Friday, May 22, 2009

6 comments Why ESPN Sucks and My Lottery Mock Draft

I am not a huge fan of ESPN, though really it is the only game in town if you want to learn about what happened in the sports world that day so I end up watching it a little bit. It is a sort of necessary evil for my world. I don't like having it around because there are so many things about the network, like the oversaturation of coverage for certain athletes and teams, that I don't like, but really there is no other all-encompassing network to get my sports information from. Sure, I go to the MLB Network when I want baseball coverage but there is no other channel that does sports quite as well and thoroughly as ESPN does. It may take an hour to get to the highlights of the game that I want to hear about but eventually it does get there. If there was a reasonable competitor in the market place, I would probably watch that channel, but there currently is not one that I can find. Today I am going to give you two good reasons why ESPN sucks.

1. Rick Reilly gets paid millions of dollars to write articles like this. He gets paid to find not funny ways to fix baseball.

I personally find baseball so crushingly boring I would happily plunge knitting needles into my eyes to avoid another snap zoom of Joe Torre's nostril hairs.

But my buddies like it, so I sit and watch with them. And bitch.

I think we should have Rick Reilly and Gregg Easterbrook get together and watch a game together. All we would hear is bitching, moaning, and second guessing of the game. I imagine this is what sports viewing in Hell is like. Every game you have to watch with those two constantly bitching and second guessing about the game.

But with my 15-second pitch clock, we get the hitter in the box, the pitcher on the mound and everybody in their homes by 10 p.m. We get two-hour-15-minute games instead of four-hour sunburns. We get World Series games that kids can see end. And not a dime of ad money is lost!

Some people actually enjoy baseball because it is slower paced. If I was at a game and wanted to drink some beer I would have to chug them faster than usual to get more than one in before the end of the game if the game got sped up.

8) Balls that hit the foul pole are foul. Duh.

I read this and wanted to punch something or someone...and I am not a physically violent person. For some reason, this idea just irritated me. I have heard that Rick Reilly really doesn't enjoy sports and it shows. Why would balls that hit the foul pole be foul? Just because it is called a "foul pole?" It's called home plate and it is designed in a triangle and not like a circle, plus it is not home to anything. I am surprised he is not bitching about this too.

10) And most important, if you're the dweeb fan on your cell behind home plate waving at the camera, the rest of your section gets to pour beer down your shorts.

I realize there is a select group of people that Rick Reilly speaks to, and I understand why my grandparents read his column, but he is horrible. He is not good. When his column was in the back of Sports Illustrated it was bearable for me. When it is stuck on the front page of it becomes tedious and annoying to me. Not only does his columns about sports really have nothing to do with sports, he also clearly doesn't know all that much about sports in general. He has no knowledge and is incredibly overpaid to be not taken seriously at all as a knowledgeable sports writer. He makes Bill Simmons look like Ernest Hemingway.

There are funnier comedians that earn a hell of a lot less than Rick Reilly.

The best part about this column though? He completely ripped it off from himself. Yes, he is plagerizing himself. His original column idea was boring, tedious and stupid, yet he felt the need to cheat off his own paper and re-write the column six years later.

So now Rick Reilly is not only untalented, but he is currently living off untalented and stupid articles he has previously written. It wasn't good the first time but still he feels like re-writing it and submitting it as new.

Here is the old article and read through it and notice the similarities. This is one reason why ESPN sucks. They let their untalented writers re-write previously written shitty columns they wrote for another sports site and try to pass it off as new.

2. Another thing that irritates me about ESPN is that they think anything is breaking or developing news. It's like they have to keep our interest at all times with new and exciting developments, even if they are not new developments at all. They try to trick the public and sadly it works.

Here is an example of what ESPN does in trying to pass off old news as developing news.

Two days ago, ESPN reported a "developing story" about Brett Favre scheduling surgery to repair his partially torn biceps tendon. The WWL made a big deal about it.

