LeBron James announced Thursday night that he’ll be playing for the Miami Heat next year. James made this announcement during a one-hour special on ESPN. How did ESPN manage to fill an hour of prime-time programming with a grain of information that I’ve already conveyed in that two-line introduction? The same way American Idol results shows manage to exist — by padding it with a bunch of time-wasting nonsense, obviously. Here are the five most impressively insulting examples:
1. Photoshops Of LeBron In Five Different Jerseys
“With just minutes before the big announcement,” proclaimed Stuart Scott, “let’s take a look at what LeBron James would look like wearing the jerseys of his five different suitors.” ESPN then showed that photo above, which is not news, information, or a thing.
But what would LeBron James look like if he played…ON THE MOON?
Thanks, Worldwide Leader In Sports and Theoretical Photoshops! Now let’s see what LeBron would look like if they killed him with a barrage of baseballs…
Onto the rest…
2. It Was Sponsored By Bing.com
The special was called “The Decision” (note the thrilling description)…
And the whole thing was sponsored by Bing.com, whose tagline is “Stop searching, start deciding”:
This whole unnecessary program was a sham perpetrated by Bing’s advertising dollars, wasn’t it?
I decide “No sh*t.”
3. Reaction Shots = These Dudes
After the announcement, Stuart Scott teased another clip, “Now let’s see what the reaction was like in Miami when the news was announced…” which led crazy, unreasonable Me to believe they were gonna cut to some downtown Miami “LeBron Watching” party that would erupt when the news was announced, as sports often do during Drafts or road playoff games.
What we got, instead, was this shot of one Miami bar and about five Entourage extras D-bagging into the camera:
That is some reaction, you two guys! One of whom is in a Cleveland jersey! I’m gonna compile a one-hour special about why I was so happy they didn’t cut this show down to a half hour.
4. Footage Of This LeBron Jersey Burning
In the middle of Michael Wilbon’s via-satellite interview with LeBron after the announcement, ESPN suddenly cut to this footage of Cleveland fans burning LeBron’s Cavs jersey, and Wilbon asked LeBron how he felt about it:
Now, QUICK! Your reaction to THIS PICTURE:
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT, YOU TRAITOR PUSSY? I’m paraphrasing.
5. The Cavs Owner Wrote A Letter To Cleveland Fans In COMIC SANS
Alright, this wasn’t technically part of the ESPN broadcast, but after the announcement, Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert issued an open letter to Cavs fans on the team’s website (click pic for full size, to get the total Sans Experience):
It’s already insulting to be told that your team will be fine after losing LeBron James; being told this information in Comic Sans font, well…that just goes way past ‘depressing’ and into ‘almost perversely amusing’ and then past that even further into ‘utterly hypertragic’.
I feel truly sorry for all my Cleveland-fan friends today, and I don’t say that as a sarcastic Pittsburgh fan (I’m indifferent towards the Cavs anyway), this pretty much sucks any way you look at it. At least ESPN handled the announcement with the level of attention-whoring and self-aggrandizement truly befitting LeBron James himself. Maybe that was ESPN’s meta-point this whole time? WHOA. Literature.