To understand this latest J-Dub/SportsChump collaboration, you need to know there’s something headed for your local Cinema-Gargantua-Plex which may or may not be horrifying. A few years ago, we got something akin to “ESPN: The Book,” and as books are wont to do in this country, it has transmogrified into “ESPN: The Movie.” Like we said, it hasn’t been released yet, but that doesn’t stop us from being pretty sure knowing we know what we can expect.
There’s this joke that starts like this: Two guys are standing in line at the movie theater waiting for a movie they really have no desire to see…
J-Dub, over the past few years, you and I have debated and discussed a lot of stupid shit when it comes to the sports we love to hate and hate to love, but I would have to imagine “ESPN: The Movie” takes the cake. Take the most self-aggrandizing organization in the world, sprinkle in a hearty yet “subtle” dose of Disney and you have a movie that I can only hope turns out to be a total bust… and I usually LIKE Disney flicks.
My understanding is that this film is loosely based upon a book entitled “These Guys Have All The Fun,” an 800-page waste of time that’s currently collecting dust in my bathroom. First of all, ESPN isn’t all that old, so any sports fan that has paid attention over the years should already be familiar with the history of the network. But do you mean to tell me that Scott Van Pelt has more “fun” at his job than I do? I’d be inclined to take that wager and Van Pelt has his “fun” in a fashion far more annoying than mine.
And what’s with the cast? Are they going to hire people to play on-air blowhards or will Chris Berman be playing Chris Berman. Besides, isn’t Ernest Borgnine dead? Who else would they get to play him? Brian Dennehy? Either way this has bust written all over it or at least I know you hope it does.
J-Dub, what are your thoughts and how much would you pay not to see this film?
As it stands, this movie looks like it will have all the attraction of the Jacksonville Jaguars and earaches combined. But, that isn’t to say it can’t be saved. Try this idea on for size…
ESPN – The Porno.
Sure, it sounds strange at first, but let it sink in for a minute. Let’s start with Chump’s casting issue with Chris Berman. Is there a better choice here than Ron Jeremy? Use your imagination, and this thing writes itself from there. We simply cast the movie with the biggest names in the adult entertainment industry, we change ESPN brands to fit our purpose; “SportsCenter” becomes “ScrewCenter,” “Around the Horn” changes to “Around the World,” and “Pardon The Interruption“ becomes my personal favorite, “Pardon the Insertion.” It’s “can’t miss” stuff.
Obviously, there’s one ESPN figure we MUST have play themselves in the movie, because we all know America has been waiting for 25 years to see Linda Cohn in a three-way.
Now that we’ve moved on to the adult portion of our broadcast, I have to admit that image of Chris Berman in his orgy bathrobe just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
And let’s get to the bottom of this little Linda Cohn fetish. Don’t get me wrong, she’s attractive and probably knows more about sports than you and I combined, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to bang her, especially not with Berman walking around with his junk hanging out and reeking of 1970s cologne.
I just can’t but help see this movie as a self-serving piece of self-promotion. Aren’t movies supposed to serve a purpose, either to entertain or educate? I could almost see this film making sense if it were a documentary. After all, it’s supposed to be a behind the scenes look at the network and how it came about, not that anyone really gives a shit. What’s next? “QVC: The Movie” where you get a free cheap necklace with every ticket purchase?
Scant paragraphs in, and I already don’t know where to start.
First of all, denying me my Linda Cohn “fetish” means you are undoubtedly one of those fucked-up “Hannah Storm” types, and for that you would normally lose all your credibility with me. Your saving grace here, Mr. Chump, is that you are excruciatingly correct when you say that “ESPN: The Movie” can’t be much more than a “self-serving piece of self-promotion.”
Will it have a crawl? Will it have that panel on the left side of the screen to tell you stupid, fabricated shit like “A-Rod and Yankees Kiss and Make-Up?” Will it get the credits off the screen before I’m chucking my $40 “Bladder-Buster” Dr. Pepper at the screen?
Chump hits the nail on the head when he says this has more legs than a nuclear-test-site millipede if it had been as a documentary. You might even have been able to sell this as that gala spectacular à la the Saturday Night Live 40-year celebration of a few weeks back. You could even do this as an over-the-top action-fest; nobody will remember that Dan Patrick never came back and shot up the set of SportsCenter with an AK-47 as long as it makes for 90 minutes of “Rambo does the Top Ten with Die Hard.”
