13 September 2006

Why Isn't the ESPN College Gameday Crew at the LSU/Auburn Game This Weekend?



It would not be acceptable BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION if "NBC Nightly News" decided that its top story tonight would be Meredith Viera's first day as host of the "Today" show. NBC would be torn a new one, and rightfully so.

So why does America allow ESPN to make decisions like this EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? And don't say "it's just sports." Sports are an extension of the news, and many people in this country take sports as seriously as they take the news. You can debate whether it's appropriate, but it's hard to deny.

Which brings me to Reason 543,527,853 that I hate ESPN.

For those of you who don't know, ESPN College Gameday is a huge program for college football fans. Every week, Gameday picks the college campus that will host the biggest game of the weekend (or one of the biggest), and it does a live broadcast on that campus. For college football fans, having your campus chosen as the Gameday site is the equivalent of having your city chosen to host the Olympics or a presidential convention. Fans of both teams are encouraged to stand behind the Gameday set, wear their colors, hold up signs, cheer for their teams, and shout at the hosts. Having been to a Gameday set when it came to LSU years ago, I've seen firsthand that people think it's a big deal.

That's why I just assumed that Gameday would be at the LSU/Auburn game this weekend. Outside of last week's Ohio State/Texas game, it doesn't get any bigger than this this year. Both teams are in the top 6. It is THE GAME in the SEC this year. The winner will not only be the favorite to win the SEC West, but it will also be the favorite to win the entire SEC. LSU won the BCS National Championship in '03. Auburn had a perfect season in '04. Two great teams. One intense early-season rivalry with possible national championship implications.

But ESPN, for some reason, has chosen not to send Gameday to Auburn this weekend.

So I figure, that's okay. There are other huge games this weekend. Take, for example, the Tennessee/Florida game. Before LSU/Auburn was THE GAME, this was THE GAME in the SEC. Both teams have won national championships in the last 10 years. We're talking Spurrier, Fulmer, Peyton, Wuerffel, The Swamp, and Neyland Stadium. We're talking history and tradition.

ESPN College Gameday will not be there either.

Then I figure, of course! They're going to Notre Dame. The Irish are playing Michigan this weekend. ESPN loves both of these schools. And they're both pretty good this year. You can say they're overrated, but you can't deny history, tradition, national championships and Heisman Trophies.

Nope. No Gameday crew in South Bend either.

So, where in the hell is ESPN sending the Gameday crew this weekend?

Yep. You guessed it. USC.

College Gameday will be at USC this weekend to cover the USC/Nebraska game.

So why in the hell did ESPN choose USC? Especially when it's playing, at best, the 4th most important game this weekend? I have a theory:

  • LSU/Auburn is on CBS this weekend
  • Florida/Tennessee is on CBS this weekend
  • Notre Dame/Michigan is on NBC this weekend
  • USC/Nebraska is ABC's primetime game this weekend. Oops. I meant ESPN on ABC

So LSU and Auburn are getting screwed because ESPN would rather shamelessly engage in blatant self-promotion, and, by association, give more publicity to USC. Again.

As Morrissey once said: Stop Me if You Think That You've Heard This One Before.

And if you don't understand why I'm so angry about this, Scott Rabalais from The Advocate probably explains it better than me:

ESPN, like it or not, shapes public sports opinion the way the big three networks and Sports Illustrated — for the dot.com crowd, that’s the magazine which actually gave birth to the Web site — used to do. If the average casual college football fan sees College GameDay in L.A., they will at first glance assume that is the biggest game of the day.

All of this has to make an impact on a team’s national ranking in the short term, and recruiting in the long run. All of it should make ESPN and CBS think bigger picture about where to throw their primary assets.

And, in case you were wondering, Auburn doesn't like it either.

Bloggers from Gator Nation also have our backs on this issue.

But you wonder why LSU and Auburn have a complex about ESPN and USC. You wonder why SEC fans say that ESPN plays favorites?

Should ESPN continue to blow off SEC teams and promote USC and Notre Dame? Basically because there are no major television markets in the Southeast? And because the other two teams are popular and/or come from the #2 television market in America?

If you don't like it either, ESPN's Ombudsman can be reached here. I can tell you from experience though that your comments will probably be ignored, except for some form response from an ESPN bigwig.

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69 Comments:

At September 14, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger Hollis P. Wood said...

