? Did they need to find someone with the same physical dimensions to replace Bill Parcells? Politics aside, Rush is a multi-multi-millionaire with a daily radio show listened to by millions of people and has as much in common with the average NFL fan as Al Davis does. Maybe Rush is the average luxury box fan, but he is unlike the rest of us watching football in a sports bar or on the sofa in the living room. Does ESPN realize that Rush has made many racist comments about African-Americans on his radio program over the years? How do Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin feel about that? Its not like I plan to boycott ESPN, Chris Berman and Tom Jackson's Sunday highlights on NFL Primetime are still excellent and ESPN shows too many games I want to watch, but it does show how ESPN has lost all concept of who is watching their programing. They are believing in their "This is Sportscenter" advertising and thinking its all multi-millionaire athletes and celebrities watching instead of millions of working and middle class fans. On a totally unrelated note, doesn't Kobe Bryant's arrest and criminal charges make ESPN's "This is Sportscenter" magazine ad with Kobe watching Sportscenter on a bank of TVs while buying diapers at a Wal-Mart one of the most ironic ads of all time?

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