Friday, October 07, 2005

"Four Minutes" Part of ESPN's Campaign of Lies

As a writer, I take my responsibility to the readers very seriously.  When I see injustice done to the sports fans of America, I simply cannot pretend that all is well.  With that civic duty in mind, I am compelled to break this disturbing bit of news: ESPN has been lying to the American people.


In recent weeks, the ESPN family has relentlessly promoted Four Minutes, which first aired Thursday evening on ESPN2.  My research has uncovered a shocking truth: The so-called Four Minutes, in fact, runs for two hours.  I was not a math major, but I do know that 120 minutes are required to fill two hours.  So while millions of unsuspecting viewers planned to watch the program from 7:00 to 7:04pm, ESPN hijacked another 116 minutes of their time.  Never to be recovered.


Further investigation reveals a pattern of such blatantly false claims.  On Friday afternoon, Baseball Tonight will air at 3:30pm Eastern time.  You read that correctly – a program airing in the middle of the afternoon tries to pass itself off as being at night.  Similarly, the College Game “Day” crew has often provided commentary – brace yourself – in the evening!  Furthermore, NFL Live almost always airs when there is no live NFL action taking place.  The network of deception is simply disgraceful.


Saturday’s schedule contains a particularly egregious fabrication.  At noon Eastern time, ESPN Classic will carry the football game between Central Michigan and Army.  Exactly what is “classic” about the matchup of the 2–3 Chippewas and the 0–4 Black Knights?  Did Central Michigan’s win over the Akron Zips vault this contest into “classic” status?  I think not.


With no one holding it accountable for its deception, ESPN bills itself as “The worldwide leader in sports.”  However, there are plenty of nations around the world in which ESPN is not the sports leader.  For example, Al Jazeera Sports is the most popular sports channel in the Middle East.  You will never hear that news item from the fortress in Bristol.  At this point, I cannot trust anything I hear on SportsCenter.  The next time Stuart Scott says, “He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow,” I will assume that the other side of the pillow is, in fact, considerably cooler than that athlete.


I am sorry to have to break such ugly news to you.  However, I cannot sit passively and allow such treachery to go unchecked.  My personal safety is secondary to informing readers of the truth.  Some may call me a hero, but I’m just doing my job.