Monday, January 26, 2015

What Did He Say (and when will it stop)?

ESPN executives either watch their NCAA Division I basketball broadcasts with the sound turned off or are Bush-level evildoers intent on torturing us all with “anal-ysts” spouting endless, irrelevant drivel about everything and anything except the game currently being played.

While the Pentagon spends tens of millions of our dollars on secret renditions, black-site prisons and hired professionals to torture people it regularly scoops up in its endless ‘War on Terror”, television viewers across the country willingly spend their own hard-earned cash to have an even more effective forms of psychological torture e.g. Big Monday, beamed into their homes. 

The first wholly successful iteration of excruciating, repetitive Audio-aSSault, or ASS, was, of course, ‘Dick Vitale v. 1.0’, an incessantly babbling artificial intelligence endlessly repeating the phrase “Diaper Dandy” and screaming “Baby!” up to six hundred times per minute. Less successful models like the ‘Raftery’ aka ‘The Tinman’ were limited to repeating variations of a single phrase. In this case, “Going to the tin… get to the tin… play above the tin… protect the tin”.

As the ‘Vitale’ approaches obsolescence, additional models have been upgraded and new models released on a suffering public. The ‘Bilas’, once a provider of knowledgeable, relevant information about players and the actual game being played has been weaponized and can now spew a non-stop gush of platitudes, rants, and you-can’t-do that’s about things, that in fact, just did get done.

The ‘Greenberg’ (sub-model ‘Seth’) is a particularly lethal addition to ESPN’s squadron of drones. The ‘Greenberg’ is employed on pre-game shows to endlessly anal-yze upcoming games, then is assigned to actual games to eliminate any viewer interest in the play of the game and then it appears on post-game shows to anal-yze what you would have seen if you had not been distracted, disgusted or deranged by his in-game sonic assaults.

The ‘Dougherty’ is an enhanced version of the ‘Raftery’ and is able to use the word basketball as several parts of speech at a rate of 26 rpms (references per minute). Players can dribble the basketball, shoot the basketball, rebound the basketball, make a basketball move, a basketball play, listen to their basketball coach, hang out with the basketball team when not on the basketball court, and accept the adoration of basketball fans. Dougherty makes sure that we never confuse a ‘basketball’ in any of its many iterations with a golf ball, football, baseball, tennis ball, debutante ball, or deflated ball – one of the most useful services provided by any of the drone clones.

The good news, of course, is their remains a handy cure to ESPN’s constant assault on our patience and sanity on every remote device – the blessed button labeled Mute.


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