This is a personal thank you to ESPN. Oh, I’ll admit to bad-mouthing you on occasion over the years. The comedy-team anchors. The rah-rah self-promotion. The shameless proselytizing for the First Church of the Divine Tebow.
Tonight, I was able to watch the awards presentation at the Insight Bowl, in which Bob Stoops and his mostly bruised and battered Oklahoma Sooners accepted the winner’s trophy and a couple of OU knuckleheads (I gotta remember they’re just big kids) got their moment in the sun. Well, it would have been their moment in the sun if it had not been after midnight.
Still, they were in the lights.
When the Oklahoma – Iowa game was ended, ESPN switched immediately to Sportscenter. No complaints from me. I understand the whole bread-and-butter thing. The Insight Bowl isn’t a top-tier, and as a Sooners fan – even with the winning outcome – it was not a pretty thing to watch. No non-Sooner would care about the trophies. Switch to the sports desk.
The shout-out (to grind out another occasion of the already tired cliché: there are only so many usages allowed and the quicker they are used up, the quicker we can bid the phrase a not-so-fond adieu) – now, back to our regularly-scheduled sentence… The compliment to ESPN is for giving us the opportunity to watch their product on the computer.
When the game was over on TV, the announcers even mentioned that coverage would continue on WatchESPN, the streaming coverage of the sports network’s Tempe AZ production. Truth to tell, they deserve compliments for that internet presentation avenue too, not just for the Insight Bowl awards. Sure it was nice to see the players having fun on the stage as the stadium emptied in the background. There have been plenty of events that the internet version of the Worldwide Sports Leader has offered that have been high-interest events available nowhere else.
Friday night, I especially enjoyed seeing Blake Bell being given the MVP trophy, even though he only handled the ball five or six times over the course of the game. Still – who can argue? He certainly got his feet in the endzone more often than anyone else on the field (at least, as far as the scoreboard was concerned…) It was nice to see his surprised reaction – and taunts from upper classmen – live from Arizona. It was a treat to see the kid without his helmet and speaking in an articulate manner.
WatchESPN concluded an evening of somewhat mediocre football that culminated in the crashing of the SkyCam onto the field (thankfully missing the nearby Iowa Hawkeye players who were hit by the support cables and grazed by the bouncing camera).For Oklahoma Sooner fans, it was tasty icing on a stale Christmas fruitcake. (Not the cam-crash, just the win.)
Sweet overall, but we’d all prefer sugar doughnuts.