But that ain’t what it’s going to be, and we all know that. This is going to be a hour-and-a-half “infomercial so disgusting that by the time we get to the third “Berman-ism,” we’ll all be begging for QVC.
I’m telling you, we can avoid needing the QVC “cheap necklace” if they give us the Linda Cohn “pearl necklace.”
So I guess the network’s biggest struggle with this film, as if they give a shit about doing anything other than making money, is the search for any credibility whatsoever. After all, their daily broadcasts are barely credible as it is so other than the opportunity to see Linda Cohn strut around in skimpy lingerie, what would make this film even somewhat watchable?
What demographic is this movie shooting for? For example, I would imagine I’m the target audience (mid-40s male with an overall obsession with all things sports-related) but there’s no way in hell I’d catch this flick other than the chance to pan it online. I’d rather lose brain cells in more opportunistic fashion.
Is this film going to feature a bunch of high-profile, athlete cameos a la Jerry Maguire or insert any one of the million commercials the network has put out over the years, which ironically is one of the most entertaining things about ESPN?
I know we keep beating a dead horse but how does ESPN and/or Disney convince me this movie is anything other than a sickening display of shameless self-promotion. No studio shoots 100% from the floor but does Disney want their name associated with a movie whose DVD heads directly to the $5 Wal-Mart bin?
Do you think a personal letter from us to Disney CEO Bob Iger, convincing him this film is a horrible idea would warrant a thank you letter and the man as he comes to his senses? As it is, I spend my days trying to avoid Stephen A. Smith’s ramblings. Perhaps I could be convinced to see the film if they retitled is “Bayless: The Beheading.”
Au contrairé, mon frêre…this movie will never end up in the $5 dollar bin because the only things that end up there are either at least 25 years old or nobody wants to bid on the rights to them. Even when this movie bombs faster than ISIS and the jokes at a Marie Osmond roast combined, Disney will never let it end up in the cheap bin because they will never admit what a mistake this was. As long as they never sell the rights to it, they can keep the price artificially high because they know it won’t sell anyway. They would rather have a warehouse full of DVDs of this turkey rather than to let it languish in that discount bin next to copies of “Short Circuit 2” and Season 3 of “The Phil Silvers Show.”
As for the letter-writing, we could print that letter on Sofia Vergara’s ass and we still couldn’t get those ass-hats to read it. They’ve made up their mind, the train has left the station, the ball is in their courts, and whatever other tired cliché you care to mention here….this movie is happening. Our only hope may be to convince the North Koreans this movie makes Kim Jong-Un look dumber than Colin Cowherd.
However, the real question I have is how are they going to handle high-profile people who left ESPN under less-then-favorable circumstances? Dan Patrick would be the perfect example. Here’s a guy who got run out of Bristol, and now has a radio show which is eating away at ESPN’s ratings faster than the tapeworm in an Ethopian’s colon.
Not to mention, the story of ESPN is about failure as much as it is success. Yeah, I get that network grew from nothing into the leviathan it is, but there’s really no denying the level of talent in Bristol has nose-dived from the Dan Patrick/Rich Eisen days, and we must never forget how terrible ESPN was the first time it started making “entertainment.” “A Season on the Brink” or “Playmakers?” Who the fuck really wants to see electronic sewage like that again?
Then, sir…I guess after 1600 extremely well-written words, I’m still confounded.
Films should have a purpose. I mean, not films like “Friday the 13th Part 7,” which should be infinitely better than “Mike & Mike: The Mistake” but whatever happened to creativity and inspiration. Perhaps that’s the naïve me who feels books and films should be created not just to make money but to provoke discussion. Silly old me.
I’m telling you, J-Dub, not even a giant popcorn and a sack full of Twix bars would make these 90 minutes of “film-making” they’re about to perpetrate on us worthwhile.
I guess that’s just too much for me to wish for. I’ll try to temper my expectations in the future.
Fuck that. If ESPN keeps making movies, they can expect to deal with my temper. I’m a veteran, I know how to fly a plane, and I really like hummus.
Don’t piss me off, Bristol.