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Kobe vs. A-Rod: Who's Now? Who Cares?
ESPN calls itself the "Worldwide Leader in Sports". Unfortunately, however, now that the boys from Bristol are sitting very comfortably on top, they seem to be cutting back on what made them the juggernaut they've become - SPORTS.
Similar to the way MTV stopped playing music, ESPN has cut down on the sports coverage replacing it with movies, mini-series, branded entertainment, sick kids, award shows, gimmicks and game shows, all while shoving their "talent" down our throats.
There is no better example of ESPN's demise than their current gimmick, Who's Now?, a bracket of 32 athletes going head-to-head to find out who is more "Now" - Whatever that means.
Today, in a second round match-up pairing two of sports' most polarizing figures, Lakers' shooting guard, Kobe Bryant takes on Yankees' third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. It's LA against New York, it's MLB vs. NBA, it's...something to fill up the hour of SportsCenter during the slow summer days.
The winner will be decided by a combination of online votes (90%) and the in-studio panel (10%), which was comprised of ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg and noted sports experts, Kevin James and Jessica Biel. All three went with Kobe as being more "Now" even though the anchor, Stuart Scott, the man we can all thank for introducing "Boo-ya!" into the lexicon, unsuccessfully tried to talk James into switching his pick.
If you care, and for some reason people actually do care (as of Thursday, more than 2.2 million votes have been recorded since the segment's start), log on to the ridiculously overcrowded ESPN.com (try not to click on one of those stories that the Worldwide Leader charges a fee to read) to vote.
The power is in your hands, what is more "Now": Not passing, ripping your front office in the press, getting into some trouble with a young lady in Colorado and giving yourself a nickname or keeping the company of Playboy playmates on the road while the wife is at home, disappearing in the post-season and saying things like this to Sports Illustrated- "When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team."
Who cares about who's now? Now, let's talk about who's not "Now". That's you, ESPN. Isn't that right Dan Patrick?
AP Photos by Gus Ruelas and Julie Jacobson