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Phil Mushnick Blasts ESPN’s News Crawl, Likely Not A Fan Of Foreign Films

Oh, Phil Mushnick, God love him. There appears to be little on this planet that doesn’t have the potential to annoy the hell out of the resident curmudgeon on the sports staff for the New York Post. And while I do not agree with every one of his vitriolic rants, they are always amusing exercises in expressions of  his “Get Off My Lawn!” outlook on sports.

His column published today – “ESPN crawl obscures the action,” however, is spot friggin’ on, as are most of his crabby crusades against all that is wrong about tWWL. A sampling of the Grumpy Old Man’s thoughts on the subject:

THERE is almost nothing that ESPN owns, rents or even touches that it doesn’t attach to systemic absurdity. It’s ESPN’s way of saying, “Makes no difference if you tuned in to watch the event we’ve been promoting for months, you’re stuck; we can do anything we please to these telecasts.”

What ESPN has done to Wimbledon is right out of the Fools’ Two-For-Flinching High-Tech Handbook…

…As ridiculous as this is, it’s typical of ESPN’s habit-formed disregard for live TV, sports and its viewers/customers. ESPN will spend a year begging you to watch, then — Down in front! — block the view.

Well put, Mr. Mushnick. The crawl is yet another example of ESPN’s insistence on self-promotion and typifies the disdain it has for its viewers once they have sucked us into watching their programming. Well, it’s not so much as sucking us in as it is we have no other choice but to watch ESPN and its multitude of offshoot channels since they have essentially monopolized the entire sports universe. And my guess is ESPN is not finished with their slash and burn blitzkrieg over sports programming, so it is likely to get much worse before it gets any better.

One last thought on Mushnick’s column: I love how he takes a shot at the seemingly untouchable Hannah Storm for her simplistic insight into the epic Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicholas Mahut:

And there’s this: At 61-61 in the fifth set and 10½ hours into the Isner-Mahut match ESPN’s Hannah Storm reached this on-site conclusion: “These guys have no quit in them.”

Jeez, Hannah: ya think? Someone should pass that zinger along to Kornheiser. You know he’d love to see someone take the Queen of ESPN down a peg or two, since he can’t.

ESPN crawl obscures the action [New York Post]