The Reason Everyone Hates Grayson Allen…
…is that everyone already hates the Duke Blue Devils, especially when they are winning. Tonight, as they won the ACC Championship in a lovely game against Notre Dame (who usually beats Duke btw, 5 of their last 7 meetings), our overlords at ESPN saw fit to send me two push notifications, even though neither Duke nor Notre Dame are listed among my favorite teams. Amazingly, both notifications were about Grayson Allen. Grayson Allen who played 21 ineffectual minutes and was the twelfth-best player on the floor tonight.
Meanwhile, Bonzie Colson, playing for Notre Dame, had an amazing game, scoring 29 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. He was on the floor for 38 minutes, rolled his ankle, lost a contact lens, and took FOREVER to put it back in. ESPN did not mention anything about Colson.
Grayson Allen is the ________ Kardashian of college basketball (I can’t remember which Kardashians are known for what). And while I think he totally sucks, I don’t think he’s the object of my distaste, but rather the sports media.
In a game where he was largely irrelevant, ESPN went out of its way to tell me Grayson was playing. Twice. Presumably because he is a famous (i.e., controversial) player. I happened to already be watching, but crap like that shows me that ESPN is often missing the point entirely.
When I was a little boy, I watched SportsCenter every day. At school, I could tell you the scores from every single ballgame from last night. Now, if I watched, I could instead tell you where Tom Brady is vacationing, where Tony Romo is likely to end up, and a few takes on whether Iguodala’s comments were out of line. All while dozens of unreported-on basketball tournaments reach their climax.
It is my understanding that TMZ is already perfectly capable of following athletes around and stirring up controversy. It does not need ESPN’s assistance. ESPN, if it’s to survive the cord-cut era, should figure out how to focus on what built its audience in the first place: ballgames.