Friday, March 10, 2006

What’s Happening to ESPN?

First there was ESPN, then ESPN2, then ESPN Classics now ESPN Deportes. Through the years, to fill airtime, they have added rodeo, tractor pulls, swimming, billards, and volleyball to supplement the standard fare of football, baseball, basketball and hockey.

Now they’ve sunk too low. I read an article written by Cara Buckley of the Miami Herald entitled ESPN on Hand for Miami Domino Tournament. The network sponsored a dominoes championship tournament last fall that will be broadcast, in seven parts, on ESPN Deportes and ESPN2.

Trying to target a largely Hispanic audience, ESPN Deportes attended the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. There, 150 players competed for the $25,000 prize. The players, most from the Cuban neighborhoods in Miami were Viejitos (older people), with the final four players being 77, 56, 65, and 61.

Some snobs think that golf isn’t a sport. Others can’t understand why they televise pool tourneys or poker. If they don’t think golf is a sport, then what is the game of dominoes? If you think the Champions Tour is old, the senior tour players are spring chickens next to these guys.

Imagine the suspense when, in a heated dominoes match, the score tied, the final tile lays on the table facedown. Suddenly, a player turns over a tile to reveal nine dots and………wake me up when it’s over.


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