Monday, April 06, 2009

ESPN Expects Us To Roll Over For Everett and Verrett

ESPN, a small piece of the Walt Disney Company, took out a half-page advertisement in the LA Times today to herald the debut of their new "West Coast Edition" of SportsCenter, filmed here in LA at the LA Live! Center downtown.

And with that, we're supposed to roll over, fawn over the self-proclaimed "worldwide leader in sports," and kiss the ground upon which they walk. And forget years, nay decades, of over-biased coverage about the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. And forget "analyst" after "analyst" trumpeting the strength of the ACC and Big East while going to sleep before the Pac-10 games tip off. And look past the idea that setting up a studio in Los Angeles--even with a reported 80 employees at the helm--sounds a lot like the staffing of the short-lived web "show" "The 9", the best part of which was watching toothy-but-still-cute anchor Maria Sansone rather than pay attention to anything she was saying.

How can we tell that ESPN is taking the West Coast seriously? Well, they've staffed none other than Neil Everett (left) and Stan Verrett (right) as anchors on the Los Angeles-based SportsCenter team. Yeah! Who needs Keith Olbermann when you can gt a guy who abdicated his own last name and starts every broadcast with "Howzit"? And a counterpart whose claim to fame is calling an undershirt a "wife-beater"? Let's get the A team here in LA, right ESPN?

Why the opening of a new West Coast facility? It's simple:

Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive of AEG, which developed the LA Live complex and helped negotiate ESPN's building of a permanent West Coast campus, said he expects there to be more of a West Coast presence on the network.

"It will give the network the opportunity to highlight more of our sports, and I think there will be a lot more coverage of the West," he said.

Leiweke also said that it is his understanding that the ESPN West Coast facility is a signal that the Asian and Latino sports markets will be important.

Yep, adding Neil Everett and Stan Verrett as anchors certainly signals that you're interested in the Asian and Latino markets. Or, if it's not a racial thing, why not at least get two west-coasters as anchors (Everett is from Spokane, but Verrett is from Louisiana and cut his chops in Virginia)?

At least now we might get some Dodgers highlights at the top of the broadcast? We'll see.


Steve Sax said...

Rolling over for Maria Sansone, on the other hand, would be another story altogether.

Anonymous said...

Brah, did you just diss Neil Everett? You get beef, cuz?


Anonymous said...

And come on, everybody calls it a wife beater. :o

Steve Sax said...

Stuart Scott, is that you?

Wicks said...

I think we need a SOSG Maria pictorial!

Unknown said...

At least they didn't send us Steve Berthiaume. In all fairness, the Big East and ACC were as good as they said they were in basketball.

BlueBlooded said...

Neil Everett started out in Hawaii on KGMB news and his being added to the West Coast Sportscenter is awesome. The other guys I can't speak to, but Neil Everett deserves a great amount of respect coming from the last place on the sports map to ESPN and now anchors the flagship of the network.

This is finally a great move for that network, and hopefully represents a move away from their eastern biases.

Unknown said...

Looking at this story now, you sound so dumb. It was a huge success and Neil and Stan are two of the most charismatic anchors on not just sports casting, but all of television. The author of this is really naive and should be out of a job by now.