Yesterday, ESPN walked the story back. Ed Werder cited a source that said Favre would not undergo surgery. ESPN didn't use the "developing story" graphic on the follow-up. It just sort of slipped the new information to viewers and moved on, but not before it blamed the inaccurate report on the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Funny. Because when the WWL was running the initial "developing story" about Favre, I don't remember it giving the Pioneer Press credit.

This is a common habit that ESPN has. They tend to get stories wrong and then never admit they actually got the story wrong and bury the correction in SportsCenter or some other program. I love how Favre having surgery is a developing story but his not having surgery is not a developing story.

About two weeks ago, ESPN went with "breaking news" that Favre would not sign with the Vikings. I was sort of confused about how there could be breaking news when everything remained the same.

I remember this and it annoyed me too. It wasn't breaking news because nothing had happened. The only reason anyone thought something might happen was because ESPN and other media outlets were reporting that there was something happening. Basically, ESPN was breaking news that their own story was not true. It's like we live in a cyclical ESPN news cycle where they now report breaking news on stories they originally broke that aren't true.

When Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy, ESPN called it a "developing story." And it was. At first. But ESPN used that phrase all afternoon and well into the night - even after the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez addressed the issue and nothing was developing any longer.

They tend to do this a whole lot. PTI will discuss a sports event during their show and then SportsCenter will come in on a commercial break and say "developing news in the (blank blank) situation, SportsCenter is coming right up after PTI" and then they will have a similar discussion that PTI had. There is nothing happening but they want you to think there is. Clearly this all works because they have great ratings and people watch.

When Chuck Daly died, ESPN went back to the "breaking news" rubric. That was fine and appropriate in the beginning. But ESPN couldn't help itself and kept calling it breaking news long after it had been reported by countless other reputable media outlets across the country.

No disrespect to the dead, but it wasn't breaking news 12 hours after Daly passed.

I did not know this, but I don't see how someone dying 12 hours ago can have breaking news of any type involved with it.

Either way, "developing" and "breaking" are like credit cards that should be used sparingly or in case of emergency. As children so often do, ESPN has gone way over its limit on both. It's time for Daddy Disney to step in and take ESPN's buzzwords away until it learns how to use them like a responsible adult.

This is another reason why ESPN sucks. They try to manipulate their audience into thinking more is going on in the world of sports than truly is. They are not satsified with reporting the news, they want to also make the news happen.

A lot of what ESPN does when pretending these are breaking stories is very irresponsible journalism but they have proven time and time again they don't really care.

-I am daring to put a lottery mock draft up, even after the failure that was my NFL mock draft, because if anything I am stubborn. It is early so I may feel stupid about some picks at some point and I may put up a full mock draft at some point if I feel like it, but for right now I am going to put a lottery draft up. Everyone don't get too excited...

I am going to choose which player the team will choose and which player the team should choose:

1. Los Angeles Clippers

Will Choose: Blake Griffin

Should Choose: Blake Griffin

I don't know if I believe Blake Griffin is a franchise player or not but I do know that if anyone in this draft has a chance to be that guy, it is Griffin. He needs to become a better foul shooter and I would like to see him play better defense...but I am really nitpicking. Not to mention he really improved from his freshman to sophomore year so I don't think he has reached anything close to his potential yet. What really impresses me with Griffin is not his scoring or rebounding but his passing. This move will get Randolph to the bench, hopefully, and get Gordon and Davis open shots as well.

