Like myself and many other people realized, this was a trial. I don’t know about you, but I’m in. I am not ready for this junk to replace SportsCenter, but I see no reason why this can’t be on ESPNU in the afternoon. I wouldn’t mind seeing this on weekend afternoons either. Most of all the games made me realize, in America, our sports are boring as shit. I watched crowds cheer for darts like it was a HR in the bottom of the 9th. Also, it’s pretty clear anything goes in the stands.
Verdict: Be true to your acronym “Excellence in Sports Performance Network” and give us alllll the sports, not just the ones trending on Twitter.
P.S. If a gym teacher let their kids play this tag game. They would be forced to do the Cersei shame walk.
For more on all the different events see, Hubbs@BarstooolSports.com Read Here.
“Drawing inspiration from the 2004 hit movie “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” featuring Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller, ESPNU will become ESPN8: “The Ocho” on Tuesday, Aug. 8, or more appropriately, 8/8. For one day only, the faux network will feature a line-up of unconventional sporting events ranging from Disc Golf to Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball and Firefighters World Challenge playing off the mantra highlighted in the movie: “Bringing you the Finest in Seldom Seen Sports”.
Courtesy: ESPN FrontRow
Also: Hubbs@BarstoolSports.com for pointing this out in his own excellent piece.
As stated above ESPN is launching ESPN8: “The Ocho” on 8/8 (get it). It will be filled with all kinds of whacky sports from around the globe. (For more details on the sports, check out Hubb’s blog here). There’s a fact I want to point out because I don’t think ESPN will… Ben Stiller teamed with Omaze to make a spoof segment from Dodgeball as a way to raise money for his children’s education charity, The Stiller Foundation.
ESPN obviously saw the popularity of this video and pounced on the opportunity to capitalize. I only hope they recognize the charity or contribute in some way. Although, I doubt it considering their wording of, “Drawing inspiration from the 2004 hit movie”. It would be very easy to say, “in partnership with The Stiller Foundation and throw them a couple of bucks. Or (putting on my producer hat), you actually do partner with Ben Stiller and his foundation and make it a big event. We all know how ESPN loves a big promotion. Invite him to Bristol (run him through the ESPN car wash), B.S. about some of the whacky sports, and let him plug the foundation with a number to donate. Even better, book Jason Bateman & Gary Cole (maybe the funniest guys of the movie) to do their schtick on the weird events. Which would coincide perfectly for Bateman coming off his press tour for his new Netflix show, Ozark. (reviewed here)
*You can’t beat this duo.
With that out of the way, I am going to call this what it really is… Panic. This is ESPN mashing the panic button. I wrote a piece on ESPN a few months ago after they took a flame thrower to most of their staff. Explaining how they have been systematically bankrupting themselves for years and how their daytime programming has become complete non-sense. Here’s an excerpt:
“How many times can you air two people yelling at each other and call it a different show? Their views on daily issues were so obviously phony we had to name it, “hot takes”. Which has turned into its own inside joke. Honestly, I am at a loss for words of how to describe the garbage they are passing for “original” programming. Their programming has completely erased the line between women’s day time talk show and afternoon sports television. As for their flagship show, SportsCenter. The reason they are where they are. It is unrecognizable. The show is a virtual crack addict looking for its next fix of the latest High School trend.” Full article.
Consumers are smarter than ever before and they’re growing tired of being fed the same thing over and over. The proof is in the ratings. People are moving away from their TV sets and exploring other outlets to get their sports. In addition, youth football numbers are at an all time low and the NFL saw its first ever down tick in ratings. ESPN campus after reading that news…
*back when ESPN had creative content.
Make no mistake, if this little stunt is successful ESPN “The Ocho” is in… Hosted by Chad Johnson. As Hubbs (barstool sports) said, these crazy events used to be a staple in ESPN summer programming. Remember the strong man competitions? In ESPN’s defense, you can still rarely catch professional darts or cornhole, but it’s harder than finding Waldo on the last page of the book. If reaching deep into the playbook is what it takes, then so be it. Those plays worked once, they might work again.