Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

It may be a stretch to write about this in a Disney blog, but Disney owns ESPN, so I’m going with it.

In case you didn’t already know, I’m a Cleveland sports fan.  While my true loves are baseball and football, I’ve been known to watch a Cavs game or two in my day.  And let’s be honest, it’s been a lot more fun to watch them over the past few years.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Cleveland’s basketball success over the past few years has been due to the presence of superstar LeBron James.  Unless you’ve found that rock super cozy, you also know that LeBron became a free agent July 1st.

Cleveland fans, along with most of the sports world, have been awaiting King James’ decision.  Last night while watching ESPN, I learned when and how LeBron would announce his choice to the world.

The “when” is Thursday, July 8th at 9:00 PM.  That was a touch disappointing, as rumor had it that the decision would come on Wednesday.  It was the “how” that really knocked me for a loop, however.  Mr. James is holding a one-hour special on ESPN to make his plans for the future known.

My first response was somewhere along the lines of “Are you kidding me?”  I don’t know what I found more shocking: that the LeBron camp would have the audacity to make this request, or that ESPN would actually acquiesce to it.

Now granted, I’m a sports enthusiast but definitely not an expert.  But to my knowledge this is unprecedented, to say the least.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think the classiest way to announce the decision would be a nice, dignified press release.  Or if you’re in the mood to be flashy, go ahead and do it on camera.  But having ESPN clear their schedule for a one-hour special?  Dude, you’re not the president.  I think ESPN should’ve told him where to stick it.  And seriously, how long does it take to say “I’m screwing my hometown and loyal fan base to go play in a bigger market.  Therefore, I’ve decided to sign with ----.”  There; I just did it in about 5 seconds.  How do you drag that out into an hour? Of course, I’m forgetting about commercials.  ESPN has to say “I’m sorry” to their regular advertisers and “Sayonara” to any advertising money they’d have made during that time, because James' representatives requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the one-hour special, with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Will he announce his new home right away?  Will he wait until 9:59?  Will it become a telethon, with the team that has the fans that raise the most amount of money for charity getting LeBron? (Hey, that’s not a bad idea.  I think he should do that.)  Will you be watching?  I won’t.  I’ll be trying to dance on my injured foot at Gypsy rehearsal.  But I’d love to know your thoughts at  

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