Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

December 30, 2012

HOPKINS: Haven't missed the 'worldwide leader'

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I made a resolution at the start of 2012, and like most resolutions made, it was broken. However, I can proudly say that I lasted until early August before succumbing.

My resolution — actually, a vow when I made it — was to avoid watching ESPN for a full calendar year. There were two exceptions: Major League Baseball-related programs including games and the show “Baseball Tonight” and any NFL-related shows, including “Monday Night Football.”

I vowed not to watch “Sportscenter.” Not a second of “Pardon the Interruption” or “Between the Lines.”

I didn’t need to listen to Skip Bayless and Stephen Smith arguing on “First Take” over who’s the bigger jerk. Too often ESPN commentators are discussing the sports topic of the day and too often, that topic is the latest outrageous behavior. Sometimes they criticize the behavior, but usually it’s encouraged. They seem to glorify jerks, the athletes who believe that the game is secondary to their performances or personalities.

To me, it’s not worth expending the energy on nonsense. Nor do I need to watch what seemed to be the constant stream of “look at me” highlights.

ESPN also devotes too much time to sports I don’t care about. I’m not much of a college sports fan, which is something ESPN has in spades. I’d rather watch the best of the best, and those athletes are found in the pro ranks. They also show the NBA almost every night of the week. I’m a hockey guy. Basketball appeals to me about as much as fingernails scraping across a chalk board.

With NBC SportsNet showing plenty of the National Hockey League (when it’s not in the middle of labor strife) and other hockey viewing options, plus the Yankees on the YES Network, there wasn’t much need for ESPN.

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