Big Lead Sports Bar

10/26/2006

Dear ESPN...

I am at my wits' end. I don't know how to put this in a way that won't offend you, because I know how much this means to you. But I am asking, on behalf of America, to please stop talking about who the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback is. Because simply, no one cares who the starter is on a .500 team that is going nowhere. If not for Daniel Snyder's inept management style, Dallas would undoubtedly be mired in the basement of their division. Dallas can't get out of their own way.
This is simply not as big a story as you're making it out to be. Worth a mention? Of course. Dallas was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. Then again, so was Miami, who signed a big-name QB who has also been benched. But that goes on the virtual back page of your TV and radio broadcasts.
There are so many intriguing storylines around the NFL: two undefeated teams, an amazing SIX one-win teams, the incredible start of the Saints, the persistence of 5-1 New England, the struggles of the defending champs, the inevitable injury of Steve McNair, the apathy of Randy Moss; yet all we get is Dallas, Dallas, Dallas.
Why, ESPN, are you so fixated on Dallas? Could it be for the presence of #81, perhaps? Yes, I remember him. The greatest receiver in the history of any league in your eyes...or the #2 receiver in the eyes of his own coach. The guy who clamors for the ball, yet dropped a wide-open 4th-down catch on Monday night. The guy that gets the Barry Bonds/Pedro Gomez treatment, first with Sal Paolantonio, and now with the unlucky Ed Werder. Yes, his presence is the true root of your alleged evil. Because I sure don't remember anyone caring about who Dallas' quarterback was in 2005. And coincidentally, I don't see the Philadelphia Eagles, Donovan McNabb, or Andy Reid on your programs nearly as much as I did the last two seasons.

Your minions, such as Dan Patrick, continue to blow my mind on a regular basis. Mr. Patrick will continually bash Owens with his middle-aged, agreeable white cronies such as Rick "Riles" Reilly or Peter King, telling us how bad of a person and teammate he is. Then in the next breath, Dan will tell us that Owens is the best receiver in the league. If I had the tapes, I would play them for you. I can tell you that there are plenty of receivers I'd take on my team before Terrell Owens. How about Larry Fitzgerald, Torry Holt, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Chad Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Andre Johnson, or Hines Ward? They might not all have the same tools Owens possesses, but they won't divide an entire locker room, either.
Oh, and the other reason why you cover Dallas so much, he's overrated too. If Bill Parcells' mere presence made a team so much better, he would've won more than one playoff game since 1998.
ESPN, you are guilty of covering sports with tunnel vision. I find it funny that the baseball playoffs are suffering from low ratings this year? Why? Primarily because a certain four-letter network concentrates on two teams and ignores the rest of the league (by the way, Fox is also guilty of this, so I'm not letting them off the hook, either). Interest in the other teams is lower because of the lessened publicity, and if the Yankees or Red Sox fail to advance, television ratings take a nosedive. What Average Joe knows anything about the Tigers or Cardinals other than Leyland and Pujols? I'm not talking about avid sports fans who read sites like this. I'm talking about players and personalities who are "household names". As cool as it is that Joel Zumaya throws 103, someone like my Mom would have no idea that he even played baseball. But she sure knows who Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are.
You are now guilty of attempting to tunnel vision the NFL down our throats, and I won't stand for it. So please, get off the Cowboys. I know they're volatile, but so are a number of teams. What do you think is going on behind closed doors at the Arizona Cardinals' facility these days?
In closing, I'd like to remind you that there's an entire world of sports out there. Try opening your collective eyes and remember why you started this network. America will thank you.

15 comments:

Adam said...

I just woke up for work at 3:30 am and I am currently giving you a standing ovation.


I don't even have the words to express how incredible a letter this is.

I pray to the internet gods that this post makes some noise in the sports world.

Hollywood Wags said...

They love the Cryboys, they love Parcells.

the decision to carry stories must come from one person, maybe Berman.

ESPN sucks.

wes said...

how can a national sports station devote the first 10 minutes to a rained-out game? they had a freaking roundtable discussion on sportscenter today and all they talked about was RAIN. it rained. get over it. i swear there were other sports events happening in the country last night...

bucdaddy said...

The more I read things like this, the happier I am that I cut ESPN out of my cable lineup a few years ago. The only bad part was, Fox Sportsnet went with it. But given the state of the Pirates for now and for the foreseeable (and unforeseeable) future, that's just as well too. Saved me untold hours of aggravation and saved the TV screen from having stuff hurled at it.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

Noted ESPN-hater that I am, I agree in whole with your letter to "The Worldwide Self-Promoter."

For some more ESPN bashing, I highly recommend this article by Neil Best of NY Newsday. Best takes ESPN to taks for its untimely injections of cross-promotional elements in the MNF broadcasts.

Enjoy: http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/giants/ny-spbest254947342oct25,0,4084046.column?coll=ny-giants-print

jweasy said...

I used to leave on ESPN as my background noise at home even when I wasn't watching it...not anymore.

Also, I take any opportunity I can to mention that Skip Bayless is worthless as a "journalist" and probably as a person. Thanks for keeping him on the payroll ESPN.

Anonymous said...

Great letter.
I've been visiting this site for a while now (huge Pirates fan) and I agree with everything you have posted. It is a big reason that I don't have ESPN.

dennis said...

Thats awesome and you should send it here. It's the guy who is America's voice to ESPN.

Honestly anytime you have one reporter assigned to one or two people (Werder/Gomez) then you know it's too much.

And how about Plax calling T.O. a pussy...made me laugh.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Wow, Plax is a pussy... and he called T.O. a pussy...

So therefore, Plax's own pussy-ness is only exceded by T.O.'s pussy-ness.

So, other than the fact that I just typed the word "pussy" a lot, we have learned than when Plaxico Burress calls you a pussy, you are REALLY a big pussy.

Anonymous said...

I for one feel that everyone should sever their ESPN cable connection and instead rely on Mondesi's House for all of the sports news you really need to have. This guy really tells it like it is.

louis lipps is my homeboy said...

I second that!!!

Mondesi for all of your sports and dog owner news!

How is the pooch doin anyways Raul? He all better now?

vinnie said...

Google has this software it is testing which allows you to compare the popularity of search terms (http://www.google.com/trends). Just for fun, I compared the terms 'pittsburgh steelers' and 'dallas cowboys'. With the exception of the 2006 Super Bowl and the 2005 AFC Championship, the Cowboys consistently beat the steelers in search popularity. Amazing, considering they haven't made the playoffs in how long? I REALLY hate to say this, but maybe they really are America's team.

dennis said...

But if you take out T.O. from that equation is there still more?

mondesishouse said...

Thanks to that anonymous poster who values my information more than ESPN (and NO, I did not write that comment!). You guys would not believe the traffic that this site is pulling in after just four months.

I value each and every one of my readers, because YOU are why I do this, and YOU are the ones spreading the word and reading every day!

I promise that as long as you're reading, I'll be writing!

Also, for the question about Maddux's health, he is doing much better after the scare last Sunday. His status for this Sunday's Raider game is officially "probable"!

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

To your point on internet traffic and search engine results. I can verify that DallasCowboys.com is by far and away the most-visited NFL team site. The Steelers are usually 2nd or 3rd in the league, along with the Filthy Eagles.