Monday, July 16, 2007

Who's Now?

Who cares? This is, without a doubt, the most worthless segment ESPN has ever created. There are multiple reasons for my hatred. First, are the matchups themselves. Who decided on the athletes involved? How were they seeded? How is Danica Patrick on the list but Greg Oden or Kevin Durant aren't? With all the hype that the media (especially ESPN) had given these two leading up to the draft, during the draft, and during their summer league games, how are they not in the top 32 of "now" athletes? Why is Shaq on this list? He's been in the league for 15 years. His career will be done sooner than later. Even the definition of "now" (which we have to listen to twice every SportsCenter) is vague: "success on the field/court/pitch plus buzz off of it". What does that even mean?

The second reason why I can't stand this segment is the sheer amount of time it takes up during my hour of sports highlights. Look, I know the summer is a slow time. Baseball is wearing on, the NBA has just finished, NFL training camp doesn't start for a couple weeks; I get it. But can't I get some in depth exposes on current or former players? More time devoted to NBA free agent signings or rumors? Or, god forbid, maybe some extended baseball highlights? Why do I only get 2 highlights from any games not involving the Yankees or Barry Bonds? Instead, twice an hour I have to listen to this worthless blather by people whose opinions I don't care about. Speaking of which...

Reason number three: the "analysts" ESPN chose to debate these fictional matchups. Let's see, there's Keyshawn "Give Me The Damn Pink Slip" Johnson. A man who has been a pillar of selfishness since his days at USC. The same guy who was so impartial during the NFL draft as he lauded over the Panthers choice of Dwayne Jarrett. This is the guy who is going to help me decide Who's Now? He's just as likely to pick himself over everyone else. Then there's Kirk Herbstreit. They guy analyzes college football for a living. Don't get me wrong, he's good at it, but there are, let me count, 0 college football players on this list. Why does what he thinks matter? Lastly, there Michael Wilbon of PTI fame. He's the closest thing to an impartial, insightful judge of "nowness" on this panel. But one out of three isn't a very good percentage.

On the topic of percentages, reason number four is the ridiculousness of the percentages used to determine the winner. The three chuckleheads on SportsCenter account for 30% of the total vote, while fan voting online (or text messaging) accounts for 70%. Think about this for a second. No matter what the panel decides, the fan voting will always determine the winner. So then, what reason do I have for listening to their point of view? The fans are going to screw it up anyways. They always do (see any All Star/Pro Bowl voting). They already have: the other day Tony Parker defeated Roger Federer. Seriously? I know Parker is married to a popular (and ridiculously good looking) actress and was the finals MVP. But isn't that the norm for most NBA players? All of these guys get gorgeous women, and Tony just happened to play well (against inferior talent) for a few weeks. That makes him better than the greatest tennis player around? Federer is nearing the career grand slam record, and he's 25 years old. He'll pass Sampras as the best tennis player alive in just a few years. But he's not "now" enough to beat out Tony Parker?

Oh, and now this bs bracket has caused me to waste hours thinking about why it's on TV, writing about it on this blog, and your reading of it. You can send your thanks to the Sports Leader in Bristol. Maybe they can get you back this chunk of your life (or at least a football phone).

3 comments:

Fuzz said...

Good Rant, Mr. Cue. I was thinking the same thing. I know they need to add some features to get through the time of the year, so I don't mind the segment. I'm with you though, I think the messed up picking the analysts. I would have liked to see like Wilbon, Simmons and a Dan Patrick. The other two besides Wilbon are one dimensional in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching the Who's Now as well and I am right with you. Its just a joke to me how they ranked the Athletes. I think they already have it pre-set as to who is going to win anyways. Is there an Asain in the feild? If there is then they will win hands down due to fan voting. Good Rant.

Mr. Cue said...

UPDATE: Wow. ESPN must have read this rant and wanted to prove me right. On the 5 o'clock SportsCenter today they had a new group of "analysts" to tell me about Who's Now. Did they make a logical decision and pick a few guys who actually follow sports in depth for a living? No. Today's analysts were Kevin James (an actor), Jessica Biel (an actress--and a goddess), and Mike Greenberg (ESPN Radio host). Once again, one out of three who can actually be an insightful, impartial judge. Are we really supposed to take it seriously when it appears that even the Sports Leader realizes that this is an effing joke? I couldn't hate this segment more...