2. Memphis Grizzlies

Will Choose: Hasheem Thabeet

Should Choose: Ricky Rubio

They will take Thabeet in hopes of getting a defensive presence to play with Gay and Conley and to play beside the Gasol. This is the wrong move. I don't care if the Grizzlies have a point guard already, they don't have a point guard that can be the type of player that Rubio seems to be able to develop into. Again, I don't know too much about Rubio but I do know the Grizzlies need a shot in the arm and an exciting player like Rubio could do that. They will not take Rubio for a variety of reasons, the first being I think they are not going to want to deal with a buyout or the uncertainty that goes along with it and the second being Rubio will probably not want to go to Memphis.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

Will Choose: Ricky Rubio

Should Choose: Hasheem Thabeet

I think the Thunder will choose Rubio and playing with Durant and company might actually influence him to join the team. This would be a smart move for the Thunder because then they can take a little pressure off Westbrook from having to be a full time PG, since he is a bit of a tweener. I am on record as not liking Thabeet but the one team in the top 10 I really like him for is the Thunder. There he won't have to worry about developing an offensive game early in his career because he has other players on the team that can score. I have never had questions about Thabeet's ability to block and disrupt shots and I think given time and little pressure to hurry it up, he can develop an offensive game. Though he does struggle in my opinion when players go right at him, he would be a saving grace on the defensive end for the Thunder. I feel like this is a great move if he falls to the Thunder.

4. Sacramento Kings

Will Choose: Tyreke Evans

Should Choose: James Harden

I think the Kings will pick Evans because they need a point guard, which is very true. I feel like the Kings should pick James Harden and put him at the SF position and start a lineup of Garcia, Martin, Harden, Thompson, and Hawes. Sure, Garcia is not a great point guard but I think they can get a decent PG with the first pick in the 2nd round. I think Harden is too good to pass up and will fit in with the Kings well. The Kings have so many needs I can think of three different spots they could draft in this spot.

5. Washington Wizards

Will Choose: Jordan Hill

Should Choose: Tyreke Evans

I feel like the Wizards are going to try and take a big man in this spot. I am a little bit torn because they don't have a great point guard on the roster in this spot and I feel like they should draft Evans and move Arenas to SG, but I don't see them doing that. I think they are going to take Hill and try to pair him up with McGee for the their future front line.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves

Will Choose: DeMar DeRozan

Should Choose: Brandon Jennings

This would be a good fit for a point guard and to me, Brandon Jennings fits in perfectly well at this spot. I have a feeling that either the Knicks or the Wolves are going to take DeRozan though. It is just a feeling I have. I think Jennings would be perfect to put together with Love and Jefferson, but I think the Wolves are going to look for a big time athletic scorer, which is what they think DeRozan will be. I disagree. I was never impressed with what I saw of him at USC and he seemed detached from the game at times. He seems like he may never reach his potential, but I think DeRozan will be the pick.

7. Golden State Warriors

Will Choose: Brandon Jennings

Should Choose: Brandon Jennings

This makes sense to me. I don't know what else to say really. If Jennings is available he should be the pick for Nelson's offense. I would say Lawson but he is a reach at this point and really Jennings could be a special player.

8. New York Knicks

Will Choose: Stephon Curry

Should Choose: Johnny Flynn

Last year Gallinari was tied to the Knicks early in the process and he ended up getting drafted there, so I think this year with Curry being tied to the Knicks he will go to them as well. Duhon is going to be a free agent after this year and what better point guard to run the offense than Flynn who also went to Syracuse? He is familiar with MSG, so he won't be intimidated playing there, and may actually get the area excited about the Knicks...doubtful though. I am not as high on Curry as everyone else is. For me he is not a pure point guard and he is a little too small to be a shooting guard. I am not dogging him out but I can see him struggling in the NBA when he is guarded by taller players at the SG (the last thing the Knicks need is an undersized PG and SG playing at the same time) and he is not a fit for this system at PG.

9. Toronto Raptors

Will Choose: Earl Clark

Should Choose: Stephon Curry

As described yesterday I think Clark is a little inconsistent with his effort for my tastes. Now I do feel like Curry would be successful in Toronto playing with Bosh and Calderon. He is still undersized for a SG but I think he fits in well here and he is a risk the Raptors should take. They will take Clark though because I think he has a bigger upside that will make Bosh happier and if he pans out it would convince Bosh to stick around.

