As Howard Cosell reported when George Halas died, “It was inevitable.” It had to come to this: ESPN is now officially satire-proof. Comedic farce can’t come close.
And more changes are coming from The Worldwide Leader.
Veteran anchor Bob Ley — real first name Robert, last name pronounced Lee — no longer will be confused with Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Henceforth, Ley will be known as Odell Beckham III.
ESPN anchor Rece Davis, often mistaken for Confederate President Jefferson Davis, will now be identified as Pee Wee Reese.
As for Robert Lee, the Asian-American ESPN play-by-play man who was removed from calling a Virginia football game lest his name spark another race-based riot near the school’s Charlottesville, Va., campus, has been given five name-change options by ESPN.
He must choose among: 1) Ulysses S. Grant, 2) Walt Bellamy, 3) Spike Lee, 4) Dow Jones and 5) Mao Zedong.
Speaking of Asians in America, Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University, was, among other things, the money and motivation behind the building of the Western half of America’s Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869. Much of the dirtiest work was given to underpaid and overworked Chinese laborers.
Thus, ESPN today will announce that it will not televise Pac-12 games until Stanford’s name is changed to Stephen A. Smith State or all identifiably Asian students and faculty are expelled.
That’s enough. I can’t compete with ESPN for the ridiculous. And what the country knows apparently is lost on the shot-callers at ESPN.
You can’t watch ESPN without wonderment, as in, “What the bleep are they thinking?”
As if the telecasts of ESPN’s Late Sunday Night Baseball aren’t bad enough for needless, distracting, aggravating excesses, Cardinals-Pirates repeatedly scrolled this fresh news Sunday about Yankees starter Sonny Gray: “Five innings pitched, two walks, no strikeouts (career low).”
Frankly, I was surprised ESPN didn’t add “Gray ties MLB record with no strikeouts.”
If rights to televise ballgames were based on quality of productions and intelligent treatment of sports and their viewers rather than money — and only money — ESPN would be a table selling tube socks at a flea market.
This week, ESPN exhibited its repetitive sense of baseball — and provided added prompts for its beloved Little Leaguers to demonstrate self-love — by airing a reel of Giancarlo Stanton languishing near home plate to admire his home-run blasts.
Missing, of course, was how Stanton similarly languished the Marlins out of the playoff race last year by senselessly landing himself on the disabled list for a month.
In the ninth inning of an 8-7 loss, Stanton was seriously injured when he was thrown out while awkwardly sliding toward second base, on which he should have safely been standing. He had presumed his high fly to right would be caught, thus he didn’t bother to run until it hit the ground.
From 59-52, the Marlins finished 79-82.
Yet this, his most costly home-plate languish, has been ignored in favor of allowing all to know that ESPN is the place to watch players pose, preen and remove the sport from their sports.
Yet ESPN possesses the kind of social sensitivity, historical perspective and circumstantial foresight to remove Asian-American Robert Lee from a college football assignment in Virginia because he might add fuel to protesters’ flames as he naturally would be linked with Confederate General Robert E. Lee, 1807-1870.
But ESPN’s ability to blend history with context always has been outstanding. It once described Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World” as “a walk-off home run to win the 1951 NLCS.” Satire-proof.
So I unconditionally surrender; ESPN wins. Just save me a seat at Appomattox Court House.
And no, there was not a Confederate General named John Sterling.
Apopleptic over cheap shots on diamond
Perhaps the eight-ejections Yankees-Tigers game Thursday cut into local sales of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor freak show.
Although “apoplectic” means unrestrained anger, YES’s Ryan Ruocco described the Tigers’ Jose Iglesias as “apoplectic with excitement” after his seventh-inning, bases-loaded double.
Next, during a replay of the seventh-inning brawl, Ruocco said we were watching Gary Sanchez as he “takes a swing at” Nick Castellanos. No, Sanchez didn’t just take a swing, he sucker-punched him in the head.
If Sanchez is suspended during a pennant race, it won’t be because he tried to disengage Castellanos from a Yankees teammate, but because he nailed an unsuspecting opponent with an uppercut, a cheap shot.
From one sucker to hopeful others: The Mets have raised 2018 ticket prices and are demanding subscribers’ up-front money by Sept. 15. How to make friends and influence fools.
Hey, it’s never too early to try to wash some of that $110 million they’re paying Yoenis Cespedes despite previous years of ample evidence that he would be as reliably unreliable as a pack of damp matches.
And it seems that the Sgt. Schultz “We-see-nussink!” pandering to Cespedes’s obvious indifference finally has escaped SNY’s booth.
Tuesday, after Arizona’s Adam Rosales ran hard all the way, nearly reaching second before his home run cleared the fence, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling compared Rosales’ “home-run trot” — a sprint — to Cespedes’s takes-forever jogs.
They concluded that this is one reason why Rosales is a valued teammate. Imagine that.
NFL Net is all about ‘me’ TV
Ever get the feeling that TV, its marketing strategists and advertisers won’t quit until every sports-minded kid acts like a self-smitten jerk, then passes it along to their kids?
NFL Network continues to show and rate TD dances, still rewarding the publicly immodest and selfish — what Roger Goodell now calls “spontaneous fun.”
Why doesn’t NFLN rate the top me-dances that drew penalties? How about ranking those performed by players whose teams were losing? There are plenty of those.
Or how about video of those who were tackled short of the end zone or who fumbled because they slowed to showboat? There are plenty of those, too. That’s how Cam Newton last season was lost to a concussion.
There’s genuine diversity and qualified inclusion, then there’s transparent tokenism. Six of FOX’s seven NFL sideline reporters will be women. Thus far, FOX’s three announced college football sideline reporters are women, thus make it nine of 10.
Another sweet job of fantasy-based managing by the Mets’ Terry Collins on Monday: Three straight relievers allowed no hits and no walks until he found one to lose the game, this time, Erik Goeddel. Arizona’s Torey Lovullo similarly tried to lose, but Collins prevailed.
Reader Larry Kirby demands to know why Red Sox pitcher Doug Fister was allowed to pitch a one-hit complete game Tuesday, in 2017. Answer: Fister was on a two-hit limit.
ESPN confirms the appearance of a solar eclipse.
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