Dear Mr. ESPN

What about the children?

Dear Mr. ESPN,

You, sir, are a moron.

I sat with a group of University of Washington Husky fans on the night of December 30th, watching the clock click down to the start of our long-awaited game against the University of Nebraska.

Our entire city of Husky fans was abuzz about our first bowl game in almost a decade, after a long resurrection from the depths of a program collapse only few teams have ever experienced.  Just two seasons ago, we went 0-12, a winless season for the first time in school history. Now, we had made it to a post-season bowl game, thanks to the return of our quarterback Jake Locker.  Jake had turned down the chance to go pro and probably a Top 5 NFL draft pick so that he could finish what he started at the UW.  That move most likely cost him millions of dollars, but he put pride in front of payoff and for that, has earned a lifetime of devotion from Husky football fans.

I go into the back story in great deal to help you understand the importance of the Husky Holiday bowl appearance.  We wanted to be there for our team.  We wanted to see Jake take the field for the last time.  We all planned to watch and see if our Dawgs would stand up to the Corn Huskers this time, or if we would just re-live the nightmare that helped start our season when they kicked our butt at Husky stadium in September.

The oddsmakers made Nebraska a 14-point favorite.   The sportswriters said that Nebraska was disappointed they had to settle for the Holiday bowl and would probably take it out on the purple and gold.  Like I said, we’ve endured the last 8 years of dismal football, but a true Husky fan will believe and be there for our team.

That is, if they can see the frickin’ game.

Someone in your master control room made the executive decision that our game was not that important.  It was more important to catch the closing minutes of the North Carolina/Tennessee game, combined with live updates of the UConn/Stanford women’s basketball game.  Anything BUT the game we had all tuned in to see.  We missed most of the first quarter.  We missed seeing the Huskies go up by a touchdown.  We sat there in disbelief as some arrogant, small-brained, idiotic moron of a sports director decided in his infinite wisdom that THIS is what sports fans in Seattle truly wanted.

While they are members of the United States and they have NCAA sanctioned football teams, I frankly just don’t care.  I’ve seen you do split coverage before, but instead, the decision was made to send Husky fans to ESPN3 on their computers or to ESPN-U on their cable channels. I tried the U-option but of course, I’m not being extorted enough by Comcast to warrant getting THAT channel.  So then in desperation, I fired up the laptop and the four of us gathered around it to see a couple of plays before you finally switched over.

I’m a strong believer in karma, so I’m all but certain that somewhere down the line, when you’re lying in a hospital bed trying to watch live video coverage of your daughter’s wedding that someone will switch the video feed to the wedding of Earl and Carleen in Hobs Nutton, Maine.  While you desperately try to find the call button to ring the nurse, you’ll get to watch Earl and Carleen’s big moment, while missing your daughter’s one shot at happiness.

Think.  You should really try that sometime.  You have the technology.  Ask yourself: are you trying to please your viewing audience or just power-tripping because you can decide from your comfy leatherette recliner (that your wife had told you was real leather) what is a more important sporting event.

You advertised when the game was going to start.  It started, we just didn’t get to see it. I’m going to make a point of boycotting anything and everything that was a part of that drawn-out pre-emption.  I’ll start by scrapping the family vacations we had planned for North Carolina and Tennessee this year.

In the future, I’ll make sure I have ESPN3 fired up from the get-go, knowing that I can’t count on some mini-minded, moronic, imbecile making the right call in the switching room.

Sincerely ticked off but feeling a lot better now that I’ve vented,

Tim Hunter


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