I’ll Be Damned If ESPN Messes With The Integrity Of My ESPYs
The ESPYs were last night. We've talked some about the opening monologue and some about the fashion, but are those things what anyone really cares about when it comes to the ESPYs? Of course not. People come for the awards. Where else can you see sporting greatness decided? What, like there are competitions between athletes and teams that determine who's the best?
Needless to say, the purity of the fan-based voting system is essential to my sporting worldview. So imagine my disgust when ESPN messed with the "Best Play" category late in the voting process, and added Abby Wambach's World Cup quarterfinal equalizer to the voting. Wambach's goal was a fantastic moment, of course, but one cannot make such radical ESPY changes so quickly. Has ESPN no consideration for the way such a late insertion of a moment so fresh in the minds of fans may skew - nay, taint - the voting process?
Apparently not, because wouldn't you know it - Wambach's goal won. Wambach, of course, must apologize for nothing. She was not a party to this injustice. But ESPN suits? For shame, ladies and gentlemen, for shame. To paraphrase noted social critic Edwin Wiersbicki, "Those fat cats in [Bristol] deserve each other."
But fans? We deserve better, friends. Did the network have the best interests of the fan at heart when adding Wambach to the field? Consider this: Wambach's goal came in the Women's World Cup. Which network is televising the Women's World Cup? Which network will be televising the finals of said tournament in just three days - a final featuring Wambach and her United States team? Need we say more?
Frankly, I'm not sure what conclusion I can draw here other than that ESPN simply doesn't take ESPY voting seriously. And if they can't be trusted with a fan-based voting process, what can you trust these people with? It's a sad day when you have to consider the possibility, however scant, that the ESPYs are more about ESPN building its brand in front of a captive audience with little else to watch on the slowest sports night of the year than determining the rightful winners of awards for outstanding athletic achievement. How far we've fallen. How far we may still fall.
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