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Why Do You Hate ESPN, Bloggers?

Dan Steinberg is on vacation. Despite his massive photo above, this was not written by him. It was written by Adam Littlefield of The Dude Abides, which you must read. Other guest bloggers will check in for the foreseeable future. Littles gets paid an additional 15 cents every time someone mentions Blog Show, so here's a reminder to watch Blog Show on Comcast SportsyNet around 6 pm tonight, for an episode featuring such made-for-TV blogs as 100 Percent Injury Rate, Winning the Turnover Battle, the WBRS Sports Blog and Every Day Should Be Saturday.

This entry was inspired by this week's Blog Show conference call, in which Steinberg gave an impassioned speech about how bloggers are unfairly predisposed to hate ESPN just b/c ESPN is big and powerful and an easy target, and that "Who's Now" isn't actually that bad, and that he (Steinberg) would rather watch "Who's Now" than boring baseball highlights 100 times out of 100. For more on "Who's Now," read the Michael Wilbon Q&A at The Big Lead. Anyhow, The Dude Abides writes below, and please provide extra comments to make him feel at home:

Let me start by saying that I don't hate ESPN. ESPN is the reason I am able to sit in an office all day, looking at sports-related blogs, and pass it off as work. The World Wide Leader definitely produces some god-awful television, but they have also set the bar for all other sports television networks. Without ESPN, we would all still be watching George Michael do highlights in super-slow motion on the Sports Machine.

ESPN's "Who's Now" segment has brought serious disdain for the network from almost all corners of the universe. From the 23-year old college drop-out, blogging in his underwear from his parent's basement, to reputable news sources, such as Newsweek, everyone seems to be venting some serious anger towards Bristol, Connecticut. My question is simple. Why?

For every "Who's Mow", there's a Kelly Naqi "Outside The Lines" report on Michael Vick's involvement in dog fighting. For every "Steve Phillips Mock General Manager Press Conference" there is a terrific Sunday Night Conversation. And for those of you who think that an interview with Will Ferrell doesn't belong on SportsCenter, I dare you to tell me that if a sports blog got an exclusive interview with Will Ferrell for their site, it wouldn't burn up the blogosphere.

Musing on the true nature of evil.
Like in all works of life, you have to take the bad with the good. For every Chris Berman, "Back, Back, Back," there's Bob Ley, showing us all how SportsCenter should be done on Sunday mornings. For every Stuart Scott "Boo-Ya", there's Jeremy Schaap continuing the tremendous legacy left by his late-father, Dick. I've read that people hated the idea of putting Kenny Mayne in a kayak in the middle of McCovey Cove for the recent Home Run Derby. A lot of bloggers called it "gimmicky," but yet again I ask you, what if the same stunt was pulled off by a blogger? My guess is that it would be considered pure gold by most others in the blogosphere.

So what's my point? I don't know really. [Ed. note: That's why he's in television.] I just felt like this would stir up more controversy than writing about David Beckham. It just seems to me that people hate on ESPN just for the sake of hating on ESPN. It would be interesting to see what the sports blogosphere would look like if there were no ESPN. My guess is it would look pretty bleak.

PS: Watch Blog Show. You can hate on us all you want and we won't complain. We just want the attention.

[Ed. note: Speak for yourself.]

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 20, 2007; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Media  
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