Friday, December 29, 2006

Sports On Demand?

Before we get too ahead of ourselves and throw the Cleveland jinx on this whole Foulke thing, a thought occurred to me as I searched for the first instance that Keith Foulke entered the public eye:
Back in April of 2000, the White Sox and Tigers were engaged in one of the more brutal instances of basebrawl, and Foulke played the Dennis Cook role - charging in from the bullpen to crack some sculls - only to be sucker punched by Karim Garcia in the face. Foulke got 5 facial stitches and was shown, in an interview the next day, with a big shiner telling reporters how little he thought of the Tigers.

After he returned from the suspension, Foulke assumed the closer role from "Mr. Roboto" Bob Howry, and many pundits pointed to the respect that Foulke earned in the brawl for the confidence that his teammates had in him and he in himself, which has snowballed into a nice career as a closer.

Anyways, as I was looking for footage of the brawl or the interview that I remember pretty well in which it looked like somebody had glued an eggplant to the side of Foulke's face, there was no footage online.
YouTube...nothing.
ESPN...nothing.
Chicago & Detroit websites...nothing.

How could this be? How could one of the better basebrawls (that occurred fairly recently) not make it's way onto the Internet?

Then, a thought occurred:
Why doesn't ESPN, with all of it's archival footage of games and SportsCenter highlights, create a YouTube style website that anyone can view anything that has ever been shown over the ESPN airwaves?

Want to see the coverage of the first 3 picks of the 1999 NFL Draft (Couch, McNabb, Smith) and what the pundits were saying about them? Mel Kiper's hair appears instantly...

Want to see all of those great games that are on ESPN Classic, but you NEVER know when? Just type in which game you want to see and watch it in its entirety or just the 9th inning...

Want to see the Tigers-White Sox brawl on April 22, 2000 covered on that night's SportsCenter? At your fingertips...

Call it ESPoNdemand.
Make it free, like YouTube or charge a flat rate to search and view as much footage as you want.
Get the NFL, MLB, NBA, and other sports to get in on it. There's enough money out there to keep everyone fat and happy as people would pay to watch Albert Belle hitting the centerfield shot off of Lee Smith to win a game in 1995, or to watch the Browns-Jets playoff game that was ended by Mark Mosely. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

You're telling me that ESPN, with its seemingly unlimited resources, couldn't tackle this type of project? 13-year-olds are putting the Knicks-Nuggets fight coverage from ESPN on YouTube, why couldn't ESPN do it all from Bristol?

Maybe they're more interested in developing "Quite Frankly" or making another movie like the one with Brian Dennehy as Bobby Knight. If they are, they've lost the idea behind their whole creation. Sports - what you want to watch, when you want to watch it.

Maybe it's from watching the drivel that's on TV during the day (or at 3:30AM) that's hatched the idea, but with the information age maturing before our very eyes, isn't it time that sports fans got what they wanted, when the wanted it?

Something to ponder until any news comes out of E. 9th and Ontario.
Until then, and with all of the Foulke excitement, Don't forget about Mahk Moda!

3 comments:

POJO_Risin said...

Well...first of all...

ESPN would never do it for free...

in infuriates me with all their freakin' inSIDER crap...

but it's a good idea...

but ESPN is always and only in it for the buck...

and don't worry...I've got Mulder soley on my radar...;)

Hoping you are getting some sleep!

Cy Slapnicka said...

unfortunately, i doubt espn owns the video rights to any of that and an agreement like that probably isn't worked into any current contracts.

i just can't see the money grubbing jerks (mlb, nfl, nba, etc) getting on the same page for something like this.

i'd love to see it, but the negative jerk in me doesn't see it happening.

Pat Tabler said...

You're probably correct on the rights to the footage.

Maybe somebody with deep pockets (like a Rupert Murdoch) would vastly overpay (then probably overcharge consumers) for the footage.

Actually, maybe MLB already has this in the works at MLB.com and is anticipating huge revenue streams from it.

How else can you explain a 7-YEAR DEAL for a pitcher?