There came a time in the early 2000s when those of us who grew up binging MTV videos had to face the facts. The MTV we had loved as children (when we could sneak-watch it behind our parents’ backs) and teenagers was not coming back. Other than a few short hours here and there in the schedule where they played increasingly difficult-to-swallow music, the channel that defined our misspent youth was gone. Music videos went the way of the dodo, replaced by an unending stream of vapid reality TV shows that were clearly aimed at a generation that was, to say the least, not ours.
But there was a certain kind of relief in giving up. You didn’t have to go online and bitch about the lack of videos on MTV anymore. You could reminisce, but there was no more irritation. It was what it was. It wasn’t going to change. It was only going to get worse. Today, when we happen to turn on MTV, it just seems to be one neverending episode of Ridiculousness, which is itself just a poor man’s version of Tosh.0. But we digress. Point is, it’s good to know when things are over. You can save yourself a lot of strife.
And folks, the glory days of ESPN are OVER.
It’s not as simple in the case of ESPN, of course. It’s not like they’ve changed their programming to focus on Ancient Aliens or anything. The channel is still devoted to sports, which makes leaving it behind a difficult proposition for those who consider football the only thing worth having a television for. But that’s fine. You can still watch ESPN. In fact, you can watch it now without getting angry, because you’ve accepted what it has become: Yet another outpost for the liberal Hollywood hivemind. And god, is it ever.
By now, you’ve probably heard the latest Story of the Absurd. You’ve probably heard that ESPN actually yanked (Asian-American) broadcaster Robert Lee off the University of Virginia baseball game coverage because he happens to share a name with the famed Confederate general. Yeah. It happened. There’s no taking it back. This is our reality now.
And so dig a grave and say a short eulogy for the ESPN you grew up with. It’s gone. Dead. Done for. The channel now on the air shares much in common with its ill-fated predecessor, but it is not the same channel. It is now a sports-and-politics channel, and it is every bit as infuriating as you would expect that combination to be.
Until you give up. Then it’s no longer infuriating. It just…is.