ESPN Radio foghorn Colin Cowherd — who in 2007 engineered the equivalent of a DDoS attack through the size of his listenership alone — got on the air yesterday to give a wedgie to eSports after his parent network broadcast a Heroes of the Storm competition over the weekend.
Cowherd's your basic corn-fed bro whose sports palate has room only for Football (that's capital-F football, amigo, not soccer), baseball and basketball. So a MOBA is right the hell out. Here's what came out of the hole in the front of his head yesterday:
Here's what's going to get me off the air. If I am ever forced to cover guys playing video games, I will retire and move to a rural fishing village and sell bait. You want me out? Demand video game tournaments on ESPN because that's what appeared on ESPN2 yesterday.
If Cowherd's declaring that he'll quit ESPN if he's made to cover video games, then he should GTFO right now. He had no problem when ESPN told him to cover Madden NFL 11, 12 and 13. As co-host of SportsNation (think SportsCenter, if production assistants were forced to cheer or be fired), he presided over the round-by-round coverage of the fan-voted competitions to determine the packshot stars of the NFL's video game.
Additionally, he was fine appearing with then-co-host Michelle Beadle as the unlockable SportsNation team (and a damn high-rated one; no attribute lower than 8 out of 10) in the NBA Jam reboot for Wii back in 2010.
Contrary to popular presentation, sports fans are no more innately hostile to eSports than we are to things like billiards, poker or synchronized swimming. We've managed our lack of interest in ESPN's fringe broadcasts like the World Lumberjack Championships, the World's Strongest Man, the Great Outdoor Games or all 20 goddamn years of the X Games by changing the channel like mature adults.
It only seems like sports fans are pissed off by this kind of programming incursion because demagogues like Cowherd do a brisk business repackaging cheap outrage and retailing it to their steakhead listeners. Sometimes the target is the Washington Wizards' point guard. Sometimes it's a deceased NFL defensive back. This week it was eSports. It'll be something else next week.
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