Herbstriet is in the booth for the Saturday night ABC games. They have to go where he goes. Convienient isn't it?

 
At September 14, 2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

According to the press releases listed on the similar post on the EDSBS site, ESPN says that Herbie will be in the booth ONLY when Gameday is at the same site.

And for those who are keeping track, ESPN is 3-for-3 in choosing its ABC primetime game as the Gameday site.

 
At September 14, 2006 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't ESPN send its GameDay show where it wants? They are a business and can do what the hell they want.

 
At September 14, 2006 12:37 PM, Blogger AwfulAnnouncing said...

Just retarded.....good work.

 
At September 14, 2006 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely retarded. You know why they won't send Gameday to the Auburn/LSU game, or Notre Dame/Michigan? ESPN, CBS, and NBC are COMPETING companies. Of course ESPN wouldn't do anything to promote another network's game like that, it would simply be bad business. ESPN and ABC are owned by Disney. It's the correct business move to keep Gameday in the company, especially when Herbstreit has to be in the booth for the game.

 
At September 14, 2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous Free Marketeer said...

Agree with Anon. What book is it written in that ESPN GameDay needs to be present at the game between the two highest ranked teams? Was that a Man Law commerical I missed?

All ESPN GameDay constitutes is a mobile and wildly popular advertising campaign for Disney. Their choice of hyping their own games isn't any much different than Anheuser-Busch choosing to promote Michelob in their television ads instead of Coors Light.

 
At September 14, 2006 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey genius, this isn't a news show. It's a pregame show. Why would they hype another channels show? When sportscenter (a news show) doesn't cover LSU-Auburn then you will have a point.

There are a billion reasons to hate ESPN, that's pretty sad that you couldn't find one of those :)

 
At September 14, 2006 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon and Free Market are correct. This is about millions of dollars and future contracts. The point ESPN makes by sending GameDay to USC for this game on this weekend is to show the SEC what type of attention they would get if they had an exclusive contract with the WWLS.

Business is business, and unfortunately in this case it hurts the fans... though I doubt Pac-10 territory is complaining

 
At September 14, 2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous chris said...

good god, i cannot believe some of you are actually defending espn's decision. how about presenting the best game instead of the one you have the most ties to? or is the business side the only one that's apparent to you?

espn has already fu**ed the SEC a number of times, so why should this be any different. this is very similar to their coverage of college basketball, where you can see espn and their non-stop suck off of Duke and all things ACC, which, btw, is scheduled to start in about a month and some change...

 
At September 14, 2006 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a bit confused. You say you hate ESPN then get bent out of shape when Gameday doesn't show up.

And why would ESPNABC market the LSU/Auburn game that will be on a competing network when ESPN has a game?

Your hatred of ESPN is understood, just a bit misplaced.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:02 PM, Blogger PUBoiler78 said...

Anon 12:40,

It hasn't stopped them in the past. They've been to the top games since coming into being every week regardless of TV contracts. (arguments can be made if these games were actually the biggest, but take a look at the rankings of each team going into the games)

Last year, they were at 2 SEC games (3 if it weren't for Hurricane Rita). Here's a list of where they've been since inception.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_GameDay

 
At September 14, 2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares where they go, the national champ is not coming out of the SEC anyways. they can do what they want have you rown gameday in your basement

 
At September 14, 2006 1:03 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

The SEC shouldn't have been stupid and signed a contract for CBS to air their games. ESPN and the SEC are both businesses and they are both in the business of promoting their product. Cry to your idiot commissioner who signed a deal with CBS.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:04 PM, Anonymous Nick said...

Before Game Day went to 'SC last year for the Cal game, they hadn't been to the Coliseum for like 10 years. In the last four years we're the best program in the country, hands down. I understand the whole ABC-ESPN arguement, but to say that ESPN shows favortism to USC and Notre Dame is just wrong. Remember, it's called an EAST COAST bias.....

 
At September 14, 2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPN would be foolish to lead in with a competing network's game. Gameday should hype up the upcoming game on their network, in order to maximize the number of viewers. Maximize viewers, maximize ad revenue - it's pretty simple.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, that is definitely true. And USC has won 46 of their last 48 games, and considered to be LA's NFL team. They get as much publicity as the Lakers so ESPN has more than one reason to be in LA this weekend. Until all you downhome country boys get over the SEC and jump off the hype train, just keep playing Reggie in your fantasy leagues and racking up all those points.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:19 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Chris hits the point exactly. It's at best insensitive, at worst irresponsible, to have ESPN spend all of its resources on promoting USC on the weekend LSU plays Auburn.

