Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I miss Cold Pizza
I have the option of working from home a couple times a week. In the morning I like to keep on ESPN, more for sports information and background noise than a real enjoyment. Segments like Titletown give me a chance to flip around to real news or VH1 Jump Start to keep up on bad music to dazzle the kids at dinner time. How about that Feist huh? Numbers have never been so fun!
I usually leave ESPN on until First Take. This is when I know it's not only 10 a.m. in the east but that all of the important sport news has been covered and it's time for unneccessary overanalysis from all the experts I heard from on Sportscenter.
This wasn't always the case. There was a time I actually didn't mind Cold Pizza. If anything I found it a breath of fresh compared to the typical ESPN studio show. Then ESPN went and changed the format of Pizza and changed the only program that made the worldwide leader seem to be in touch with their average viewer.
This is what I miss about the old Cold Pizza format;
1) 1st and Ten with Woody and Skip- Don't get me wrong, I can't stand Bayless and find Paige one notch above untolerable but the segments were entertaining. It was just a ripoff of the newly popular PTI but Paige could make me laugh and Bayless just said things to get the viewers attention. Bayless is still around but the segments seem to drag on for the entire show and his partner has changed too many times to mention. Now they've begun to fill the role with anyone who happens to stumble into the Bristol studio and has a buttoned shirt that can hold a mic. Last week was Nelly. No not Don Nelson. Nelly the rapper. There is no more left to say.
2) The 'apartment' set- Corny without a doubt but it was such a stark contrast to the typical ESPN show of Anchor 1 talking to Anchor 2 explaining Clip 1 or Anchor 1 and Analyst 1, 2 (and sometimes 3+) talking about Clip 1. They had the couches, bookcases, tables with coffee mugs, a kitchen set and everything that made it seem like the exact place the viewer was watching and felt most comfortable; their own home. Now it's just Crawford and Absolut Jacobson all corporated up and sitting behind a desk, or standing on the same exact set I've been staring at during Sportscenter, NFL Live, College Gameday, Midnight Bowling Today and every other ESPN studio show.
3) Moving from NY to Bristol- New York isn't the capital of the US but it sure is more of a hub of activity than Bristol, Conneticut. Is their anything in Bristol besides ESPN? I just checked. It's home to the American Clock and Watch Museum (Point-Willard). Call it an East Coast Bias (it's the only place I've ever lived) but it just seemed more alive in the 'city that never sleeps.' It also felt like Pizza was able to get better guests when they were homed in NYC. I am sure it's easier to snag celebs and atheletes who happen to be in NY than those that happen to be in Bristol, Connecticut. And to have to drag them away from the clock museum must be impossible.
ESPN will never admit a mistake but I think they will eventually regret getting rid of the old Cold Pizza format when First Take does no better in the ratings. It's just another example of how out of touch they are with the average ESPN viewer. Especially when it's just the same replays and analysis from the previous hour or Sportscenter.
Cold Pizza was at least digestable. First Take is just stale leftovers.