Open Rants by conlin.zach

ESPN Sucks
Published at 7/16/2016
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Growing up, I probably watched 3-4 hours of ESPN… per day. Yeah, pathetic, I know, but I LOVED sports even back then. Love may be putting it lightly. Others may call it an obsession that borders on the unhealthy. Nowadays, like many, I get my sports fix on sites like this, or, or The Ringer, or even sometimes Bleacher Report (gasp!). Maybe I outgrew ESPN and the antics that seem to target a younger audience. Or maybe the second-hand CTE that I experienced watching analysts like Merrill Hodge and Ray Lewis turned me off to the self-proclaimed “World Wide Leader” of Sports entirely. Or could it be the ever-present political aspect that is slowly taking over the channel as we know it? It’s probably some combination of the three. Nevertheless, I decided to tune into the ESPYS, thinking they couldn’t possibly screw this up. I must be the biggest “gypsy” (Borat voice) stateside as I couldn’t have possibly jinxed it any more than I did. The whole show regressed from cool sport stories to your typical MSNBC segment in seconds. I’m not going to bore you all with my political theology, as this carries no relevance to the topic at hand, but, wow, has ESPN changed. Sports are such a great outlet for many because it’s an escape from the outside world of politics, so naturally ESPN thought it would be a good idea to blend the two. From last year when they awarded Caitlin Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, over army veterans who risked their lives and limbs such as Noah Galloway, to this year’s subliminal anti-cop rhetoric (NOTE: I’m not bashing Zavion or his award – just the subtle anti-cop rhetoric presented throughout the whole evening), this station is truly serving as an extension to the lowest trusted major news source in America. Even if ESPN branched out in the complete opposite direction towards Alex Jones’ style of extreme-right wing politics, the station would still have lost a viewer in me. Blending the sports world into the political sphere is utterly moronic and counter-productive, especially when your main political speakers are athletes – many of whom don’t know what it’s like in the real world.

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