Can’t Hate

by: Chris Meinecke

Chris Meinecke

Chris Meinecke

Programming in televised sports has forever been molded into specialized channels. This may not be much of a realization to some or most of you, but it’s much easier to understand if you rip the blankets off of what some networks are trying to pull. When I say some networks I mean ESPN.

There is nothing new in me voicing that if you take sports at face value there no reason to shuck them aside. That doesn’t mean that you’ll want to or even should watch all of it. My face value of the WNBA is extremely low. I don’t see it (and most others don’t as well) as a highly entertaining product. There is a niche that the league brings, that is all well and good, but for most it just simply isn’t chair gripping action on any level. The NBA however is a different animal. Sure the “Association” has morphed significantly in the last fifteen to twenty years. You can see it if you look back to some of the shorter short wearing days of the mid 90’s. Now every team has four or five uniforms that get more rack space over anything else for merchandising purposes. If you take the NBA as the proverbial doinkball that it is – running travels and low percentage shooting – and realize that some of the soul jarring competitive nature of the game during the Jordan era is long gone, THEN you can take it at face value and enjoy it.

Why is this explanation important or even necessary? Take a look around your digital dial while I explain.

Many specialty channels have sprouted in the modern viewing age of sports. The NFL Network, where together THEY make football, and yes that’s what their egocentric thought is, was established in 2003. NHL Network 2007, MLB Network 2009, NBA TV all the way back to 1999. Even the FOX Soccer Channel which went away officially in 2013 has what is now an ultra premium channel in FOX Soccer Plus (strike while the iron is hot I guess). Channels like FOX Sports 1 & 2, CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network all got into the game over the last several years. Hell, FOX Sports 1 went so far as to compare themselves to ESPN on many levels without actually saying it out loud or in a press release. What’s important is that all of these channels serve enough of an audience that it keeps them on the air, in line with competition, and relevant to the overall media tidal wave that includes radio, online publications, and even us here at the BLFC blog and FCSRadio.

Next on the platter is the mother-ship. Since their inception in 1979 ESPN has evolved over and again. How can you not in 35+ years of broadcasting. What has come of their existence is the constant tug job over sports glistening super-stars like Lebron James and Tiger Woods. I’m not speaking from opinion, it’s a fact, all I ask is that you yourself not be blind to it. The proof is in the programming…

… the website programming.

Right Column on espn.com

That’s right. If you haven’t stumbled across any broadcast of SportsCenter from Bristol to Los Angeles, all you have to do is jump over to espn.go.com. Of the eleven stories that are listed in the right column, seven of them regard something to do with the NBA. 

LebronCenter

Can one fault ESPN for what they’re doing? Not at all. The NBA has a huge market of fans. NBA TV does its damnedest to cover the league. The Hardwood Classics are welcomed for someone nostalgic, but it’s not all-encompassing. TNT plays an important role having the broadcast privilege of double-headers on Thursday nights and digging in a foothold for almost three decades. Even with the TNT product, it’s still sub-par when it comes to the NBA and its coverage. They’re too interested in airing badly scripted shows like Rizzoli & Isles and poorly acted reruns of Bones to be too concerned about improving their NBA product, one that even Charles Barkley says “sucks” on the Tonight Show [Watch here at the 30:21 mark IF you can sit through a couple of commercials you can’t skip and see how whiny Chuck is, kind of like you whining about not being able to skip commercials]. 

Don’t hate on ESPN for being NBA-centric. If star polishing isn’t your thing, I totally get that, it isn’t mine either. In fact ESPN has helped me resent Lebron and Tiger thanks to their over indulged coverage. That’s not fair to them, they didn’t exactly ask for that from that monolith of a company. Don’t hate on ESPN either for the good things they do still do. Their Fantasy Football software is set up and run extremely well in my opinion, Outside the Lines still does great investigative reporting, SportsCenter still has a small romantic space in my heart, and having the ability to  look at a major sports event calendar well into the future is appreciated in case I’d like to look at the NBA, NHL, and NCAA schedules for the month of March all in one place on the Sports Calendar section of the ESPN Playbook page.

Take ESPN at face value. It’s the NBA Network. For as much as they’d love to tell you that they’re well versed in the world of sports and being The Worldwide Leader in Sports, that simply is no longer true. While I can’t earmark a birth date for this like I did earlier in the article, welcome, NBA Network, you’ve been long-awaited at 1301 on my digital dial (even though I still won’t turn you on much).

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Ass or Elephant?

