Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why ESPN Classic Sucks

I have this problem with the NFL Network as well, but isn't the concept of ESPN Classic flawless? Shouldn't this be the greatest channel ever created?

Instead, we get old PBA competitions and the World Series of Poker? Every now and then you get a college football game, usually in the afternoon when no one can watch it. You rarely, if ever, get NFL games. Is it a licensing issue? If so, didn't they think to get these licenses before they launched the network?

You just get the feeling that they have a station they don't care to do anything with, so they find the worst, most irrelevant programming and run with it. When they get it right, the results are astounding.

For example, one day in college, during the week before a BC, Notre Dame game, I received a frantic text message from my friend ordering me to go to the dining hall as fast as possible. The Notre Dame/BC 1993 game was on ESPN Classic. This was an unbelievable game that I always remembered watching, definitely ranking in the "I know exactly where I was watching this game" category. I damn near sprinted the half mile to where he was to catch the unforgettable fourth quarter.

That, and the NFL Network, are the only stations where you can boost ratings by word of mouth. For example, during the three years I had ESPN Classic, I remember the joy/pain/or just awe of watching classic games like

the Florida State/Miami battles of the early 90's.
UNC vs Michigan National Championship
UNLV vs Duke National Championship
Michigan Ohio State 1994(The Tim Biakabatuka game)
Oregon Michigan 2003
Sonics Nuggets Game 5 1994
Dominique vs The Basketball Jesus
Sonics Bulls Game 5 1996
Sox Yankees game 7 2003
Nolan Ryan's no hitters

Your telling me they can't fill their programming with game after game after game? There are plenty of classic games, and plenty of simply irrelevant games, just to capture a moment in time that they can show. Why not show the USC Texas Rose Bowl once a week during football season? Its that good of a game.

Fox Sports Net stole from this idea and I loved it. Granted now they show the same games every year. But, watching these games, watching these great players, watching the 2002 Apple Cup, or the 2004 CAl USC game, or Oregon State's coming of age game in the 1998 Civil War, is a great experience.

ESPN Classic, instead of capitalizing on years of great sporting events, shows bowling and poker, the latter not even being a sport. Its disgusting.

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