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ESPN Throws LA Under the Bus

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Staples Center in the LA Live Complex prior to a Lakers Game. LAist/Jimmy Bramlett
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Guest post by Zack Jerome/Special to LAist

Sometimes I wish I had a job at ESPN. This wish stems from the hope of saving something I love. I grew up with ESPN. I watched it evolve from amateur hour. Remember Charlie Steiner being a Sportscenter host long before calling games for the Yankees and Dodgers? Remember how he’d spontaneously burst into uncontrollable laughter sometimes like Adam Sandler did during SNL skits with Chris Farley?

I watched ESPN birth Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann and Craig Kilborn. I watched them give us incredible 360-degree coverage of the sporting universe. They gave us the lumberjack competitions and late night beach volleyball. I remember being a young kid in New Jersey sneaking into the living room to catch surfing competitions. They taught me how to integrate pop culture and sports. It was pretty cool.

Now I fear the worst. I fear ESPN has officially become TMZ. They’ve become the old guys quoting Entourage at the gym.

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I understand cross-promotion. I’ll deal with a 30 second bump of Matthew-freaking-McConaughey promoting “The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” by presenting us “The Ghosts of Playoffs Past”. I shouldn’t tolerate that, but I do.

I tolerate all of this and expect only one thing in return. That’s a fair shake for my city as a fan. I thought it was coming when they started filming the late night Sportscenter from their new studio at LA Live. I thought wrong, caballero.