Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: TOP 20 TELEVISON SPORTS PET PEEVES


by DMtShooter, Five Tool Tool

20. Super Cool and Nifty Coach Access.

We get it, the coaches talk to you before the game, and they divulge INCREDIBLE SECRETS that only you, cherished media person, could know. Because none of the rest of us could possibly have guessed that the team was going to have patient at bats today, or that they were going to test the rookie cornerback. What a scoop!

19. Documentation of tailgating.

Gosh, people eat in parking lots at games. How long has this been going on? Dammit, I demand more video footage and coverage of men with grills!

18. Painted fat guys.

Nip slips just don't have the same zest when they're accompanied by hair, day-glow paint, and 30 years of bad diet and exercise. Honestly, we've seen enough.

17. L'il Feller's Plumb Tuckered Out.

As a father, I'm prepared to let you all in on this incredible secret: small children fall asleep more than adults. Sometimes, even in the middle of games! Now that we've got that settled, can we, um... go back to showing the game? Please?

16. No Music From This Century.

I realize it's important to make people who are going to die while playing the same music that they've been listening to for the past 30+ years as comfortable as possible, but the audience is more than these aging non-hipsters. Honestly, you can play new music for them sometimes. They're old enough to think that White Stripes lick is Aerosmith.

15. Area file footage.

I grew up in Philadelphia, which, through the magic of television sports, exists only of the Liberty Bell, a cheese steak joint, and the Rocky Statue. Millions of people live in the city and its surrounding suburbs, and you should see us all, queued up like some nightmarish Soviet era rationing state, just hoping to get our cheese steak for the month, or to look at a 230-year old bell. Is it any wonder why we're bitter?

I suppose I need to count my blessings, though. I could live in Seattle, where the only thing people are allowed to do is drink coffee and throw fish around. Those people must be incredibly hungry, and rank.

14. Urban Legends.

Being from Philadelphia, I have not only thrown snowballs at Santa and Jimmy Johnson, I have also fired flare guns at the stadium, delighted in the apparent death of Michael Irvin, booed the national anthem of any country that was not my own, and savaged my own team's athletes without reason or sense.

What you don't know is that (a) Santa was drunk, (b) any sports fan with the ability to throw a snowball at Jimmy Johnson who passes on the opportunity lives a life of profound regret, (c) um, you're allowed to boo, at least for now, before there's legislation against it.

Similarly, I suspect, most people at a Cubs game don't much care about goats.

13. Pointless Telestrations.

If your bloated old color analyst can no longer operate a stylus, please don't demonstrate his failing physical capabilities. It's depressing.

12. Non-Game Game Breaks.

Hey, it's the playoffs and no other game is on -- but we're contractually obligated by our unrelenting oral service to Advertiser X to have a Game Break! Quick, show the exact same footage we've shown for the past 3 hours, because sports fans like it when you waste their time...

11. Nausea Cams.

It's not art, people. It's a game. If your robot camera that costs a small fortune can't, you know, show me something that adds to my understanding of the game, I don't care how sharp the picture is, or that it can do loops. As a matter of fact, I'm probably cringing at it, since my media-inspired tailgate involved budget meat.

10. The in-game interview with screen takeover.

When I'm watching a game, I know intellectually that the early minutes of the second quarter aren't crunch time; that's why the bench guys are in there. But believe it or not, their points count the same as the ones in the fourth.

So, um, I really don't need to view what they are doing on a small portion of my screen as your sideline reporter feeds straight lines to some celebrity or league official. Because, well, YOU CAN DO THAT BEFORE OR AFTER THE DAMNED GAME. Honest!

9. Pre-Ordained Storyline.

Player X, who used to be on Opposing Team, is sure to have his revenge in this game! What an astute signing! Let's all talk about how much he means to the team, regardless of his actual production in this game, because life is but a walking chain of events that can be seen by omniscient media people who, in no way, are trying to avoid actual reporting and on-the-fly thinking...

8. The broadcast booth pop-in, especially with marketing synergy tie-in.

Gosh, look who happened to be at the game today -- it's a Celebrity with a Movie to plug! How can we shamelessly promote your product, preferably with remarkably stilted allusions to how big of a fan you are? (Seriously, has this ever worked, with the possible and exceptionally limited exception of Charles Barkley?)

7. The wacky fan search.

Lookie at the monkeys! They're watching a game in cold weather without shirts! Some of them come in costume, or do funny dances! And if we didn't show them, perhaps they'd stop doing it, and the rest of us could, you know, not have to be near them for the rest of the game as they try to get the attention of your cameraman?

6. The timeout after kickoff.

Touchdown! Fantastic play. I'm totally pumped up about this game right now. Which is why I need about 10 minutes before the next meaningful play happens -- because you're going to give me replays, the point after, commercials, more replays, a strong likelihood of an uneventful kickoff, commercials, then more talk about the player who scored or the coaches.

Football games are 60 minutes on the clock, and 3.5 hours from all of our lives. And that last half hour is entirely composed of arbitrary and abusive stoppages for networks that could easily make the same money in less time. Let's all have them killed.

5. The spouse and/or snatch cut-away.

Gosh, she's pretty and concerned! Let's get a tighter shot on her, so we can see if she's had work done, or if the athlete has recently hit her. You know, I think games like this one are tougher on the spouses, since they, you know, have to come to the game, sit in great seats, be married to a guy who makes more in a year than most of the audience will make in their lifetime, and talk to the athlete after the game.

Oh, did we miss a play while focusing on the spouse? No matter. Look, she's got the kids with her, too! Let's send the sideline reporter to go talk to her, or maybe have her pop into the booth to discuss her charity work. It's not like we've got anything better to do right now.

4. The Recitation of Woe.

Hey, you know what's even better than rooting for a team with a long period of time since their last playoff success? Hearing about how long it's been, because sports fans have no long-term memory or taste for collecting slights and screw jobs. Quick, let's deepen the agony by showing the same file footage of the last champion from that area, and tack on a God, You Are Old And Dying And Your Team Is Doomed list of facts about how much the world has changed since the last time you felt real happiness.

Can we just cut to the chase and have television people come to our homes to attach nipple clamps and leeches directly? I'm tired of the middlemen here.

3. The Character Assessment.

Player who just failed is actually a wonderful, wonderful man who is good to his spouse cut-away and kids, and while he's sad now, this won't be the last time you'll see him on this stage, because I, Omniscient Media Person who has spent a career fellating people for access, just *know* these things. Now, let's talk some more about his Work In The Community.

2. The Anal Minute.

(I wanted to call this one The McCarver, but then I started punching myself.) You know, ordinary fans miss the small points that I, Media Person and Probable Insufferable Ex Jock With An Unbelievably Bloated Sense of My Own Importance, do not. Let me demonstrate to you how the entire last play came down to this small and almost certainly insignificant detail, which I will now elaborate further on with a pointless telestration...

1. Altering Reality for Commerce.

Today, it's rotating commercial panels to advertise upcoming network shows. Tomorrow, it's the very outcome of games being altered to benefit large market teams. We're through the looking glass here, people...

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Excellent list. But I'd add two more items:
1. Ray Lewis, mic'ed up--or anyone mic-ed up, for that matter. But especially Ray.
2. Joe Morgan's repetitious inanity. "Hey Joe, I didn't catch it the first 6 times--could you repeat that insight once more?"

CA Mookie

The Beautiful Game said...

good call on the seattle archive footage, good call...

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