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Monday, August 09, 2004

Sports: Old School Sportscenter 

The boys in Bristol actually gave me a reason to watch Sportscenter last night. My favorite former anchor, Craig Kilborn, teamed up with my favorite current ESPNer, Dan Patrick, as past of the network's "Old School Sportscenter" gimmick.

I remember the days when I'd watch Sportscenter as many as 4-5 times. It was just something I didn't miss (except on days when my team lost, and then it was more like 50/50). Now the show has become an hour-long display of one-upmanship between lame anchors and their endless parade of stupid catchphrases.

I should say that Kilborn helped usher in the era of the catchphrase, but unlike, say, Stuart Scott, Kilborn's shtick was actually funny. And his post-ESPN career has seen him host not one, but two popular shows. His return to the Sportscenter desk was something I didn't want to miss.

It's too bad that the show turned out to be a trainwreck. In retrospect, I can't blame either Kilborn or Patrick for fizzling. Kilborn hasn't sat on an ESPN set in eight years, and it showed. He also blatantly showed his disdain for the network. And Patrick, who tried to rescue things a few times, looked out of sync. The pair just didn't show much chemistry together.

I commend the ESPN execs for trying to pump a little life back into the show. But if last night's show was any indication (Kilborn/Patrick represented by far the strongest pairing of the week), "Old School Sportscenter" is going to bomb like a Stuart Scott rap reference.

Tonight I'm going to give it one more try, though, when Bob Ley hooks up with Charlier "Sir. laughs-a-lot" Steiner. You don't need chemistry with Steiner. Just give him an absurd story and let him howl his way through it.


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