Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keith Olbermann On The LeBron/ ESPN Debacle



"Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in".....Michael Corleone, The Godfather, Part III





I know...in my previous post I made it appear that it would be my last words (and entry) on the decision of Fredo, errrr, LeBron James to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat.

But how often do you get to see a real Anakin Skywalker morph into Darth Vader before millions on national TV as ESPN's broadcast of The Decision became the ratings champ for that night? Early numbers indicate ESPN did a 7.0 share for the LeBron media event, which appeared to be as controlled as anything George W. Bush or Barack Obama could command for an alleged presser.

This was more than a sports event...it was a pop cultural phenomenon, though it does well to recognize the show was fruit of an unholy alliance between a narcissistic superstar and a network that prostituted itself to a level that surpassed WWE wrestling.

Here's what Keith Olbermann had to say on COUNTDOWN, with guest Will Leitch of The New Yorker



2 comments:

TomCat said...

Keith disappointed me with this. I have no problem with his opinion. But LeBron does not warrant his time.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

TC....when you spent as much time in Northern Ohio as I do (about 2 to 4 weeks a year) you might understand this story more. In Cleveland LeBron James was more than a sports star; he was an industry who's loss in an area that's been in economic straights for three decades is yet another blow. What made it worse for Clevelanders was his turning his back on his hometown and fans who worshipped him.

With this move Lebron ceased to be LeBron James, and became a mercenary.

And Keith saw the sociological impact this story had not only on sports, but on sports reporting, and what it has become. On several levels the story,its coverage, its ramifications and its aftermath were multifaceted and crossed news genres- the governor of Ohio made a video to get James to stay, as did Mayor Bloomberg of NYC to get him to join the Knicks!

But to me, the real story was the fall of a hero from warrior prince to the perception of backstabbing traitor in the kingdom he built in the course of one hour.

One man may not have solely destroyed a city.....but he did rip its heart out.

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