ESPN Will Silkwood Her Brake Line Within A Week
ESPN’s ombudsman, Le Ann Schrieber, gets it. I mean, she really gets it.
I love her latest column so much, I want to marry it (and if you know anything about me and marriage, that’s saying a lot).
She has perfectly encapsulated not only what’s wrong with ESPN, but what’s wrong with our sports media culture. I know people blame the media for everything, but, seriously, the 24-hour sports network that won’t be happy until it has every tendril into every orifice you have a la Gabrielle Anwar in Invasion of the Body Snatchers has taken the level of sports discourse in this country and turned the volume up while turning the IQ down.
One might conclude that there is something about the state of Oklahoma or college football, or the combination of the two, that brings out the extremism in people. But from my ombudsman’s perch, I see something else. The rage is general all over the land of sport. Fans, not to mention coaches and athletes, are sick and tired of being subjected to a relentless media onslaught of opinion that is simultaneously overheated and half-baked. Unfortunately, in a kind of sports Stockholm syndrome, many of them have learned to imitate the rhetorical belligerence of the media masters they resent.
In short, their talking heads are loud, stupid and reckless, and fans are fighting back by being louder, dumber and more reckless. Nothing matters anymore except being seen and heard, regardless of what you say. Last week’s completely off-base opinion is forgotten and replaced with this week’s “dead solid lock” that’ll be forgotten next week. Let’s move on to the next caller who can shout louder than you.
Sometimes I weep for our culture. Where did we go so wrong?