Whew! It’s been awhile. I might be a little rusty so be patient.  Been quite a week these past 7 days. Elections, NBA, and of course football.  But lets talk whats on everyone’s mind. Elections or more appropriately, the results.

ImageEveryone knows there are three things you don’t discuss: money (or sex), politics, and religion.  Here at BLFC we do our best to discuss everything, so these topics are never too much for us.  For me personally, I don’t discuss my political beliefs simply because most people either a.) Can’t hold up their end of the argument or b.) are so caught up in the argument they can’t reasonably agree to disagree.  I tend to fall towards the first, but not because I don’t care, because if I did as much research as I’d like to, I’d become so disheartened and frustrated that I’d rather stay ignorant and foolish. So in light of that, I am republican and yes, I voted for Romney/Ryan.  Not because I think abortion should be banned, we can discuss my stance on that at later date, but because they more closely line up with my personal beliefs than the democrats do. I don’t care if my president is white, black, hispanic, or whatever else. I do care that he sticks to his word and does his best to improve America.

In my eyes it’s what can I do for my country NOT what my country can do for me…which sadly, is where I believe most of the population is going…how much help can I get off the government so I don’t have to struggle to find a job or pay my bills, or do the work to figure out what healthcare coverage is best for me and why I need a job to afford it. SMH. Please don’t misunderstand me, I know personally, that there are many people who struggle with finding a job and truly need government programs for food and a roof over their heads. But there are also those who lazily would rather depend on someone else than standing on their own two feet as difficult as it might be.  These are the people who get my wrath.  Perhaps we can all take a note from the Michigan man who suffered cardiac arrest while voting. CPR was performed and he was revived, and before they took him to the hospital he asked his wife to ensure that he had voted. Yes people. This man died, was brought back to life, and still wanted to make sure he voted. Now obviously I don’t know who he voted for, but the fact that his vote mattered so much to him?! Kudos my brother.

OK. Enough political talk. Shake it off.

Did you hear about the Chicago fans who traveled to Nashville for the Bears Vs. Titans game this past week?? Not only did they see the Bears demolish the Titans they also cleaned some out their taverns of tapped beer! As a Packer fan and Wisconsinite I gotta say–we need to step it up people! Bears fans are getting headlines as drunks! Is Wisconsin not #1 on that list? We’re slacking and I am ashamed. I too need to pick up the slack. Bottoms up Packer fans, whether it’s PBR, Milwaukee’s Best, or Miller Lite, use this bye week to prepare and make GB proud!

 

You can find the article here with a nice video to go along:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/11/06/nfl-bears-beer-nashville/1685913/

Lets finish with a quick NBA roll up (we have to get back to our mundane lives) so thanks for sharing your time with me.  Miami is on fire, Brown is out in LA after a 1-4 start (who knew!?), Nash is hurt, and is anyone talking about the Bucks? I know my brother is. As for me, I’ll be Keeping my eye out for Lam-Lam and Khloe Kardashian.

Stay safe out there people. Don’t drive drunk, and whether you’re democrat, republican, or anything in between, be grateful for the ability to vote, to cast your opinion and have the freedom to speak out. Pray for those who would take advantage of that and for those who use it inappropriately. Remember: “One Nation Under God.” You might not like it, but its the foundation that built this great country. We’d all do well to keep that front and center.

Oh! And if you want a nice pick-me-up this week check out the new addition above my hubby and I acquired. Isn’t she cute!? #DoubleD

 

Shoes to blame?

Let us pause for a minute of silence for E!’s Khloe and Lamar….
Yes sports fans it is with a heavy heart that I announce the end of the Odom’s television tour. Now lest we forget the rest of the Kardashian clan signed soem 3 year $40 ka-jillion dollar deal so we will still be able to keep up with them (gag), but with Odom off the court and Khloe “tired of filming” I am sad I will have to find a new tv family to follow; anyone know what time that basketball wives show is on? I need to do some research. On the upside, Lamar can get back to what I think failed him coming into the latest basketball season–conditioning/practice.

Anyone else read the tweet by a Nike shoe designer almost implying that DRose’s ACL injury was due to his choice of branding ADIDAS instead of Nike, why else would LJ be improving and Rose hurting? My “boys” @PTI made me chuckle at this story; do people really feel they have so much influence on a player that their shoes are to blame for injuries? As Mike Wilbon pointed out, Ricky Rubio is out for the season and he wore Nike. Lets hope injuries from here on out aren’t based on shoe size. What a sad sad world would that be.

On the bright side, maybe the players could get into those skele-toes shoes??? I’d like me a pair of those.

Enjoy the playoffs my friends! … & Go Brewers!