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Stephen A. and Others

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Well, I got some quick replies on that last post about the one thing Stephen A. Smith said. Naturally, there are more people out there with the same feelings toward him as I have, most likely much stronger. My disapproval of him is more of a dislike for all in-your-face, shock style sports analysts. I generally mute the television when these guys come on because they give me a headache. I don’t have as much specific critique as do others, but here are my problems with them.

Ever since Jim Rome grew very popular, most sports networks have tried to find another Jim Rome, or a sports analyst who will not back down from his opinion about athletes, teams, and other issues in sports. I never watched his show much, but I like a guy who stands by his opinion. This idea has grown into something much worse. Now the idea seems to be to find anybody with a columnist/analyst background, an opinion, a loud voice, and they must be as obnoxious and arrogant as you can find. They have escaped the boundaries of their own shows and now show up in mainstream programs, such as NBA Shootaround (Stephen A’s second home), invading the calm, humorous, considerate style those shows used to share. PTI (Pardon the Interruption) is a popular show on ESPN; that’s fine. I don’t watch it. I know it is just two guys with opinions yelling at each other about issues that can be discussed in an orderly fashion, so I avoid it. It bothers me to see those style columnists bleeding into other programs.

There are so many great play by play guys, color commentators, and analysts out there, it is sad to see these guys coming in and ruining sports shows. Stephen A. does have a columnist background and currently writes twice a week for the Philadephia Inquirer, but I have yet to hear any well spoken bits of information come from his mouth, only empty guarantees, waffling, and lots of yelling and screaming. True, the viewer these programs are trying to attract are used to ADD style programming, where there needs to be bright colors, quickly changing cameras, and loud noises to keep them tuned in, but it’s getting old quick.

As an NBA fan, I have to praise TNT for avoiding any shock style analysts. They stick with good quality content coming from rational people with plenty of basketball history. I enjoy listening to comments by many guys including all the TNT staff, Doug Collins, Hubie Brown, Tom Tolbert, Kevin Harlan, John Thompson, Steve Jones, and even Bill Walton (although I can understand how most people wouldn’t like his asinine comments, I find them very comical now that his sidekicks are calling him out on his overuse of superlatives).

I’m a rational person. I don’t need to be yelled at about why a basketball player should be rated higher than another. Greg Anthony and Scottie Pippen seem to voice their opinion with calm control. Maybe Stephen A. was raised by deaf geriatric people and he can’t help but yell, I don’t know. But I wish he would just calm down and listen to somebody else from time to time.

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