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ESPN becomes E!SPN for Tony Parker and Eva Longoria

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Before today I was pretty much content to change the channel when ESPN's Sportscenter would venture into another one of their many attempts to be more than just a sports news/highlight show. I've tolerated their company-wide directive to push viewers through their multi media wringer and the way they decide what is the most compelling story of the day and hammer you over the head with it. They focus in on one thing/team/player/story and hammer it to death. Watch any game ESPN covers in any sport. They'll focus on one player and talk about him the whole game, do features on him, analyze him. Any sport they'll pick one team that they've deemed the most important and zero in on them. The Yankees win 2 in a row and they go wall to wall all day talking about it. Sportscenter tosses the story to the baseball tonight crew who chat about it, then push you to the radio with Mike and Mike who have Steve Phillips on to talk about it, who pushes you to the website for a  feature on the story by Jayson Stark. They realized it's harder to push the audience through the ESPN wringer with just "general sports news."

It's no coincidence that simultaneously their website, cable channel, & radio all discuss the same team, angle, or story. This is how they do things. It's a far reaching philosophy I've noticed more and more the past few years. They care very little about the sport or the game and more about driving compelling storylines that they can use to push their audience through their many media outlets to follow.

But all that said why is today the day that I lost my patience? It's because today ESPN decided they would become E!. Let's call it E!SPN. It really started with the ridiculous and in many ways shameful "Who's Now" segment they've been forcing down our throats. It's more or less a popularity contest where people vote which athlete has the best combination of a professional resume, endorsements, TV career, celebrity girlfriend/boyfriend ect. I don't know about you, but as a man in his mid 20s I've never paid all that much attention to who my favorite sports stars are dating. Nor has any other man I know. So what is ESPN going for here?

Watch Stewart Scott, Keyshawn Johnson, Wilbon & co become Ryan Seacrest. I'm not kidding this is ridiculous. An actual quote from the segment "Matt Leinart has that LA buzz! He's been linked with Paris Hilton!"

Again, I've still not gotten to what really set me off today... so here I go. Sportscenter devoted an entire segment to covering the lavish wedding of Eva Longoria & Tony Parker in France. It was no mere mention of the story or a few pieces of video of Eva Longoria to look at... They actually brought on a British gossip correspondent and had the sportscenter anchor interview her for a good 5 minutes. They went over the details of how the couple had to have a civil ceremony this past week, they went over the full celebrity guest list, they showed photos of the castle the reception would be held in blah blah blah... During that interview the celeb gossip lady and the Sportscenter anchor proceeded to tell us multiple times how "Sports fans are interested in this wedding just as much the women who watch desperate housewives are!" NO WE AREN'T!!! No matter how many times you tell us we are, we really aren't!

Who are they kidding? I've never sat at a bar during an Eagles game or stood by the water cooler in my office with a couple of guys(who are supposed to be in ESPN's target demo) and discussed Tony Parker's wedding. Frankly, I've never even discussed Tony Parker.

There's a reason I don't watch E!. Because I don't care. Now that ESPN has become E!SPN I really don't care about them either...