April 30 - Wake Me When It's Over

So big has the NFL Draft become that hapless (and helpless) souls now trek to New York City, just
for the chance to wait in line overnight to get the chance to hear a name called. Draped in their favorite
team’s jersey, they stood outside Radio City Music Hall in the wee hours, waiting for their chance to
sit, and wait. The draft couldn’t possibly be any more boring – watching paint dry might be more
rewarding, at least you might be forced to think. How the draft has become a spectacle is a mystery,
and lends only more credence to the devolution of American sports and entertainment culture.  

But forgive these people for they clearly don’t have anything better to do. So you can almost be happy
for them for having something to which they can look forward.

Don’t be so kind, however, to the couch potatoes who spent their Saturday watching the proceedings
on television. If this is you, seriously, get a life. Read a book, go to a museum, take your kids to the
zoo, clean your kitchen, or try to find your brain.

The glacier-like first round interminably plods along, and with the exception of hearing someone’s
name every quarter of an hour, nothing happens. Yet there you sat, for over six hours, as the longest
first round ever took its course.

A person can do a lot in six hours.

Run a marathon, roast a pig, see three movies, fly from New York to London, or, watch one nationally
televised Red Sox-Yankees game.

***************

Are you sitting? Wouldn’t want you to fall over your shock learning Sunday’s game between the two
American League East favorites is not being shown to the whole country. What happened, the folks at
FOX and ESPN and the professional baseball league couldn’t figure out another way to change the
start time or give some special name to an April series? “April Armageddon”, “Round Two”, nothing?
Ah, don’t get weak on us.

-- OK, legit question. How come the people responsible for showing sporting events on television are
so dumb? You try anyway, to watch a game, but are inundated with stats, -promos, out of town
scores, etc. Less is more, people, goodness already, let the damn games breathe.

The latest stroke of genius from these geniuses is the in-game interview. Specifically on baseball
telecasts. When the network plays an interview with someone, why – WHY? – must the person
speaking be seen? And why – WHY? – is their picture as big if not bigger than the one showing the
game?? The point of an interview is to hear what the person had to say. And wasn’t the point of TV
showing games so we could see the games? Sigh.
And can you please stop calling them ‘walkoff home runs’? Just stop. You inane, brainless lemmings
have latched on to a trendy catchphrase invented by a talking head desperately trying to make a name
for himself.

Why wasn’t Jamie Langenbrunner’s goal in double overtime Saturday night a skate-off goal? Why
wasn’t the last out of every game a ‘walkoff’? How come the last lap of car races, for those of you who
fancy that, aren’t all ‘drive-offs’?

All of you, just stop it already.
Joshua Sipkin
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