So what else has ESPN ruined? Our boys over at 100 Percent Injury Rate put together a great list of ESPN failures. But this list will be different because we’ll look at things that were once cool but ruined by ESPN. Like Jennie Finch. Let's take a look:
- Slam Dunk. Kids today might not realize this, but a slam dunk was once a cool part of basketball. But now, thanks to ESPN, the dunk is how basketball players are measured because it is the only thing ESPN will broadcast in its highlight package. If Larry Bird played in the NBA today, he would be anonymous to the average fan, other than the few snippets of ESPN talking heads mocking his "dunking" skills.
- The NHL. FOX didn’t help with the glowing puck, but ESPN glorified the fighting much like it did the slam dunk. And yes, they weren't the only ones guilty of this, but this is akin to letting the neighbor dealer off with a warning to go after the cartel.
- The Big Lead. ESPN's Calvin Cowherd was so threatened by a blog, he tried to kill it.
- Poker. Las Vegas once tried to be family friendly and ended up with casinos such as the Excalibur, Treasure Island, and other glorified amusement parks. Comedian Larry Miller put it best, you don’t take babies to Vegas, you make them in Vegas. Vegas eventually learned that gambling is seedy and should be treated as such. Same deal with poker. ESPN has glamorized poker, leading every Sports Dork wannabe into a casino looking to go all-in on a 2-6 (and eventually making a boat on the flop). ESPN made poker so popular, Harrah’s bought Binion’s Horseshoe for the World Series of Poker, leaving the great grind joint wallowing downtown while the WSOP moved to the freaking Rio. A-holes.
- The Sports Dork. Ha, he was never cool.
- Women’s basketball. Women’s hoops was once cool? Sure, when it wasn’t televised. But ESPN started out as a regional Connecticut station, broadcasting the nationally-ranked U Conn women’s basketball team. ESPN then legitimized women’s hoops which led to the WNBA. Thanks, jerks.
- Remedy. ESPN soiled this classic Black Crowes song by using it as the bumper for Tilt. (Jerk move.)
- Michael Madsen. Sure, he played the dad in Free Willy, but nothing has damaged his reputation more than Tilt. He’ll still get work, but like MJ playing for the Wizards, this legacy is dead.
- Sexual harassment. Turns out, you can't hug a female co-worker outside of a TGI Fridays without her getting all uppity.