So I'm reading today's Bill Simmons column, and this jumps out at me:
In fact, if I joined a fantasy draft for channels in which my three friends and I split up all the channels and could watch only the ones we drafted, here would be my top-16 wish list heading into the draft: ESPN, Fox, TNT, ABC, NBC, CBS, NBA-TV, NFL Network, CNN, MTV, Comedy Central, ESPNEWS, Showtime, VH1, AMC and HBO, which narrowly edged Starz and the National Geographic HD Channel (owner of my favorite new show of 2008, "Critical Situation"). I guess I have three points:
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2. ESPN Classic not making the cut: the greatest idea that should have worked and hasn't yet.
Yes, Simmons is right. ESPN Classic is a great idea. But it sucks right now. And he sort of leaves it hanging out there, so a reader might think, no one knows why it isn't working, or maybe there are problems behind the scenes that make it unworkable.
But that's crap. I would wager Simmons even knows why ESPN Classic sucks right now, but because The World Wide Leader signs his paychecks, he can't say it.
But it is obvious.
ESPN Classic doesn't show classic sports.
It shows crap. It shows billiard, and poker reruns, and old American Gladiators, and rodeos.
In fact, they should change the name of the channel to ESPNCrap. Or ESPN Retro (because in the 80s, before they picked up broadcasting rights to mainstream sports and had all those talking heads shows, they used to show a lot of rodeo and lacrosse and stuff like that).
What is the point of having a channel devoted to classic sporting events if you are going to show reruns of the World Series of Poker and bull riding? Who gives a damn about that?
And you know why I know about this? Because periodically I'll be at home, channel-surfing, and I'll think, maybe there's something good on ESPN Classic. An NBA game from the 80s, an NFL game from the 70s, a random baseball playoff game, Sugar Ray Robinson or Jake LaMotta or Smokin' Joe Frazier boxing. Maybe some old school helmetless hockey, or something.
And I scroll over there, and you know what I find?
American Gladiators. That's not even a sport.
Although I want to make it clear that Strongman competitions are sports, and having them on ESPN Classic is a good thing. In fact, I would be in favor of having a channel devoted to just old Strongman competitions. Or at least, devote a significant portion of the programming to it.
I'm at home right now. I had a hearing this afternoon, got done with it, and popped home early. So I'm going to flip to ESPN Classic, and I bet it is poker or something.
Well, it is actually the USC/Cal football game from 2003. That sort of screws up my point.
But that's not what is usually on.
ESPN is a bunch of morons. They need to show old sporting events on ESPN Classic, not the crap they are currently showing on there all the time.