ESPN

There’s No Song Like “Home”

The other night, we watched “A Home For the Holidays” on CBS, which is a lovely Christmas special focusing on families who have been blessed by adoption.  They show little vignettes of families sharing their adoption stories and have different musical performances for a studio audience of adopted kids and their families.

One of the musical performances was American Idol winner Phillip Phillips performing his hit song “Home”, a beautiful song that was very appropriate for a show about adoption.  If you are one of the six people in the world not familiar with the song (or if you, like me, like to listen to it) you can play it here:

But that was not the only thing to stick out to me – it is (at least) the fourth different television network to use that song.  The unofficial list:

  • FOX:  Where it all started:  American Idol
  • NBC:  “Home” was played during the Summer Olympics whenever they were getting ready to show a women’s gymnastics segment.
  • ABC:  Used it in promos for Extreme Makeover – Home Edition
  • CBS:  A Home For the Holidays, live performance

While I’m sure I’m missing some other examples, I find it fascinating* that all four of the broadcast networks have used the same song fairly prominently in their programming.

*Even though I am a big dork for obscure observances like this, I’m using “fascinating” very loosely.

In this day and age, playing songs during TV shows is very common.  Grey’s Anatomy helped The Fray sell millions of albums.  And I’d be willing to wager that ESPN plays more music than MTV does.  But for the most part, these songs tend to be pretty exclusive to a network – or at least a corporate structure.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another song that has been used this prominently on multiple networks – let alone the big four broadcast networks (but if you can, drop it in the comments).

Thought of the Day – 10/27/2012

Does anybody else find it interesting / ironic that ESPN tries to pass off Lou Holtz as a doctor

Doctor Lisp, er, Lou.

And as a lawyer

Lou Holtz, Attorney at Lisp

But they struggle to pass him off as the thing he was hired to be – a competent (and comprehensible) college football analyst?

The Worldwide Leader (in beating dead horses)

Things I can remember, but are probably gone forever:

  • MTV showing videos.
  • ESPN’s SportsCenter showing highlights of games without 45 minutes of talking-head analysis.

SportsCenter was on the TV over lunch, and every time I looked up they had some different person on talking about Game 4 of the NBA Finals like it was the World Series of Olympic Super Bowls or something equally earth-shattering*.

*Like Brett Farve discussing a comeback, Tim Tebow being super-awesome, or an SEC team perfecting football.

Look – I get it, the NBA Finals are the championship for one of America’s major professional sports.  It deserves more coverage, insight, and analysis than a regular season between the Royals and Astros.  But it does not need wall-to-wall coverage with 17 different correspondents, reporters, and pundits* shoving their opinions down my throat like it is the gospel truth.

While I’m sure there are folks who want to watch the performance of every player broken down to the most micro of levels – but that should be a separate show on ESPN2, not the flagship program for sports scores and highlights.  For most sports fans, we don’t need to listen to you dissect the trumped-up story lines that you made up two days ago.

*As a side note, I like how ESPN has taken to showing the “resume” for some of their talking heads, such as their playing career or history covering a team or writing for a paper, as if to help boost their credibility.  I just wish that for Tim Legler’s resume they’d include his time with the Omaha Racers of the CBA.

So please, ESPN, let’s try to keep the game analysis to under 20 minutes and devote some time to other sporting events – such as the ones I might have missed while I was watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Just Say No to Playoffs

I have written a lot of things, expressed a lot of opinions, and have touched upon some controversial topics.

But nothing that I have ever written is as controversial (or as likely to have my sanity questioned) than the following sentence:

I think a college football playoff is an absolutely horrible idea that would irreparably damage the game.

That puts me in a serious minority among college football fans (I saw a 2007 Gallup poll that said 85% favored a playoff of some fashion). But I don’t care. You all are wrong. And I am right. Let me prove it to you…

A Game Like No Other

The University of Nebraska has been playing intercollegiate football since 1890, competing in over 1,230 games against 140 different opponents.  On Saturday, Nebraska is playing a football game against Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.  Kickoff is at 11 am CT, and the game will be televised by ESPN.

A little more than a week ago, this was a basic, run of the mill game.  Two Top 25 teams facing off in a Big 10 conference game with implications on both division races.  It was definitely not the biggest game of the day, and would not have received a lot of national coverage aside from the obligatory 30 second highlight package. 

Not too long ago in terms of hours and days.  Yet with everything that has occurred at Penn State within the last week, this game will be anything but ordinary.  It will be a game like no other.

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