Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Grading ESPN's MegaCast

ESPN got bold Monday night with their coverage of the BCS Championship Game. They went all out. They truly went balls to the wall. And some of their efforts worked, some did not.

The Title Talk on ESPN 2 was atrocious. Imagine watching people watch something. And not like a reaction YouTube video, watching people react to Two Girls and a Cup. This was watching 2-4 astute college football fans watching a game with 3-4 moronic people. "Is the guy who snaps the ball called the snapper?" That was a direct quote from ESPN 2's Title Talk.

Jemele Hill was also there. Remember she was the one who compared rooting for the Boston Celtics to rooting for the Nazis in World War II. She's not too smart, and is habitually prone to hyperbole, which means she's one of ESPN's favorite personalities. Why be smart and appreciated when you can be moronic and controversial? Which one results in more internet hits? That's all that matters for ESPN.

I will grade ESPN's Title Talk program with a D-. It's not a complete fail because it did what it tried to do, and have an inane conversation of ignorance. And I think NESN should learn from it and make a ThinkPink simulcast for Red Sox and Bruins playoff games in the future. The Pink Hats would love it. The rest of the real sports fans will watch the actual game.

The BCS Film Room merits an A-. It was great. Truly great. There were some small problems, like keeping pace with the live feed. However, the coaches and experts were interesting, informative, and honest. As a BC fan I gained new appreciation for Steve Addazio. And it was also cool to listen to thoughts from Texas A&aM's Kevin Sumlin, and Pitt's Paul Chryst.

The only critiques I have for the Film Room coverage is that Matt Millen monopolized conversation. Just let other people talk, man. There was so much college football wisdom and knowledge in that room among 6 people, but Millen spoke more than a third of the words. And the show was somewhat disjointed. Which is typical for the first run of shows. But by and large it was great.

The Sounds of the BCS coverage on ESPN Classic was what it was. The TV broadcast without TV broadcasters. I'll give that a B.

The BCS Command Center on ESPN Goal Line gets an Incomplete because I don't get that channel.

All the features on ESPN3 get a B- because they delivered what they promised and nothing more. And for some reason Comcast Xfinity and my computer and phone have a major disagreement. I'll call it a philosophical misunderstanding. Watching ESPN3 feeds was fun while they lasted.

I thought it worked on some levels. Title Talk wasn't for me. Not at all, not one bit. But the BCS Film Room was fan-fucking-tastic. I mean it was awesome to behold how smart football coaches are, how they can read a play with just a few frames of footage, how they viewed the game in such an holistic way. They were schooling, non-stop.

The only drawback was that Matt Millen seemed to think his contract gave him the rights to 40% of the words, even though three respected college football coaches were in the room, along with two other college football analysts. Maybe in 2015 Matt Millen will get his own channel on MegaCast, and he can dominate his own conversations.

I'd love to see stuff like the Film Room for future big games, maybe for the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals, and so on.

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