I avoid ESPN like the plague. I know it’s cliche to hate on the Four Letter but their virtual monopoly on the televised sports world never ceases to depress me. There is no player their hype machine can’t make me sick of, no team their smothering coverage can’t turn me against. If excess were a virtue, that network would be as pious as their man-crush, Tim Tebow.
One particularly irksome trend involves Pittsburgh sports teams. Since we’re a small market, the Four Letter deems us beneath their notice. The Pirates are the story of the year in MLB yet they’d rather put the 30 game out Phillies on Sunday Night Baseball than our Battlin’ Bucs. And hockey, well, even when they owned the rights to the NHL they barely covered hockey.
And then we have the Pittsburgh Steelers. Being one of the NFL’s premier franchises, ESPN couldn’t exactly ignore the Black and Gold like they do our other teams. However, they did certainly tried their best. While the Steelers were going to three Super Bowls in six, all they wanted to talk about was the Dallas Cowboys. It was infuriating but typical ESPN.
So naturally with the Steelers putting on one of the all-time worst opening day performances in their history, ESPN decides now is the time to talk about the Steelers. And as an extra special treat, they decided the best venue to do so was on their First Take program. You know, the “sports” program where Stephen A. Smith hollers a bunch while Skip Bayless tries to think up more and more outrageous opinions in order to get people talking about the show.
The eight minute segment is posted above. Shockingly, neither one buried the Steelers. In fact, they were both downright positive considering what happened on Sunday. Surely this has nothing to do with the fact the Steelers face the Bengals on Monday Night…
Not to say it wasn’t predictable. Stephen A. screamed a bunch of stuff that is obvious to anybody who paid even the slightest bit of attention the past couple years. He’s concerned about the Steelers running game? Is he aware we drafted Le’Veon Bell precisely because the rushing attack has been pitiful? And both he and Bayless’s general belief that the team will be alright “because of Mike Tomlin” is downright laughable.
Tomlin doesn’t block for Ben, Tomlin can’t run down the field and catch a 45 yard bomb. Nobody has ever accused Tomlin of being able to take a ragtag bunch of castoffs and weave them into gold like Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick. Sure Coach T gives nice soundbites but soundbites don’t win football games. I can understand Stephen A. bein’ down with a brother but I would’ve thought Bayless was a little more insightful than that. Then again, the media has been one of the chief culprits in the Tomlin hype machine.
Wonder what they’ll say if the rest of the year goes like the first week…