I have to admit, watching ESPN burn to the ground this year has been far more entertaining than any sports game I’ve seen. It’s not that I want to take pleasure in ESPN’s downfall, I don’t, but I do feel a small amount of schadenfreude given that ESPN could have stuck to, you know, sports and not injected far-left politics into everything and that NFL players and owners, which have close ties to ESPN, could have stuck to, you know, football and not protested the anthem and not taken the bait from Trump to protest it even more.
So, ESPN is certainly entertaining, just not in the way it intended. It’s pretty tough to keep count of all the protests, but Clay Travis seems to be doing a good job. Al Sharpton and gang’s protest of ESPN after Jemele Hill got suspended for two weeks by ESPN – because she told people to protest ESPN’s advertisers – makes his protest a protest of the protest of the protest of the protest of the protest. If someone protests that, it will be a protest of a protest of a protest of a protest of a protest of a protest.
Personally, beyond the NFL being dead to me, I have a rule that protests have to be at least ten layers deep before I formally decide to join and protest…whatever it is at the time. But you can be assured that the outrage will be strong from me and that I will knit some sort of hat for myself to show just how outraged I am as I march for whatever it is.
More important than documenting the amount of protests, ESPN has now pissed off the left, which was inevitable, in addition to already having pissed off the right and center of the political spectrum. Given this, ESPN now rivals Blackberry in speed of going from hot to not, as Blackberry killed itself via stupid decisions in the last half of 2011 and was virtually dead by the end of 2012. At the beginning of the year, ESPN was a company with a few problems, now it’s a dumpster fire that has burned out the dumpster and spread out of control beyond the dumpster. After ESPN continues to burn, it will live on, much like Blackberry still does, but it will be a ghost of its former self, just like Blackberry.
I will be curious to see what Disney ultimately does with ESPN. I figure they may transition off a live sports streaming app for a loss a year from now, or maybe dump it altogether towards later 2018 or early 2019 and let someone else deal with it. Bob Iger’s obvious upcoming 2020 presidential run will be a factor in the fate of ESPN, as the public view of ESPN may overall become too negative for it to be a Disney brand at the time of his run starting in later 2019 even though he will have stepped down and won’t formally be a part of Disney by that time.