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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We're Not Suffering Alone

Today NBC announced its new cable HD offering, our old friend Universal Sports (formerly WCSN). While celebrating the likely event that my cable provider picks it up, I suddenly had a sobering thought: All Carol Lewis, all the time.

But as Slate reminds us, track isn't alone in being saddled with complete idiots behind the microphone.
Last week, Kruk's SportsCenter segment on the Tampa Bay Rays concluded with the meaningful observation that they are "a special team that can do special things." This would all be more shocking if Kruk wasn't on a baseball broadcast, where such statements are the coin of the realm. While ESPN is the most egregious offender, the pre- and post-game shows on TBS and Fox aren't much better. TBS's cacophonously uninformative production features former pros Dennis Eckersley, Harold Reynolds, and Cal Ripken Jr. yelling excitedly at one another for a half hour, like a better-natured but equally unintelligible version of Crossfire.

And why are we in the same boat as the national pastime?
[W]ith so many fans, football shows can afford to devote screen time to relatively esoteric subjects that will appeal to the die-hards. With baseball's playoff games routinely rated lower than regular-season football, producers have obviously decided to appeal to the dreaded "casual fan."
Which is, of course, self-defeating. Treat a viewer like you don't expect him to come back, and he won't let you down.

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