It is probably illegal, but many Americans and Canadians living in Mexico utilize Canada’s Shaw Cable Service for their television viewing. This is achieved via satellites and dishes and, while its legality is questionable, it is done on a large scale with all parties looking the other way. As a result of Shaw’s Canadian origin, viewers receive both US and Canadian programming. That includes network sports coverage from ESPN and Canada’s TSN.
Watching a sports network at night during the week makes sense; that is when most sporting events take place. Weekend games or matches are more likely to be played in the daytime. But have you ever watched a sports network’s daytime weekday programming? I have. Well, I’ve tried.
In order to fill air time, the networks create fluff and filler and then repeat them ad nauseam. The most common example of this programming is Top 10, 50, 100 or 2,437 Lists of various sports related plays, people, or moments. Most last an hour, some days, and a few an entire football, baseball, rugby, or tiddly-winks season. Some lists make sense; they warrant attention. But others don’t. No sports-related topic is too mundane to merit a list. I have partially watched many. Here is my Top 10:
Worst Plays of the Year
Best Plays of the Year
Weirdest Names in Hockey
Wildest Temper Tantrums of Coaches and Managers
Hottest Cheerleaders Named Megan
Hottest Cheerleaders Named Matthew
Best Plays in Curling Championships Taking Place in a Canadian City With a Population Less Than 200,000
Worst Sportscaster Gaffs That Have to be F***** Censored
Most Likely Middle School Athletes to be Drafted by the Pros
Top 1000 Pro Athletes Who Have Been Arrested for Domestic Violence
You will note there are 11 entries in my Top 10. That is because we are talking sports and jocks here. Being able to count to 10 is not required.
Another common program-type used to fill airtime is unimportant games, matches, or tournaments of any sport with players so unknown their own families don’t recognize them and channel surf away when they stumble upon them. Examples are the Shell Oil Golf Tourney from Nome, Alaska…in January, Oral Roberts University vs. Trinity College Outdoor Ice Hockey from Dubai, Curling Live From Miss Sharyse’s African-Canadian Gaspé Bay Hair Salon, and The Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Tennis Tournament from Ferndale, Ohio, in which all participants, male or female, must wear braided pigtails and gingham frocks with Peter Pan collars. I once stumbled upon a British Premier League soccer match between Tottenham and Bournemouth and wondered where the hell these two cities were and then retracted my thought with a quick channel-surfing snap and a booming, “Who the hell cares?” I suppose men named Nigel, Clive, Giles, Piers, Reginald, Rhys, and Percy do.
Of course these networks do air sporting events live. But then they replay them the following day for those viewers unable to watch the event live because their wives insisted they watch The Bachelor. Naturally, the results are available online for those weak, wife-obeying men who, in a hypnotized stupor, watch the event the next day although they know the outcome. Even I have spent much of an afternoon watching an entire tightly played, close-scored University of Southeast West Virginia vs East Dakota State Lacrosse match before I realized it had actually been played the day before and the outcome was known to the seven people who cared. As it turned out, I had wasted time I could have spent watching porn rooting for the wrong team. Apparently, the team with the cuter players is not necessarily the better squad.
While most of the on-air personalities on these networks are male, there are many female hosts and anchors. Some actually know sports. However, there are many who don’t. They look more like Ivanka Trump, Miss Universe, and Stormy Daniels than Martina Navratilova, Brittney Griner, and Abby Wambach, who look like and are actual athletes. This hiring practice puzzles me. I can’t for the life of me understand why network big-shots and producers select such sexy, long-haired, buxom beauties to host or participate in their programming. Why would a predominately male audience want that? It makes no sense to me. In fact, I’ve spent better than 200 hours in gay bars, alleged gay sports bars, asking patrons who were watching figure skating and critiquing outfits why the networks had hired these women. No one knew for certain. Two onlookers insisted the female sportscasters were drag queens. Eight others blamed Trump.
The men who host sports network programs are generally more qualified. They are, however, also opinionated, loud, testosterone-driven, and argumentative. And while physical attractiveness plays a definite role in the hiring of female sportscasters, it is not considered when hiring men. Neither is tact, civility, or reason.
Take the case of an unnamed network’s daily afternoon program that is typical of many. It is called Asses Talk Athletics and features a panel of sports aficionados who pontificate opinions and speculations as if they are fact. Asses Talk Athletics’ panel consists of Tex Wasserman, Kellieyee Lee Lindley, Ché Gomez-Schwartz, and Bailey Skipmore. I would describe the three men as blowhards; Kellieyee isn’t a blowhard. She’s too vacuous to form opinions. Even though she does participate in conversations and has some —OK, minimal—knowledge of sports, she serves more as window-dressing. The male trio also makes The Three Stooges appear refined and classy.
Conversations go like this (Well, not exactly like this, but close. Close like a 275 – 273½ NBA score between the Boston Red Sox and Phil Mickelson.):
Stooge #1: “I’m sure Pruxyio Brexinskivo will go 7th in the NBA draft. No doubt about it.”
Stooge #2: “Seventh? You’re nuts. He’s not gonna go any higher than eighth. Eighth, you moron. He’s never made a free throw.”
Stooge #1: “Well, of course, he hasn’t. He played in Lithuanistan where they don’t realize free throws are part of the game. Besides he’s ¾ of an inch taller than anyone else expected to go in the first round. So he’ll go high.”
Stooge #3: “Are you both high? He’s going 17th. I’ve talked to two San Antonio Spurs ball boys and they say the NBA coaches all think he’s problematic because of his temper.”
Kellieyee starts giggling. “You said San Antonio Sperms!”
The Three Stooges look at her for a moment in disbelief.
Stooge #1: “His temper? Murder is not illegal in Lithuanistan. Especially when you kill both your dads.”
Stooge #3: “Seventeenth. He’s going 17th.” Stooge #3 stands, raises his voice, and points at Stooge #1: “You’re an idiot. He’s not going 7th. Everyone knows that. Even Kellieyee!”
Kellieyee: “What?” She tosses her tresses seductively and asks, “Does my hair look sexy this way?”
Stooge #2: “OK. Put your money where your mouth is. If Brexinskivo goes 7th, I’ll buy you dinner at Oscar Robertson’s Steak House. If he goes lower than that, you buy me Kellieyee.”
Kellieyee: “Kellieyee who?” She pouts her lips and then licks them. “Hey guys, do you think these cute dangly earrings make my butt look big?”
That brings us to the biggest ass in sportscasts, Canada’s own Don Cherry. Oh, I know he is a legend and he probably really does know ice hockey. But this politically conservative clown, who is in his 80s, is way past his expiration date. It is time someone removes him from the sportscaster booth and throws him under a Zamboni. And then, for God sakes, burn his clothes.
Cherry’s colorful, flamboyant, garish suits and sports jackets are his trademark. They are a combination Phyllis Diller, Liberace, and Ronald McDonald. They are bright, brighter, in fact, than Kellieyee. But he and his wardrobe have to go.
As for commercials on these sports networks, they are aimed at a predominately male audience and tout beer, trucks, and — oh, never mind. I have to leave. ESPNTSNCASTV is repeating the Hottest Cheerleaders Named Matthew List. I have to watch again. I really like the one who cheers for the San Antonio Sperms.