ESPN constantly proclaims USC as the "2003 National Champions" when they at best shared it with LSU. Auburn was locked out of the national championship in 2004, basically because the media (fueled by ESPN) proclaimed USC as the "greatest team ever," an assertion that was completely left in shambles after the Rose Bowl.

And this week, LSU and Auburn have to sit back and take it while ESPN, the ONLY SOURCE for televised college football news most of us has, gives us another USC love-fest.

And there is no such thing as an East-Coast Bias. It's a "Television Market Bias." ESPN doesn't care about LSU/Auburn because 1) people in New York in Los Angeles don't care about them, and 2)the Baton Rouge and Montgomery markets combined and multiplied by ten still isn't as important as the L.A. TV market.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An LSU fan putting Morrissey in their blog post? I knew the SEC was soft.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEA! thats what im talking about! Maybe ESPN doesnt want to bring the gameday crew to the LSU game because of the sholacking that their basketball team took when they played another westcoast team, UCLA.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Why in the world would ESPN have a pre-game show for a game they're not broadcasting? It makes no sense. They'll cover the LSU game on GameDay and SportsCenter, but why would they sit around outside a stadium they're not allowed to enter.

You don't see ABC setting up a live broadcast outside the Super Bowl when FOX is broadcasting the game. Same thing.

Hell, I'm not even sure they'd be permitted to set up a live broadcast on the stadium grounds. Want to blame someone? Blame the SEC for signing with CBS, or blame CBS for not producing a program as interesting/popular/compelling as GameDay.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:32 PM, Blogger The Dar said...

SEC guys, it really is nothing personal. This is just the way the television industry works. I guarantee you SC-Nebraska will not be the lead on SportsCenter Saturday night unless there is some mindblowing finish. Otherwise, expect to see highlights in this order:

1. Auburn-LSU
2. ND-Michigan
3. SC-Nebraska

ESPN producers are not all idiots. The pre-game guys will promote ESPN product, and the news guys will lead with the biggest game. Simple as that. It's just a matter of two ESPN entities serving a different corporate purpose.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, back when ESPN covered sports and did not promote them or their own crappy programming, they would in fact go to games outside of the ESPN/ABC realm. If this were not the case, they would neve have been to Notre Dame yet they have been there several times in the past. If ESPN was truly as sports network, it would go back to its roots and cover the biggest game of the week. ESPN has turned into MTV. Where as they were once dedicated to covering and presenting their respective subjects, they have both evolved into monsters that seek to be greater than and influence. Man, I hate ESPN.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:40 PM, Blogger The Dar said...

There is no doubt about the MTV analogy. I'm just saying, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Business is business.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:51 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

We're not idiots. We understand television. Duuhhhhh, we in the Southland understand television too, duuhhhhhhhhhhh. We're just saying it didn't used to be that way.

AND IT DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT.

You don't have to accept things the way they are. It's called America. I refuse to let ESPN get away with what it does just because "that's how synergy works."

That's the point of my NBC News analogy. SportsCenter and Gameday are SPORTS NEWS PROGRAMS. ESPN has turned them into INFOMERCIALS. And I'll continue to joust at the windmills until it changes back into the way it used to be. It doesn't need to be a vehicle to promote ABC and ESPN programming, Terrell Owens and Danica Patrick.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous EVB said...

All you who say ESPN has the right to promote which games they want are correct.

Also USC and Nebraska are being rewarded for scheduling a home and home with one another. If SEC teams followed suit instead of scheduling home games against the Citadel and Buffalo, perhaps they'd get similar attention. Try leaving the South for once, guys.

Really, if there's anyone you should complain to, its your own Athletic Directors who schedule these cupcakes for an easy payday.

 
At September 14, 2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, your are expecting journalistic integrity and responsibility from a network that continues to employ the likes of Stuart Scott, Sean Salisbury, Michael Irvin, John Kruk and Mike Patrick?

 
At September 14, 2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of you say it's business, that ESPN doesn't want to promote another network. Well how come they have gone to games that were broadcast on CBS before? UGA/Florida, SEC Championship game, ND/USC last year all were not broadcast on ESPN/ABC. They don't just go the game that is on a Disney-owned channel.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you stupid? Last night on Sportscenter they said the three most important games were

Auburan/LSU
ND/Michigan
Flordia/Tenessesse

Forde did not even say anything about USC.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:06 PM, Blogger The Dar said...

