ESPN’s ‘Sportscenter’ more like ‘E! News’

By: KEVIN CARLIN – SENIOR, FINANCE

Over the last several years, my morning ritual has remained virtually unchanged: Wake up, brush my teeth, shower, pour a bowl of cereal, and then I sit down to turn on ESPN’s “Sportscenter”.

However, as of late, my morning ritual has undergone a massive change that is way beyond my control.

At the risk of sounding over-the-hill, doesn’t anyone remember when “Sportscenter” actually aired highlights of last night’s games? What was once the preferred medium for catching up on sporting events has morphed into a sports themed version of “E! News”, and with Michael Sam’s recent announcement, I dare say the final nail has been struck in the coffin.

Sam’s announcement prompted endless hours of coverage into a subject that shouldn’t be a big deal. To say that “Sportscenter” beat a dead horse would be the understatement of this still young century we’re living in.

If one were watching a broadcast of “Sportscenter” for only half the program’s air time, they would have seen numerous former NFL players and coaches, including Jeff Saturday, Antonio Pierce and Herm Edwards, make the same belabored points over and over again.

I understand Sam could potentially be the first openly gay NFL player, and as someone who is familiar with being in a football locker room (I was a second string defensive tackle on the junior varsity team in high school), having an openly gay player in the locker could make things a little awkward and possibly, to the furthest degree, hurt team chemistry.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that Major League Baseball spring training has begun and I would like an update on how the Tribe’s plan to transition Carlos Santana to third base is working out. Let’s also not forget the Olympic Games are going on, so an update every once and while would be nice.

I also can’t help but notice the constant media hoopla surrounding Sam is probably hurting his draft stock. If we learned anything from Tim Tebow’s short and rather disappointing career, it’s that NFL teams don’t want a media circus surrounding just one player, even if the player isn’t actively cultivating the attention.

Media hype detracts from the rest of the players who are simply trying to do their job, which is to play football at the highest level of the sports world hierarchy. I don’t see Sam’s sexuality as a detriment to his career, but all this attention surrounding his sexuality is.

Anyway, I digress from my original point, that point being that someone at ESPN adopted the same approach to broadcasting as TMZ, which reports trivial information about celebrities and their idiotic behavior.

I can only hope maybe someday “Sportscenter” will return to the format that brought the station’s its original success: Stuart Scott’s over use of the phrase of “boo yah” followed by pop culture references by Scott Van Pelt over last night’s highlights.