With the highly publicized move of the 2010 NFL Draft to Thursday night, the sporting world cast its eyes on ESPN in primetime.
The Boo-Ya network promptly delivered one of the worst sports productions in television history.
The brass at ESPN should be both ashamed and embarrassed with the production staff and the so-called “talent”, headlined by a flustered, sweaty, and angry Chris Berman.
Berman is widely known for being huge prick, with little respect for his colleagues. His rants—presumably leaked by a member of ESPN’s staff—gave the public a glimpse into his idiotic personality:
Watching him trying to lead an organized discussion Thursday was like trying to watch JaMarcus Russell play quarterback—lots of angry glares at his teammates and finger-pointing along the way to a complete failure.
Boomer had no control over who talked when or what was said during the broadcast. He repeatedly was forced to scramble; certainly not his specialty. Much like JaMarcus trying to escape the pocket, he had no chance.
The highlight of the chaos came midway late in the first round, when ESPN returned from break. While the cameras focused on members of the United States Military on stage being honored by the NFL, viewers were treated to 30 seconds of bumbling bonus-analysis by the commentators, who had no idea their mics were live and they were actually on the air. The director cut to Berman, who upon finally realizing the panel was live, gestured wildly before stammering some cheesy comment regarding the work of the military.
Here it is, with apologies for the horrible audio:
Boomer wasn’t the only person to struggle Thursday. The addition of Jon Gruden to the seasoned veterans of draft coverage added another layer to the debacle.
Gruden would not shut up. He always had to get the first word in after a pick was made, constantly praising the picks while offering little actual analysis of the players ability—aside from obvious comments like “C.J. Spiller is fast.” Really? America had no idea.
Chucky sounded like a guy trying to make some friends in hopes of landing another coaching gig.
Colleagues Steve Young and Tom Jackson would love for that to happen. Both jumped at the chance to talk once Gruden stepped off his pulpit. They interrupted each other constantly—neither was willing to give in—resulting in both men talking simultaneously throughout the night.
And then there was good ole Mel Kiper. Once known as an annoying talking head, Kiper endeared himself Thursday by making good points. More importantly, he made timely points—dropping relevant knowledge on his clueless counterparts. He attacked the Broncos’ selection of Tim Tebow, only to be bombarded with the value of character and work ethic, the usual argument among moronic fans and apparently NFL draft “experts” in support of Tebow.
Kiper was strangely silent from that point forward, like a child who had just been scolded, spanked, slapped, and sent to the corner after getting its mouth washed-out with soap. At one point late in the first round, when asked his opinion regarding the Pats’ selection of CB Devin McCourty, he simply shrugged his shoulders and kept his mouth shut.
ESPN should hold itself to a higher standard. Sadly, a virtual monopoly on the sports broadcasting industry suggests that may never happen.
In the meantime, I encourage you to tune into the NFL Network for your draft coverage.