Forgive me, and let me clarify. I disagree with your NBC analogy. This Gameday scenario would be much more akin to the CBS morning show promoting Katie Couric's debut on the Evening News (which my guess is they did quite extensively during the build-up). ESPN is promoting FUTURE programming on its network, which to me seems, if not reasonable (albeit irritating), then at least understandable. The NBC example you give would indeed be absurd...more like SportsCenter leading with a story about what headgear Corso decided to wear that morning. Neither would ever happen.

I also disagree with you on one other point. Gameday is not a news program. It's a lead-in program where Chris Fowler offers cogent analysis and his two blowhards sit and scream rubbish back and forth. There is no reporting of stories or adding information to the public forum. It's simply a talking-head show, much like PTI or Around the Horn. In that sense, there's no reason that ESPN would choose not to use it as a promotional tool given its audience.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from the already stated claims that business is business, the USC-Nebraska game provides different storylines. They provide the same storied programs facing each other angle that ND-Michigan does except that these teams don't face each other every year.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:12 PM, Anonymous Lucky said...

How stupid of BSPN to promote the programming network. They should promote Fox's American Idol too,to be fair.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of you on the "ESPN doesn't care about the SEC" crying train fail to open your eyes. If you go to ESPN.com it's littered with SEC promotion, and even though GameDay is gonna be in LA... it certainly won't keep them from talking SEC for most of the show. The games are getting plenty of hype, GameDay is just in LA for the purpose to tying together their production entities.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny we're blaming ESPN for making a decision that's good for business, when in reality, it's the SEC conference's business decision that created this... sure it's a theoretical "chicken and egg" situation, but I'd have to say that the fact the best SEC games are contractually on CBS (i realize ESPN (not ABC, but the cable network) gets SEC second tier games, but i'm talking the big ones, like auburn/lsu) is nobody's fault but the SEC's.

They made the decision to sign that contract. SEC football is king. you want to tell me ESPN/ABC/Mickey Mouse doesn't WANT sec football? of course they do... but CBS knows a cash king when it sees one, so they ponied up more money...

So next time the TV contracts come around, the SEC can sign with ABC/ESPN if it wants the PREMIERE college pregame show at its games...

by the way, this is the FIRST year herbie's in the booth.... that's the reason this is happening... he's an icon now.... if gameday is at a non-abc game site, he wont be there and they think that's problematic... so do i, as a gameday/herbstreit fan...

before this, gameday has been at the cocktail party or Flordia/Tennessee many times...

 
At September 14, 2006 2:18 PM, Blogger Choke Artist said...

It would be nice if Gameday was at a better game, sure. But we all know ESPN can't always get coverage of the best games, college football included. They just have Gameday at the best game they could get...too bad the spread is 19 points.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fact that they aren't at UF/Tenn, BEFORE even LSU/Aubrun is baffling.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:24 PM, Anonymous William said...

Wow. Some of you people are actually Michael Irvin retarded. Seriously.

The deal with this outcry over ESPN choosing where the GameDay crew goes IS a big deal because of the way ESPN can shape the sports landscape. Whether you're ready to admit it or not, they wield power beyond their Bristol universe. Sure, GameDay is an "entertainment" show and doesn't do hard news like SportsCen--um, wait a minute...take a second and think about how ridiculous that sounds! Sportscenter is the #1 pitch show of the whole network!

Everything ESPN does is geared towards promoting its own programming. I have no problem with that base motivation. But, I do have a problem when the ESPN machine starts to affect national championship races, polls, etc. THAT'S when they step over the line into my realm of hatred.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What power? EDSBS has more power now and so does Deadspin. If some of the commentors over there think your stupid and they HATE BSPN, you have got to be wrong or dumb on some level.

 
At September 14, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger BF said...

You don't see ABC setting up a live broadcast outside the Super Bowl when FOX is broadcasting the game. Same thing.

ESPN broadcast from:

Super Bowl XXXIX on FOX
Super Bowl XXXVIII on CBS

Need I go on?

 
At September 14, 2006 2:47 PM, Anonymous lucky said...

They were not allowed to go inside, because BSCBS and Fox, got their panties in a wad.

