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Saturday, April 25, 2009

ESPN: Lying through its teeth

I was watching Sportscenter earlier today, and they were showing highlights of last night's Yankees-Red Sox game. It was the two teams' first meeting this year. Jason Bay hit a two-run homer with 2 outs in the 9th to tie the game at 4, off closer Mariano Rivera. Kevin Youkilis hit a solo homer in extras to win the game, 5-4. Yankees lose. Excellent.

It is no secret that ESPN over-analyzes these two teams. So, ESPN felt the need to justify their perceived "east-coast bias" by showing the following stat about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry: since 2004, they have played 101 times, with New York winning 51 and Boston winning 50. The news anchor, Scott Van Pelt, stated "This is why we talk about it so much!....And, as our producer said, the first game of the year always seems to be like this one!"

I'm assuming by the phrase "like this one," he meant the first game is always very close, back-and-forth, and exciting until the end. Because of the world-wide-interweb, I was able to find the scores of each Yankees-Red Sox season-opener between 2004 and 2008 (the timeframe ESPN used for the above win-loss stat):

2004: 6-2, Red Sox. They scored 4 in the first. Boring game.
2005: 9-2, Yankees. It was 4-1 after 3 innings. Boring game.
2006: 7-3, Red Sox. They scored four in the 8th to break a 3-3 tie. Not boring; no exciting finish.
2007: 7-6, Red Sox. Trailing 6-2 going into the 8th, Sox score five to take the lead. Exciting finish.
2008: 4-1, Yankees. They scored two in the 7th to take a 3-1 lead. Boring game.

So, by "every game," ESPN really means "one game out of the last five years." I could probably look up any type of rivalry, including the bitter KC Royals-St. Louis Cardinals rivalry, and find more excitement over the past five years than the over-hyped nonsense that ESPN feeds to two of the most egregiously arrogant fan-bases in all of sports.

Face it, Mr. Van Pelt: you talk about these teams because you know you're talking to the two largest fan-bases, and ESPN is a near-monopolistic business driven by TV ratings. Next time, don't insult your viewing audience with a 51-50 stat, because if it were 58-43 or 65-36 or 100-1, you'd still talk about it just as much.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

*its teeth

Andy Musser said...

Thank you, anonymi

Anonymous said...

cheer in state missourri rivalries