December 30th, 2004

surya

An open letter to ESPN, Re: Alamo Bowl Coverage

For the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl, I enjoyed watching the game and listening to the coverage. About mid-way through the second quarter, though, something changed, and the commentators and the cameras suddenly stopped paying attention.

Yes, Ohio State had a nice lead. No, Oklahoma State wasn't doing much. Still, commentary on the game all but stopped for nearly half the second quarter, as the commentators began to talk about other things.

It was like the game wasn't even being played. Camera shots of the three commentators seemed more common than shots of the athletes on the field. At one point, time out was called, but this was only important enough to warrant an off-hand remark. They largely ignored the significance of a Nugent field goal and a 15 yard penalty on Ohio State.

By the time the teams went into the locker room for halftime, it was as if there was no game on. Instead, it had turned into a commentary on something entirely different.

The most amusing thing was that the halftime show was just a re-hash of the second half of the second quarter. Come to think of it, so was the post-game show. I started to wonder if everyone had the same script.

Anyway, ESPN's commentators managed to demonstrate that it's not football or athletes they care about: it's talking. The kids on the field were playing their hearts out on both sides, and I'm sure several of them were recording the game, or had families watching the game hoping to see their sons have fun and do great things.

Instead, they got a bitchfest from the commentators who were supposed to be interested in the game, and saw lots of Kirk Herbstreet trying to hide in the background while their kids were playing.

Congrats.