 
At September 14, 2006 3:11 PM, Blogger boobs said...

im with ya. the point is that espn should be acting more responsibly, and not treating every decision from a business aspect. As one of you said, "its not news", i think espn execs probably feel a little squeamish that they are not viewed as a journalistic enterprise: they're becoming (quickly) the MTV of sports, and we all know where that went, and it wasn't in a musical direction. We used to come to ESPN for sports news, but, as a lot of you have expressed, we don't think of them that way anymore. theyre just a business. thats generally not what journalists strive for when they graduate college.

 
At September 14, 2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous NickSh said...

Wow. You ARE retarded.

Maybe ESPN doesn't want viewers CHANGING THE STATION.

Television is a business. They are trying to get RATINGS.

Grow up dude.

 
At September 14, 2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

It sounds like most people who respond understand the business aspect of ESPN. The problem is that this "business vision" does not jibe with the reason why audiences tune in to the network.

Both sides need to be better educated, or at least more sensitive.

ESPN obviously now sees Gameday and other programs as an extension of its promotions department. Its sole purpose now is to promote ESPN, ABC and Disney properties.

But the "average person" (many of whom aren't as versed in media literacy as some of us) looks to ESPN as its primary source of sports news and information. And that's the problem. On both sides.

ESPN needs to understand that its decisions can alter the way a sports fan views reality, because the viewers think the "information" they're getting is unbiased. And viewers need to start watching ESPN with a grain of salt, because it doesn't always have the audience's best interests in mind.

I mean, come on. Why did people believe that USC's 2005 team was the "greatest of all time," even though it didn't win the national championship? Because ESPN told us they were, and ESPN wouldn't lie. Well maybe it would, in order to hype the hell out of a bowl game that was appearing on ABC. And some people, if you can believe, don't know and understand the ESPN/ABC/Disney connection. Not everyone is as obsessed with sports as we are.

And that's the problem, like the columnist I quoted said. There are people out there that will think that USC is playing the "Big Game" this weekend because "ESPN wouldn't be there if it wasn't."

 
At September 14, 2006 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen nicksh...

I understand all of your point about ESPN having a responsibility... But If you remember, ESPN pulled its name off the coaches poll, and the AP pulled it's poll away from the BCS race as well...

You guys are arguing that ESPN has a DUTY to go to the best game because it can affect the National Championship picture?

Keep in mind, I'm someone who SUPPORTS the bowls and HATES the idea of a playoff (i'm serious, i love bowl season and like things just the way they are) and I can still rationally determine that ESPN doesn't have nearly as much of a duty to go to Baton Rouge as the college football gods have of changing the bowl system to a playoff...

oh wait, that won't happen... because college football is a BUSINESS and all the blowholes that run it see are $$$$...

(again, i'm a supporter of the bowls because as a fan of a BAD school like Arizona, i like the fact that at the mediocrity that is 6-6, we can actually go to a bowl game for the first time this century)

Nevertheless, I'd support the legitimacy of a playoff (which is compeltely legitimate and eventually the right way to go, if not already, mind you, i just like the bowls for entertainment sake) before i say ESPN/ABC has to go to LSU because of it's "duty" to go to the "best game" possible...

I'm a Pac-10 guy, and i look at it from a more realistic perspective, at least in regards to the basketball gameday. For the third straight year, ESPN won't even consider giong to Tucson for a UofA basketball game for it's gameday coverage... why? ESPN/ABC has too few of UofA's games... crappy Fox Sports has the rest and CBS has one or two...

Again, fight the SEC to sign on with ESPN (if you can't beat them, join em?) while I fight the Pac-10 to do the same for basketball...

that's the logical response...

 
At September 14, 2006 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great points fitch,

I agree with you're logic 100 perecent, i just think that while that's the ideal scenario, it's not realistic...

but then it seems to me that the ONLY responsible thing for ESPN to do is go back to the studio and NOT showcase any game no matter who is playing... But that's not logical... I'm trying to figure why it matters that much... We're talking about USC/Nebraska vs Auburn/LSU, bot of which are intriguing matchups this week... this is NOT like comparing Ohio State/Texas to a matchup of, say, Nebraska/Nicholls State last week... we're talking about two top-15 teams...

ESPN has created its ombudsmen post for George Soloman, and if you read his schtick, he very rarely agrees with the way ESPN portrays itself...

But ESPN wouldn't exist if it wasn't a money-making machine... many times during the late 70s through late 80s, ESPN came close to folding...

Fox Sports' only way to compete is regionalizing its networks, and it still hasn't succesffully had any sort of National presence run for longer than a couple of years, and even its local sports reports were all cancelled this year for a highlight-driven scoreboard show (that's actually not that bad) that isn't supposed to even compete with sportscenter...

my point is that CNN/SI folded, and Fox Sports isn't that great at what it does, but ESPN hit a niche, and they make decisions...

It's really a simple decision that was only loosely touched on in the first two posts by hollis and fitch (sounds like a clothing store haha), they want Herbstreit in the booth, because guys want to be him, girls want to be with him (seriously, he gets "offers" all the time when he's at college campuses)and he's the face of college football on ESPN/ABC... not even Corso is as recognized as well as Herbstreit.

It's not a "they go where they want because they can and they love USC", it's because it works out that Herbie can do gameday AND be in the booth... if they don't do gameday there, they need to fill someone else in who doesn't have near the name-recognition

 
At September 14, 2006 3:51 PM, Blogger WaistingCompanyTime6 said...

There is no defense for this. ESPN acts like their viewers are complete retards. Do they think that I as a college football fan are going to watch the LSU game on CBS if gameday is there? But now I won't because they are in LA? If you are a fan, you will watch whatever game you want no matter where gameday is.

The reason people are pissed is the fact that gameday calls itself a pregame show, not a hype vehicle for disney networks. And in that sense, the SEC always has, and always will get screwed

 
At September 14, 2006 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing ESPN to MTV is flat out incorrect.

The only thing CLOSE to that comparison is the World Series of Poker and the question of whether or not that's even a sport...

but the term "sport" has a different meaning to most... music is music is music no matter what the sound is like...

my point is, ESPN is not GETTING AWAY FROM BROADCASTING SPORTS... they're just trying to maximize profit in the mean time...

This is giogn to sound like a low blow, but for a group of people who suffered something as terrible as the aftermath of the hurricanes was, you guys saying you're "Getting screwed" because a college football talking heads show isn't going to be filed at LSU is really intriguing (yes, intriguing) to me... I guess from the other side of the coin, i understand that not many truly "good" things have happened to the fine people of NOLA, BR, Louisiana as a whole or the gulf coast, so a little attention from something BESIDES hurricane stuff might be a welcomed change of pace.

On that note, I sympathize...

Back to the topic at hand though, you guys are forgetting the big picture here... argue that ESPN favors USC, fine... don't argue that they are making a mistake by going to a "lesser" game when the game is still being played by a pair of top 15 teams...

again, we're not talking about ESPN showing reality shows instead of covering sports altogether. It just sounds like most of your anger is tempered by the fact that USC has already received so much attention over the past few years, and LSU hasn't, even with a national championship to its credit...

ESPN has influence outside bristol, yes... but it's ESPN's job to temper that influence. They do not have to give up their core values (1A make money 1B sports coverage - and you better believe 1A is the same for EVERY mass media organzation in the country, including the incredibly liberal washington post, new york times and cnn, and the incredibly conservative washington times and fox news) just to make sure their influence is minimal. Of course they have an influence. The Times-Picayune has a GREAT influence, whether they want to as journalists or not, on EVERYTHING that happens in New Orleans and the gulf coast area...

I agree ESPN is crossing the line,

 
At September 14, 2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree espn is crossing the line though, but its not becasue of this...

we wouldnt be so passionate on both sides of this if ESPN wasn't already blurring their "news" and entertainment values by trying to hawk cell phones at all hours of the day on their "news" shows (sportscenter, baseball tongiht, NFL live)...

they're also pandering to fantasy football. while i think fantasy football is fun (i play), and does have its place, taht place ISN't on sportscenter...

my point is, we wouldn't be AS concerned if ESPN just decided "west coast this week, we'll hit up the gulf coast at a later date,"

but the fact they've already gone over the edge, makes this cut hurt more than it would have before

 
At September 14, 2006 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anyone expect ESPN to promote a game on another network? That makes no sense at all. Of COURSE they are going to promote their primetime game. That anyone would be surprised or pissed about this shows is what amazes me. Do you expect CBS to run promos for the Notre Dame game during its football coverage.

Get a life. Bitch about something worth bitching about.

 
At September 14, 2006 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that Notre Dame is in the 2nd biggest media market is BS.

It's in the 90th biggest DMA.

