Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sports column

March 13, 2013

Fox could give ESPN the boot

— Is it too much to hope that another sports entity could come and relieve our suffering at the hands of ESPN?

Perhaps the genesis of it may happen this August when Fox Sports 1 starts airing.

When I originally thought about this subject, I envisioned it would be one that would extol the virtues of Fox Sports and point out all of the resources that network can offer. But as it turns out, this will mostly be about why I am so anxious for Fox Sports or anybody else to displace the ESPN monster.

In short, ESPN has become way too big, way too powerful and irresponsible to continue unabated at the top of the sports fans’ must-watch list for very much longer.

I have mostly confined my ESPN viewing to live events and even those are often painful.

Take the recent NBA national broadcast between Chicago and Indiana. It was the most one-sided offering by a national network that I can recall.

Dave Pasch, who once worked for a radio station in Chicago, and Doris Burke were so pro-Chicago in the telecast that it should have embarrassed Bulls fans. I could easily be convinced that the duo flew back to Chicago on the team plane. But it isn’t going to embarrass ESPN because the network is above all that.

Pasch and Burke were so impressed by the fact that the “depleted” Bulls were competing with the “superstar-laden” Pacers that they almost neglected to mention that Indiana led nearly all of the game and won. Of course, a closer examination would reveal that both teams have played virtually the entire season without their best scorer of the previous several years -- the Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Pacers' David Granger,

The current version of those teams contains exactly one NBA All-Star. But that’s just the beginning of what ESPN does wrong.

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