10. Milwaukee Bucks

Will Choose: Johnny Flynn

Should Choose: Johnny Flynn

I can see them reaching for a big man here. They need one badly and they may be tempted to go for one but I think they take a PG here and Flynn would be a good fit. There's no sense in reaching for a big man that is not worth choosing here. I actually really like this Bucks team once they get Redd back and with Flynn running the show I can see them making the playoffs next year.

11. New Jersey Nets

Will Choose: Chase Budinger

Should Choose: Chase Budinger

I may change my mind immediately after writing this but Budinger fits in so well with the Nets team right now. When I look at Budinger, I see Joe Alexander and that doesn't make me happy, so that is something I am nervous about. I think Budinger would be a good choice for the Nets but Ellington or Henderson may tempt them.

12. Charlotte Bobcats

Will Choose: Gerald Henderson

Should Choose: Wayne Ellington/DeJuan Blair

You would think that Michael Jordan and company would do this the other way and choose a UNC guy, but I think he will like Henderson's athleticism enough to draft him here and leave Henderson's best friend and rival Ellington still on the board. I think Ellington needs to be the pick but if they don't choose him I think they need Blair. Sure he is undersized but he is also a rebounding machine and is going to be able to provide some toughness this team really lacks. For me Henderson has some holes in his offensive game, and he could end up being a stronger defender than Wallace, but he is too similar to Gerald Wallace for me to think the Bobcats should draft him.

13. Indiana Pacers

Will Choose: Eric Maynor

Should Choose: Ty Lawson

I feel like Maynor is a pro prospect but I also think he is living off his game against Duke a few years ago in the NCAA Tournament. That will cause him to go higher than he should. Lawson should be the choice here. Sure, Roy Hibbert may have a heart attack trying to keep up with the pace he runs the offense but I think he can be the long term solution at this position. An outside player they could take would be James Johnson and there is really no reason for this, but it seems like something the Pacers would do because he is athletic and would fit in well on their front line behind Murphy and they may for some reason like Ford as the PG.

14. Phoenix Suns

Will Choose: James Johnson

Should Choose: Terrence Williams

I think James Johnson would be a good fit for this team. The problem the Suns have is that I don't think they are going to spend a pick on a replacement for Nash yet and there are no big men really worth taking at this spot. That leaves swing men or a power forward to choose from and I think Johnson would be a good pick but the all-purpose Williams would be a great fit for this team. He doesn't need to do anything well but he will be able to help them immediately, which is something they need. This draft is not entirely strong with big impact guys but there are going to be some good players that contribute chosen and I think Williams will be one of those guys.

Ok, tell me if I missed anything or if I am stupid.


Martin said...

ESPN should give the Rickster an absolute ration of shit for doing nothing more then recycling his old S.I. column. Suspend him for a week without pay or soemthing. Seriously, for the kind of money they are paying this fucktard, he recycles an old column full of dumb ideas and bad jokes? The foul pole one just kills me. How about going the opposite way and making them call it a "fair pole" eh Rickster? Christ, he's such a cocknocker, every time he, Peter King or Simmons write a new column I think "Oh no...HE'S the worst one!", until TMQ writes again and I remember that truly, he's the worst...except when Peter King is.

Martin said...

And I'm gonna go all Simmons on everybody, but it seems that this spring, there has been more bad writing then in a while. I think we need NBC to cancel "Parks and Recreation" and get FJM back online to restart the Evisceration Era.

Bengoodfella said...

I am not kidding, plagerizing yourself should count as the same as plagerizing someone else. At least in the eyes of ESPN. They did not hire him to regurgitate his old shitty ideas. They wanted new shitty ideas. Those columns are so similar and there is no way he doesn't remember writing it.

I think TMQ is the worst, because there are egregious parts I just skip. Though Simmons chats are pretty bad. Peter King is just out there bad, where he knows and we know he doesn't look things up so it becomes easy to call him on shit.

