The growing sentiment is that ESPN has become too big for its britches; in other words, don’t expect all-around sports news per se, but rather 24/7 East Coast discussion and a constant pining that some team like the Cowboys would just cause some sort of controversy so Scott Van Pelt wouldn’t have to report those boring hockey scores. There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball? Since when? It’s a mess, but it’s hard to let go of ESPN and, even more so, SportsCenter, simply because of the good memories we all have of it.
One of the more discouraging recent trends in ESPN is its attempt to involve the fans by inventing ridiculous fan surveys that serve little other purpose than to be annoying and to further avoid talking about teams that us Midwest lowlifes enjoy watching. The latest failure is ESPN’s Mt. Rushmore, where fans of each state vote to create the state’s own Mt. Rushmore of athletes and sports personalities. Naturally, ESPN reported the Mt. Rushmore of New York this morning in a big t0-do involving Rick Reilly. At least this promotion has sparked more debate than the station’s recent attempts to do so (the Who’s #1? was beyond stupid – as if anyone really had a chance in that bracket other than the big names). Normally, I couldn’t care less about these other than thinking about them in passing, but New York’s was surprising, to say the least. Here is the list:
And here is Ohio’s Mt. Rushmore:
See the problem here? How in the world can Jim Brown be on the list for New York and not make Ohio’s Mt. Rushmore? His contributions to the Browns and to football in general are immeasurable. Are people really that obsessed with Ohio State (a college, mind you) that they couldn’t vote the greatest football player of all time onto its Mt. Rushmore? Speaking of college, ESPN really dropped the ball by allowing players to be nominated for more than one state. Jim Brown absolutely does not belong on New York’s Mt. Rushmore just because he played for Syracuse. What a disgrace that he gets the nod over the hundreds of other options available: Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mark Messier, or even Willie Mays? The list obviously goes on and on, but you get the idea.
It makes my stomach drop every time I think about this worthless fan survey. How Jim Brown was left off Ohio’s Mt. Rushmore and inexplicably found on some other state’s is a disgrace and is fairly clear evidence that ESPN is not only the most epic of current sport fails, but fans also have their own ridiculous side as well. Shame on the Ohio fans for including Hayes on this list while leaving out Jim Brown. One also has to think that LeBron James is going to get some love on this list as well in a few years. When that time comes, Jack Nicklaus will probably have to say good-bye to his spot.
Fyi, Jackie Robinson also finds himself on two lists, as he is also on the California Mt. Rushmore. Because there has always been a shortage of good athletes playing in California…