Conspiracy and the Worldwide Leader

I’m not one for elaborate treatises on the evils of ESPN. Those are far too common among blogs. We’re better than ESPN because their coverage is obtuse and predictable; not because they’re somehow evil.

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But all this Terrell Owens-to-Chicago talk… Let’s think about this. ESPN’s Adam Schefter “broke” this “story” earlier this week. It then became the talk of the sports world, generating massive amounts of buzz, only to have Schefter emerge to quell the rumors and add a dose of reality (that he’d ignored earlier, in creating the rumor in the first place). TO’s not going to the Bears, he says. But he should.

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Uh, what’s that? You’d like to hear what Scoop Jackson and Skip Bayless have to say on the matter? No? Well, too bad.

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Quick! Now let’s see what Jay Cutler has to say about all these rumors, and put it on the front of ESPN.com. John Clayton, care to refute all the Terrel Owens talk? And now, back to Adam. Should the Bills trade Terrell Owens?

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In other words, Adam Schefter creates a rumor out of thin air, and it creates hours and hours of content for ESPN, which, in turn, spawns various opportunities for all their network personalities to each take a turn in the spotlight discussing the possibility of Terrell Owens in a Bears uniform. Meanwhile, the sports world buzzes about something that’s never going to happen.

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None of which is to say that ESPN’s evil; but they have some pretty alarming agenda-setting techniques, from which they derive massive promotional benefits, and further ensconce themselves atop the mountain of sports media.

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And yeah, it’s difficult for any individual to change this, but we don’t really need to. Merely by recognizing something like the Terrell Owens rumor for what is—contrived by ESPN and completely bogus—we transcend their dominance, and fight back. And since I just paraphrased Michel Foucault and/or Public Enemy, let’s stop there.

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Now, then: Will Brady Quinn get traded?

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