The Reviews Are In, ESPN's Signing Day "Disgusting"

Thursday, February 07, 2008

So yesterday ESPN tore it's way through seven hours of National Signing Day coverage and people are rightfully a bit weirded out by the whole thing. Even ESPN's own employees....

“ESPN and USA Today are just all over this stuff like it’s the NBA Draft. I have always found it repulsive on some level. It's just disgusting the way they get so hyped up over this stuff and it’s just hype”- Michael Wilbon on PTI
They wanted to make it so much like the draft that they even stole the graphics from the process. It wasn't that they did a bad job covering the event, it was just that it was skeevish and downright boring. There were no real surprises and it came across as a bunch of kids not prepared for the media looking awkward and nervous. Via Patrick McManamon at
ESPN actually promised seven hours of coverage of National Signing Day on ESPNU.

Now . . . ESPN is a master at hiring former players or coaches, dressing them up in a suit, teaching them to gesture with their hands and then having them sit and babble incessantly about the sport they used to play.

Evidence? Sean Salisbury.

But to sit a bunch of talking
heads up at a set for seven hours and talk about the decisions of 17- and 18-year-olds seems to have taken the ESPNization of the nation to new and ridiculous heights.

Look up ESPNization — a new word mind you — and the definition is simple: Taking any event, no matter how small, and treating it with seriousness light years beyond it's due.
Glad to see the rest of the world is catching on. Not every show is like this of course, but we're approaching dangerous territory when ESPN airs the MLS Draft and National Signing Day within a few weeks of each other.

In all seriousness I watched about 45 minutes before becoming completely confused about what was going on. At one point Mike Gottfried said something about Missouri and three other dudes jumped all over him for some reason. Just random and pointless.

(Oh and nice jab at Salisbury, Mr. McManamon...+1)

It's too early to turn teenagers into celebrities (

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 1:29 PM


Ron Powlus says there is no such thing as overhyping soon to be college kids.

Jim said...
Feb 7, 2008, 1:57:00 PM  

I would agree, if ESPN was the only outlet doing this. CSTV and even the NFL Network devoted time to National Signing Day, too. Thankfully, I didn't see any of their coverage because Comcast here doesn't have either channel.

Rick James BIble Owner said...
Feb 7, 2008, 2:16:00 PM  

while i am not a devote' to recruiting -- i follow it a little -- i don't understand the hatred for it, well i sort of understand why wilbon hates it. i mean, he hates the nfl draft.

signing day IS the college version of nfl draft. yeah, seven hours might be a bit much. but we're talking bspn here folks.

if anyone thinks this recruiting nonsense is ridiculous, i suggest googling to see what yahoo paid to acquire the network a few months ago.

Anonymous said...
Feb 7, 2008, 2:34:00 PM  

I agree. USC, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma have all had outstanding recruiting classes for the last few years. Guess who has the best teams right now? But yeah, they have blown it way out of proportion.

By the way, who's the chick in the Alabama cap?

J.J. said...
Feb 7, 2008, 2:55:00 PM  

JJ +1.

You can tell the losers by their comments.

"Signing day is not all that important to our program" means "we just got our asses handed to us off the field and we can plan on having it handed to us on the field real soon".

Sanity Has Gone South said...
Feb 7, 2008, 3:18:00 PM  

that hat certainly is disgusting.

The turds want me to fear Julio Jones. I'll fear him playing women's basketball maybe...

James said...
Feb 7, 2008, 3:24:00 PM  

that kid is REALLY creepy looking

Mike Georger said...
Feb 7, 2008, 3:44:00 PM  

You see, not everything sucks from Ohio.

GMoney said...
Feb 7, 2008, 3:58:00 PM  

To be fair, signing day has a huge impact on college football, which is big business. From what I saw, it was more boring than creepy, but I can understand that point of view.

Draft King said...
Feb 7, 2008, 4:24:00 PM  

OK, this would be a problem if they put the 7 hours on ESPN. But come on, it was aired on ESPNU. Honestly, what better programming do they have to offer during the day midweek???

Joe D said...
Feb 7, 2008, 5:14:00 PM  

Herbstreit probably said it best earlier in the week: "Save the hype for the field. Way till these kids do something on the field before giving out all this unheralded praise."

I watched maybe 20 minutes of it to see what that drama queen Tyrelle Pryor was doing and watch the talking heads praise the Miami Hurricanes for their best recruiting class in years. Other than that, nothing else was relevant.

Feb 7, 2008, 5:39:00 PM  

Anything's more interesting than listening to them praise Eli, replay Bob Knight lowlights and discuss Clemens and steroids in a never-ending loop

susieSydell said...
Feb 8, 2008, 9:45:00 AM  

I think at least Wilbon's comment was inspired by a guy who tried to drum up some attention by having a big press conference to "select Cal over Oregon" only for the media to find neither school had heard of him.

Seriously. Look it up.

Morgan Wick said...
Feb 9, 2008, 12:38:00 AM  

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