LeBron goes to Miami
I really couldn’t care less about LBJ or the NBA. Occasionally, I flip over to ESPN to see if I can catch a score update or for the weekly baseball game, but other than that, the network is useless.
The buildup and hype in the weeks up to his announcement was embarrassing, a ridiculous spectacle. Anyone who watched a second of the ESPN stroke-fest last night, unless you work in the business, should not be allowed to vote or drive, because you must be a brain-dead moron.
That’s pretty much my reaction. Also, this piece in New York Magazine hits the nail squarely on the head:
Loving sports, by definition, requires a certain suspension of disbelief and logic. We are all pouring our hearts and souls into cheering for men (and women) who do not care about us, who are not like us, who are not the type of people we would ever associate with (or even meet) in real life.
That trust felt broken tonight. Not because LeBron James went to the Heat, even though he referred to his destination as “South Beach,” not “the Miami Heat and their fans.” Not because LeBron James didn’t go to the Knicks, even though of all the cities he mentioned enjoying during this free agent “courtship,” New York was the one he omitted.
Not even because LeBron was so, so cruel to Cleveland, not once thanking the fans who made him into what he was, the fans who have to wonder if their absurd investment in their sports franchises will ever be rewarded.
No, tonight, it felt like everyone involved — LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray — treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss. Here, here are the Boys & Girls Club props. Here, here is your search engine. Here, here is your online college, Here, here is your Athletic Hero. Eat. Eat. Consume. You like it. You love it. You’ll always come back for more.