McKeithan Column

Published 6:10 am Friday, February 15, 2008

By Staff
Jock wants sports coverage without buffoonery
Why should we care who picks up the dinner tab?
As a sports nut, I enjoy watching, talking and playing sports. I’m a jock in the truest sense of the word. (Stop laughing.)
I usually get the latest sports scores and highlights courtesy of ESPN’s SportsCenter. On a typical day, I watch the morning and evening reports but have become increasingly annoyed by their coverage.
Foolishness and mindless banter between “sports reporters” is as ever-present on ESPN as a Herman Gaskins commercial. A typical SportsCenter features two sports anchors, usually men, attempting humor. The show is replete with silly catch phrases and one-liners. Each anchor will give the other the obligatory chuckle, which only reinforces their stupid behavior. (Yes — I see what you mean — it is just like a county commissioners meeting.)
Humor is powerful medicine, best administered in small doses. Just a few minutes of obscure pop-culture references and stand-up shtick on SportsCenter makes me want to throw my remote through the TV. (It doesn’t work, by the way … always seems to bounce harmlessly off the screen and harmfully onto something/someone else.)
Sad, misguided, awkward and over-reaching attempts to be funny should be left only to politicians and this columnist. (That’s my domain, dudes. I’m a player.)
My singular purpose is to write something that might make you smile, or even chuckle. Their primary purpose should be to inform the masses about sports. They shouldn’t pretend to be stand-up comedians and I won’t pretend to be a sportscaster. When I want to watch silliness, I’ll switch to the Comedy Channel (and probably find a good sportscast).
To the other extreme: If I ever wish to see grotesque violence and injuries, I’ll rent one of the Saw movies. (And that will be a cold day in you-know-where.) Why is it necessary to replay sports injuries? What purpose does it serve? Are there really people out there who will tune-in to watch body parts give way? Don’t bother answering — I know there are.
Just this week, there was a near fatal injury in a hockey game involving a skate and an artery. I didn’t want to see it. Unlike SportsCenter, I have enough decency to spare you the details. They showed it — over and over and over again. I’m sure the injured player would prefer that his near-death experience not be replayed repeatedly on national TV.
Allow me to list other things I do not like about sports coverage these days: