Goodbye to ESPN

photoESPN killed Grantland yesterday. I honestly haven’t read it for months, but when it was fully staffed, it had some great writing. Charlie Pierce alone made it worth my time.

I haven’t read it, and have been boycotting ESPN, since early summer.

ESPN has been the NFL’s megaphone for deflategate while simultaneously burying the NFL concussion story. If you want to get a rough idea of how effective this has been (and how easily duped Americans are), see that “deflategate” yields 493,000 hits on Google News and “NFL concussion settlement” yields 22,000.

(For a great discussion of this topic, read this Inside the Pylon article here.)

It has been incredibly easy to stop watching and reading ESPN. You can get every bit of their coverage elsewhere, usually better, online. The one NFL game they have rights to is on my TV because my son watches it, but I don’t watch it. It seems as if there is a minor groundswell of people doing this kind of thing. I hope ESPN feels the effects of its actions, and they have had some layoffs recently, but I doubt that they care. They are paid well to do the bidding of billionaires, and they are committed to it.

I don’t say this with any glee. I love sports. I turned my wife into a sports fan and my boys love sports and are good athletes. But I can’t ignore the human cost of the game of football. I can’t ignore the manipulation of the story. I can’t ignore the ham-handed efforts by ESPN to cover it up. I can’t ignore the public being whipped up into a frenzy over a contrived controversy while lives are devastated.

If you feel this way at all, try ignoring ESPN for a few days. You will find you don’t miss it in the least.

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