Yeah, there are lots of Notre Dame fans in Chicago, but there are lots of rabid SEC fans all over the south.

Do nationally broadcast SEC games consistently get lower ratings than NBC's Notre Dame games? That's all that matters.

 
At September 14, 2006 5:28 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Is this the worst thing ESPN has done? Of course not! That wasn't my point. Hawking cell phones and overplaying certain news angles (Yankees, TO's hammy, Danica Patrick) is all more offensive.

I just think this is a real bonehead decision because it involves USC, Auburn and LSU. ESPN should have known that it would have caused a stink in the southeast because of the "three-Pete," 2004 national championship, 2003 co-national championship, and so on.

Go back and read the original submission. I NEVER SAID that ESPN MUST go to Auburn this week. If Gameday would have gone to Knoxville or South Bend, I would have understood. But going to USC is just a slap in our face.

Yes, I understand that they went to USC for synergy.

 
At September 14, 2006 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK now we're getting somewhere Fitch...

this isn't about ESPN and their choices, you're taking it PERSONALLY that ESPN gives USC more pub the LSU...

your complaints are so much that ESPN is doing this, it's becaues you're as bitter that USC has a claim to "half" the national title two years ago, as much as their bitter they didn't even get to the superdome that year...

I understand what you're saying, but I think you're trying to get us to feel "sorry" for you for ESPN "slapping LSU/Auburn/whoever in the face" and you keep using that phrasing...

it's not a slap in the face, far from it. Especially when for most of the day today ESPN.com had Auburn on their front page, and saturday the sec matchups will be the day's biggest stories...

I do wonder why nobody addresses what many of us have said today already...

do you agree that the SEC should just sign a damn ESPN contract and call it a day (when the time comes to renew i mean)?

probably not, because that would be pandering to "the man" (espn in this case), but in non-bizzaro world, that's the reality of it, and that's the SEC's best option to avoid getting "slapped" again

 
At September 14, 2006 7:40 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Of course it's about ESPN and USC equally! And synergy is directly related. We don't care if people say we shared the title with USC. But ESPN took this synergy/USC/BCS/Rose Bowl/Best Team Ever/Three-Pete thing too far last year. There was rarely any mention that USC did not win the BCS title in 2003, or that another team in a major conference (Auburn) went undefeated but was denied.

It may not have been personal, but it was hard not to take it that way. I get that if ESPN mentions that the USC "flaws," then you can't hype your team as the "best ever" in the bowl game.

Like I said before, ESPN has to understand that there are consequences to synergy. I live in Middle America, and I hear people who are casual football fans here tell me that they didn't know that USC actually shared its first national championship, or that it didn't play in the BCS Championship Game.

Who do you think is responsible for that?

So, yes, I'm upset that this is LSU and Auburn's big weekend, and it's still about USC. I recognize my bias. I never denied it. But that doesn't mean that synergy isn't the culprit.

 
At September 14, 2006 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't you made at the AP, they said it to plenty of times along with BSPN. The AP is the one who started it.

 
At September 14, 2006 9:44 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

I guess because the AP isn't broadcasting from the USC campus this weekend.

Auburn fans probably have a bigger beef with the AP than LSU fans. LSU won the title in spite of the AP. It's interesting, however, that the AP was so openly defiant in '03, but stayed quiet in '04 when its team got in there. The AP was furious when USC wasn't included, but didn't care when Auburn was wasn't.

I don't think there was an anti-SEC bias in the AP, and of course there was no synergy. There are other issues at work there. Mainly that so many AP voters refuse to move a team ahead of higher-ranked team if they both win--especially after the 1994 Nebraska/Penn State fiasco.

 
At September 14, 2006 9:52 PM, Blogger BenSchwarmer said...

Unbelievable.

SEC fans, the same SEC fans who have the game of the week televised to a NATIONAL AUDIENCE EVERY WEEK are complaining they don't get enough exposure?

Does one other conference in the nation (ND aside, don't get me started) get a national audience every weekend?

Maybe if the SEC actually played an out of conference schedule (and I commend some programs for actually doing that this year) they would get early season hype.

 
At September 14, 2006 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuckin espn. how dare them force me to watch the usc/nu game. if only there was a way i could somehow watch michigan/notre dame, lsu/auburn, or tenn/florida.

 
At September 15, 2006 7:20 AM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

You wouldn't know where you could watch those games if you had to rely on ESPN as your lone source for TELEVISED sports news and information, which is exactly the case.

