Tuesday, July 04, 2006

As American as Falafel and Quiche

While Congress was distracted with whining about who should protect our ports and whether our phone records should be available to every fed with a bug up his ass, the terrorists took over ESPN.

Today is the Fourth of July, the most American of holidays. As recently as last year ESPN celebrated with five baseball games, starting in the early afternoon and running past midnight, moving through all four time zones to allow everyone a chance to glimpse our National Pastime.

What are they showing today? ESPN has poker and soccer, followed by Barry Bonds’ weekly festival of self-aggrandizing video masturbation and concluding with more poker before Baseball Tonight, their one-hour wrap-up of the day’s games, none of which they thought worthy of showing live. ESPN2 is even worse. Hours of Wimbledon and a replay of the afternoon’s soccer game (for the fifteen people in the country with cable but no VCR) are sandwiched around a hot dog eating contest.

I realize they have marketing surveys out the wazoo; I also understand all twenty-something marketing geniuses know more about this than I ever will. Doesn’t tradition count for anything? ESPN and The Deuce also ditched baseball on Memorial Day, replacing it with other two staples of Americana: poker and competitive paintball. All day. On both channels. Honest to Allah.

Now tell me the terrorists aren’t winning.

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