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What I Watched Last Night

Monday Night Football celebrated their first night on ESPN last night by showing the Raiders playing the Vikings. I do not know what the final score was because it was preseason football, and no sane person pays attention to final scores in preseason football. Preseason football is among the worst possible options for TV viewing. The first series of the first preseason game is usually all I watch because the starters are out after that series. If I wanted to watch second-rate players, I would watch Canadian football.

ESPN's big story last night had nothing to do with the game anyway. Instead, they obsessed about how T.O. (otherwise known as Terrell Owens) was not practicing with the Cowboys. All their analysts said the same thing over and over again, and that was how the press should stop paying so much attention to T.O. because all that does is make trouble. Here is a little newsflash to ESPN: You are the press, so stop it. If ESPN does not want to keep hearing about what the press is saying, they should stop having reporters from around the country commentate on sports.

That, however, would defeat the purpose of what ESPN is - a sports network. So I guess this puts ESPN in a spot. How do they cover the news about sports if they all hate hearing what the press is saying and they are the press? If they are not the press, then who and what are they? I am confusing myself having this debate, but I am trying to figure out who the press is that Michael Irving was referring to on Monday Night Live. These days, Michael Irving is the press. Maybe he's tired of himself.

Last week I said some things about how ESPN was becoming the MTV of sports and now I would like to retract that statement. ESPN is becoming more like a cable news political pundit show. ESPN loves to get a few dimwits together to argue all the sides of a particular topic and then raise their voices until the moderator steps in. Instead of showing highlights and breaking down defenses like they once did, they act like a masculine version of The View.

Once again, ESPN has let me down, but there is nothing I can do. Like I mentioned last week, The Best Damn Sports Show features Tom Arnold, so I can't turn there for relief. On a list of the most annoying people working in the business Tom Arnold, would rank between Kathy Griffin and Tucker Carlson.

Tom Arnold or ESPN? ESPN is the obvious answer, but it is losing ground. It could soon be time to watch sports utilizing the mute feature. If NFL Live goes this way, my Sunday nights will be ruined for the entirety of the professional football season.

What channel is the Canadian league on again?

Catch up with Pat Bataillon's daily dispatches from the front lines of TV Nation, in the What I Watched Last Night collection.



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Posted on August 15, 2006


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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Don't Let Your Pet OD.


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