If ESPN is going to blow off the important games for its own, it needs to change its slogan to something more important, like "The Worldwide Leader in Synergy."

 
At September 15, 2006 9:26 AM, Blogger Sparky Duck said...

what a sham, and really in the end its to get Musburger on the big game, so Herbstreit can work it too. Its a joke, Nebraska is still pathetic.

 
At September 15, 2006 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dar-

Are you for real? Tell me when CBS, NBC, or FOX ever promotes anything on ESPN? Because they do it all the time right?

Have you watched sportscenter been to their webpage and how it is all about the SEC. They had a special segment just for the SEC games this weekend.

Please oh wise one, tell me how they have blown off Auburn/LSU? Those teams are both all over ESPN.com, Forde said that is the game everyone should watch over every other game on sportscenter, showed press conference clips, and had a special segment for them picking the games in the SEC.

You guys are so under represented right, how does anyone not know their is an LSU and Auburn. No one ever talks about your teams.

 
At September 15, 2006 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Revenge for the East Coast Bias and the loads of SEC games that people outside the South honestly don't care much about.

 
At September 15, 2006 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay 'tards, I'll tell you what: I'll gladly trade ESPN Gameday going to more SEC games, in exchange for Pac-10 games replacing the SEC on CBS.

Oh the world is sooooo unfaaaair. We want our own TV contract and ESPN licking our assholes, too!

Freakin' pathetic whiners.

 
At September 15, 2006 10:21 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At September 15, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Okay, now we're skewing each other's arguments, and we're spinning our wheels.

You're acting like I'm saying there's some sort of ESPN embargo on SEC information. ESPN has to recognize the SEC and Notre Dame games at the very least if it wants to keep the final shreds of credibility it still has.

It's synergy. Great. ESPN doesn't need to grace the SEC with its presence until it gives ESPN the contract. Fine.

but don't tell me that your game is the "Big Game" when it's not. Seriously, how many people are truly looking forward to USC/Nebraska? Does anybody besides about 8 people in Lincoln think that Nebraska is coming within 4 touchdowns of USC? Will anybody be watching this game in the 4th quarter except the most sadistic of USC fans?

And, oh God, how I hope to be eating those words Sunday morning. But I'm realistic.

And, since you will get me with semantics again, maybe ESPN never used the phrase "The Game" to describe it. But when you use the entire first half of your Friday night game to talk about it, and then it's the top story in your halftime show, it sounds like ESPN thinks it's pretty important to me. Oh, but they mentioned that there were games in the SEC this weekend in the last five minutes of the halftime show too. So I guess it's okay.

 
At September 15, 2006 11:29 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Here's what Chris Fowler says in his ESPN column tonight. Obviously we have struck a nerve that needs to be addressed:

Now, the philosophy has been rethought by upper management. For the first time, the competitive landscape of football programming is a frequent consideration. Serving the needs of ABC's new prime-time package of games is often a priority. The decision on GameDay's site is less a clear-cut "best game" philosophy now and is more complicated, made on a landscape where terms like "synergy" and "branding" live.

...

Executive vice president Norby Williamson asked me to relay his reasoning: Nebraska and USC, both visible programs with storied pasts, are colliding for the first time in 35 years, and this might be one of the few chances to showcase a Pac-10 location, keeping the show regionally balanced.

The SEC should feature a lot more big ones in the coming months.

This is important: Williamson said fans still can expect to see GameDay return to the SEC or to Notre Dame for games televised on CBS and NBC. That's a relief to me. LSU's visits to Florida and Tennessee loom large, as does Auburn's trip to the Swamp. Georgia versus the winner of the Vols-Gators clash will be huge.

Any of those games could carry national title weight.

So, who knows? I am hopeful. But just in case we don't make it there quite as often, I would truly miss broadcasting from Gainesville, Knoxville, Athens, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Baton Rouge and Columbia. SEC campuses have consistently provided the most passionate, colorful and, uh … "spirit"-ed backdrops for the show.

Hands down. No other conference is close.

Even if we don't visit you as much, please don't stop visiting us Saturday mornings. We will continue to give teams from America's strongest football conference, and the Fighting Irish, their due any way we can.

So, if I'm reading this correctly, it's about synergy, but it's not about synergy. Interesting. We should be there, but we can't be there. Ivan Maisel has basically said the same thing.

 
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