The incomprable and zany pundits over at EDSBS are at it again, this time offering a list of 52(!) things they hate about ESPN/ABC/Disney.
It's a fun and comprehensive list of all the annoyances of the Disney sports universe. But, it's also a little pessimistic. So, while we won't take issue with all the problems EDSBS lists, let's take a couple of quick holiday moments to be thankful for the good parts of that same universe.
(1) Peter Gammons. Whether it's his columns on ESPN.com or his appearances on Baseball Tonight, the guy is absolutely THE best. Period. Has made baseball lovers out of so many of us. Thank God he's in the Hall of Fame. No journalist is more deserving.
(2) The sports ticker. I don't know about you, but the advent of the sports ticker was one of the best things to ever happen in my sports life. It's not like those gawdawful news channel tickers that feed you worthless BS like, "Missing penis of Utah man found in wife's garbage disposal."
(3) Jon Miller. Sure, it's bittersweet since the package includes Joe Morgan, but Miller is just outstanding. Listen in for the next time there's a close call at the plate and you get to hear him yell, "SAFE!!" Classic.
(4) Chris Mortensen & John Clayton. I'm sorry, but I love the dorky guys giving us the scoop on burly NFL players. It's such a nice alternative to the meatheads they put on there to do "analysis." [Note to ESPN: everyone's favorite personalities are not the former athletes. They are the dorks like Mort, Clayton, and Gammons. Get it?]
(5) Bill Walton. Plenty will disagree, but there isn't a soul on earth I'd rather have calling the game I'm watching than Bill Walton. Especially if it's during the regular season, when the games aren't as interesting because there's so little at stake. Look, Bill Walton is THE KING of hyperbole. And in my book, there's just nothing funnier than hyperbole. Walton is the owner of the single funniest moment in sports broadcasting history: After Greg Ostertag, on consecutive plays, made a dunk, ran down the court, blocked the next shot by his opponent, then scored on a fast break dunk again, Walton yelled, "Greg Ostertag may be the finest center in the HISTORY of the NBA!" If you can't laugh at that, you need to lighten up.
(6) John Madden. During one game in Arizona, the dude circled a cactus on his telestrator and noted that the green part looked pretty damn tasty if you could get past the prickly part. Anyone who loves food that much is a winner in my book.
I won't go on and on to 52, partly because there aren't 52 things I love about ESPN/ABC sports and partly because I just don't have time. Feel free to jump in with your own thoughts on what you love/hate about the networks.