2 For Tuesday

Wow, so much going on for a Tuesday in the sports world (that's unusual). The best O' the best in 2 almost-quick points:

1. MLB ASG- I'll admit, for the 1st time I
didn't watch the HR Derby last night- last year's so was embarrassingly long, I simply shunned it last evening and caught the highlights on ESPN and ESPNews. But I'm definitely "all in" for the real deal tonight. I'm curious to see which stud pitcher gets lit up (you knwo there's always one). Better yet, I'm psyched to see who "pulls a Penny" (as in 2006 ASG starter, Brad Penny) and tanks the second half of the season because he let it all hang out for a 1 or 2 inning uber-appearance in front of a national audience. Somehow, I think Alyssa Milano is not upset she's no longer dating such an idiot by the way.

2. Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN.

As a product of Sportcenter from the "Glory Days", my fondest memories (for lack of a better term) of Sportscenter were from back in the day when Patrick and Olberman rescued my mornings between classes in college- ok, sometimes during classes in college, but back when I matriculated, I couldn't "sling" the broadcast to my phone like I can now. Back then I actually had to skip class. Anyway, somehow the departure of Mr. Patrick was lead balloon-ish. Or maybe more accurately, awfully , um... well, ho-hum. Seriously, it was as resounding as the 14th hour of the HR Derby. Not many people "tuned in" and fewer still, I imagine said anything other than, "Oh. Well, er... OK." And I think that sums up the impact of individual anchors on Sportscenter, not to mention the proliferation of new media on the sports scene:
    1. In its day, Sportscenter was the medium. I mean, if I stopped any guy over 25 years of age on the street and hummed to him, "Dah-dah-dah. Dah-dah-dah" he'd probably smile and have some fleeting memory of safety, security and maybe (like me) the smoggy feel of a hangover (I did say my Sportscenter anecdotes were from my college days).
    2. But today, Sportscenter is, well, passe. The Internet has simply made it irrelevant. Why would I wait for 8AM every day and 6PM and 11PM every night to get my sports updates? Not when I can go to, oh, about a dozen highly respected (and frequented) blogs that give me more up-to-date news and information than any television program produced intermittently would ever or could ever do. Oh, and if I need an actual game highlight? Well, those who know, YouTube. What if I need a stat? Gee, maybe the actual league or team site? Or any of the big guns CBSSportsline, Yahoo Sports, or cough, even... cough cough, ESPN.com gives me exactly what I want when I want it. I don't have to wait for Mr. Patrick (or any of his cloned offspring they now call anchors since he and Mr. Olbermann's departures from behind the desk) to tell me the highlight I want to see is coming up in 5 minutes in the next segment.
    3. Hell, even as far as TV goes (if you are still into that sort of thing), the 4-letter has even surpassed its own news show creation with ESPnews which I am much more into now simply because you can leave it droning on in the background between checking blogs and fantasy league stats.
    4. And that brings me to the last point. Seriously, nowadays the only reason I need any type of player or game stat is simply because I need to know: a) how it impacts my fantasy league team in a given sport, or b) whether or not it is relevant to blog about here or comment on in said respected blogs. Do I really care that only 1 team in the modern era of MLB has come back to win a playoff series after being down 0-3 like the 2004 Red Sox? Well, I do love that one, but you get the point. But, I do need to know how many HRs Big Papi hit in September and October leading up to the playoffs because maybe I want to trade him from my Fantasy Team if I know he's going to slow down and get rested (as is typically the case) and give him to someone willing to give me a stud starting pitcher and a late season call-up (for a keeper league) in the middle of a pennant or wild card race.
I guess my observation is thus... Dan Patrick was a cathartic and relevant presence at the height of popularity for one of the most pertinent shows on television, not just sports television. But that was then and this is not Sportscenter. This is now. So congratulations on your 18-year tenure Mr. Patrick. I appreciate your place in television history. But don't let the laptop hit you on the way out.

No comments: