Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Now THAT’S Classic Programming!

Posted by Mike on June 19, 2007

For the past few days, whenever I turn on ESPN Classic I get an earful of this:

Actually, hearing the beep in this video along with the TV make a combined sound similar to an alien invasion, which is very cool and very scary. And it turns out that ESPN Classic is no longer in my local basic cable package. But that is beside the point.

My point is that this is probably ESPN Classic’s best programming since they canceled “Cheap Seats.” The network that was created to show classic, great sports games from the past have really strayed from the original goal. Where the basketball and football players of yesteryear were gifted athletes, the modern poker players and contestants on “Stump the Schwab”, er, aren’t. There’s also the great moments in sports announcing to consider. Forget Cal-Stanford’s “the play”; who can forget the call by Loren McEachern when Josh Arieh beat Mike Matusow on the river card in 2004, followed by Norman Chad’s witty comment and Matusow’s 24th F-bomb tirade of the tournament? I think pretty much everyone forgot about that within a week. But thanks to the “new development in programming”, at least now I don’t have to put up with the the 157th rebroadcast of Greg Raymer staring at me with those sunglasses.


He’s like a lizard. A lizard that spends too much

time at the casino buffet.

So if ESPN Classic is, in fact, taking a hiatus, here are some tips to bring it back in style:

  • Show more “Classic” programming. That’s the reason you exist, right? There is absolutely nothing wrong with broadcasting the 1982 Red River Shootout in May, or the 1987 NBA Eastern Conference Finals in September. Conversely, staring at Doyle Brunson’s jowls or Mike Massey’s “vest” for a three hour stretch is so wrong on so many levels.


So THAT’S why I have a giant crater

in my back yard.

  • Get Rid of the World Series of Poker. This is the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network Classic Network. There is nothing about the WSOP that says “classic” or “sports”. Or, for that matter, “entertainment”. At least with the World Strongest Man competition, I get to see 300 pound guys attempt to lift 600 pound steel phalluses. That takes some serious athletic prowess.


Who doesn’t love the Fingal Fingers?

  • No More Schrutebag. There’s a fairly new show on ESPN Classic called “missing link.” The show itself is not a bad concept for the network, but the host is radio annoyance extraordinaire Colin Cowherd. Too many times I flip through ESPN Classic and have to hear his annoying voice. Let’s put Chris Fowler in this role instead. He needs a job in the spring anyway. Speaking of Fowler…
  • What Happened to Sports Century? So lemme get this straight. “Sports Century” is both one of your most watched shows, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed shows from the World Wide Leader. Yet I almost never see it anymore. Why is that? I would much rather watch the early life of Joe Frazier than if Phil Hellmuth has pocket aces.

And finally…


  • All Hail NFL Films. Steve Sabol’s cliches. John Facenda’s voice. Decleaters in super-slow motion. There isn’t a single man in America who didn’t get pumped up about football by watching NFL Films productions at some point in their lives. This used to be on for hours on ESPN Classic. To do so now would be stealing the NFL network’s thunder; I understand that. But NFLN is in an eternal struggle with the cable companies, and until that score is settled, i want to see NFL Films on ESPN Classic. Simply put, they were made for each other.

how can you not be pumped up by NFL Films?

These few changes would help to make ESPN Classic a lot more tolerable. At the very least, Will Leitch wouldn’t have aged five years in 24 hours.


7 Responses to “Now THAT’S Classic Programming!”

  1. Extra P. said

    I used to like the idea of ESPN Classic. I tuned in at random one afternoon and saw Doug Flutie’s famous game where he threw the Hail Mary to Phelan. That was a classic, and something I had only seen as a :10 clip in the past.

    Now it’s all “Instant Classics”, meaning “here’s a shitty bowl game from last year”. Yeah, I just watched that, and I have TIVO, so thanks but no thanks.

    Go back to the real historical stuff, ESPNC! Give us some context for those “moments”.

  2. SA said

    I didn’t know NFL Films is on the NFLN now. How sad. I wouldn’t get that channel if Goodell himself begged me to.

    God, how I miss that show.

  3. […] name with the Schrutebag. [And Here Come The Pretzels!] 5) How to “fix” ESPN Classic. [Digital Headbutt] 6) The Cards are so desperate for pitching they’ll take the Tigers’ castoffs. […]

  4. cable companies are also offering broadband internet these days and the cost is cheap too .*.

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