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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ESPN: If we say it enough, we shall make it so

Does ESPN really think that "naming" the weekend's slate of college football games makes them bigger or more important?

I don't think it would have been humanly possible for any ESPN on-air host, announcer, commentator, sideline reporter and anchor to have mentioned more times that last weekend's football games had been dubbed "Gut-Check Saturday!" by the network. Put it this way, if my friends and I had been playing one of those college drinking games, in which a person has to drink each time the phrase in question is uttered on the TV show being watched, we'd all be dead today.

Seriously. Can't we just enjoy the games?

It almost felt like the ESPN brass panicked after the rash of upsets two weekends ago. Like they hadn't seen them coming and thus overcompensated by trying to make last Saturday as big by beating viewers over the head and mandating each on-air personality to breathlessly say "Gut-Check Saturday!" (yes, with an exclamation point) 684 times under threat of termination.

You can almost see the network brass sitting in a conference room in Bristol trying to come up with "important" sounding names for the weekend...

"What about Showdown Saturday?"
"Enh. Too...2006."
"Big Time Saturday!"
"Not big enough."
"Ginormongous Saturday!"
"Too hard for Corso to say."
"What if we don't call it anything and just let the games being played speak for themselves?"


"Hmm. That's a very interesting idea, Ron. You're fired."

After Ron gathers his things and leaves...

"C'mon! Think, people, think! We're E-S-FUCKING-P-N. People don't just enjoy the goddamn games unless we tell them how much to enjoy them!"

Ed. Note: If any of our readers are disgruntled ESPN employees and have the memo and/or email that went out last week crowning Saturday as "Gut-Check Saturday!" (you know that shit wasn't spontaneous), please send it our way. We would be forever indebted to you.


surrounded in columbus said...

Reminds me of the scene in "Scrooged" where they are going over the promo for the Xmas special. Bill Murray plays the overbearing exec who wants to run the promo "that looked like the Manson Family Christmas Special", and Bob Golthwait wants to stick w/ the nice, "Christmassy" ad.

the debate in the movie goes-

Bob- Excuse me, sir, uh... but we've been running that spot now for over a month and...
well, it's getting a hell of a response.

Bill- I am the youngest president in the history of television for a reason. I know the people.

Bob- Well, uh, granted, but the people already wanna watch the show.

Bill- That isn't good enough! They have got to be so scared to miss it, so terrified!

my guess is that the debate inside ESPN went something along those lines

Mikoyan said...

I actually like ESPN but I will agree with you, the hyperbole must go. Besides, do we really want "Cupcake Saturday" next year on the first Saturday of the season?

j said...

Fowler, Herbstreit, and Corso need a GUT CHECK by Weightwatchers

Steve Spurrier is God said...

I don't know Fowler put on some muscle since last year. Corso can slide because he is over 100 years old

Daniel said...

ESPN's been going down hill for years. . . why do you think Rich Eisen ('90) had to gtfo!

Hemlock Philosopher said...

This week should be throw-back week because when there really are no great games, there is nothing like stirring nostalgia with goofy "retro" uniforms. (Oregon would not know what to do).

Mikoyan said...

I miss the days of ESPN showing Australian Rules Football myself. I loved that stuff. Do we really need about 24 hours work of poker when they could be showing the dude that used to be dressed in white showing a goal?

WingRG said...

Say what you say about ESPN going downhill, but i swear by the "banter hour": Around the Horn and PTI are the best thing on TV outside of Sopranos (that's not really on any more). As far as every slate of games on Saturday having its own name, it's all about the hype (just like the "my conference is better than your conference" debate)

Da Braylon said...

they should name one saturday about all the cheerleaders or dance girls "Super Sweet Slutlicious Saturday."

Out of Conference said...

Yeah, hyping games with names, like "Game of the Century" is just plain dumb. Oh wait..

I second the "Super Sweet Slutlicious Saturday" and suggest allowing all FCC rules be banned for that day.

Jim said...

This is just the trend in "news" media, isn't it? If anything, I prefer naming college football Saturdays to christening the latest armed conflict or national crisis

lane said...

halle- f'ing -lulah to this post.

spot on Yost!