There has been some bad writing. I am sure I miss a lot of it too. I do wish FJMorgan would come back periodically but P&K got renewed so they are busy for a while or at least Michael Schur is.

Jeremy Conlin said...

I don't know why, but I really, really, really don't like Tyreke Evans. I think his jump shot stinks, I think he's going to have a tough time scoring, especially if he plays at the 2 (he definitely is NOT a point guard. I know this much).

I also think that my lifelong dream of teaming up Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin might happen. Of the teams that could potentially draft him, Rubio apparently only wants to play in LA or Sacramento. This opens the door for LA and Kevin Durant's Future Former Team to swap picks, the right for LA to swap picks with KDFFT any time between now and 2014, plus one or more of the low first-round picks that Sam Presti has accumulated from San Antonio and Phoenix. If I'm the Clippers, I'd absolutely trade the #1 pick for the #3 pick, the #25 pick (via San Antonio) this year, plus another first-rounder (via Phoenix) in 2011. And if I'm KDFFT, I'm only giving away other team's crappy first-rounders, and I'm teaming up two of the five best prospects of the last 3 years, along with some really solid role players (Jeff Green, Russ Westbrook) and about $720 Million worth of cap space. They could throw $60 Million over 5 years at David Lee and force the Knicks to match (which they probably wouldn't at that price), then throw another $22 Million over 4 years at Ramon Sessions, or splurge for $45 Million over 3 years at Jason Kidd. And even after that, they'd still have $14 Million worth of expiring contracts to go grab someone valuable. And this is all much more likely than you might think. Let's say they make the trade, sign Lee, and sign Sessions. That makes their starting 5 Sessions, Westbrook, Durant, Griffin, Lee, with a bench of Jeff Green (his manifest destiny is a 6th man), Nenad Kristic, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha, and Kyle Weaver, plus they'd still have a mid-level exception to offer to Trevor Ariza or Grant Hill (or someone of that ilk), PLUS another 4 or 5 Million to work with to fill some other roles (knockdown shooter off the bench, backup point guard, veteran locker room guy). I don't care if this only has a 1% chance of actually happening. That team wins 50 games, minimum. That's a legit title contender in 2011 and 2012 (after that, Durant's and Green's contracts expire). I'm rambling, but if everything in the previous paragraph happens, I'm doing Tiger fist pumps for the next 3 years.

Bengoodfella said...

Jeremy, I realize I have Tyreke Evans going at #4 to the Kings but I am actually not a huge fan either. I think you hit it on the head when you said that he is not a point guard but that is what he will be drafted as and probably be forced to play. The problem with him at the 2 spot, at least from what I have seen and I am assuming he hasn't improved, is that he is not a great shooter. You are right. That Memphis team could not shoot this year and he was a main culprit. Not that the #2 needs to be a great shooter but if he goes to the Kings I can't see either he or Martin playing the 3 spot. Basically, I think whoever drafts him is going to play him at PG and I am not sure what he is exactly.

I do like his potential but I am taking a guy like Jennings first, but the NBA will be enamored with his potential and probably draft him as a PG. Not to mention he is a guy who tries to get to the foul line but is not a great foul shooter. He is not a distributor really at the PG position. I could go on and on but needless to say he is not one of my favorite players in the draft.

Honestly, I sort of understood what you were saying and I guess it could happen but that was a lot of information in a short time period for me. I can't imagine a team with Durant and Griffin on it though. That would be a tough team for sure. I think that is a team that could be a title contender. I do like Thabeet on that team but obviously I like Griffin more.

They also can't offer the mid-level exception to Ariza because Boston is going to sign him this offseason...I hope.

AJ said...

There is no way in the world the Clippers do not take Blake. They are not trading the pick, nor any future picks to the Thunder or any other team in this league or any other league. Unless of course the Lakers offered Bryant or the Cavs offered James.