How Will ESPN Alienate Viewers Next?

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Washington Wizards center Jason Collins was the first active athlete in the major sports leagues to come out as gay Monday, spawning a (mostly) positive groundswell of support and crashing Sports Illustrated’s online server. Of course, no announcement of this type is complete without detractors, and ESPN magazine senior writer Chris Broussard was one of the self-anointed critics, using the Outside the Lines news program as a soapbox for his religious beliefs.

Religion is a touchy subject, as you can attest to at every awkward Thanksgiving meal with that one relative. (YOU know which one.) So how can ESPN one-up their need for attention through controversy? I have a few predictions:

  • Guest analyst Glenn Beck, in a discussion of record NFL Draft ratings, expounds on why television is dying
  • The one-year anniversary coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing somehow links the suspects to the 1980 Soviet Union Olympic hockey team
  • LeBron James and ESPN team up for a Kickstarter to fund James’ eighth mansion
  • SportsCenter retrospective on Latrell Sprewell includes commentary of the NBA player “going Django Unchained” in choking coach PJ Carlesimo
  • Columnist Rick Reilly’s article on positive female role models in sports somehow makes people dislike Reilly even more
  • The December 7th episode of First Take is devoted to the merits of Japanese interment camps
  • The month-long lead-up to Michael Jordan’s 60th birthday includes a special report on the greatness of his Hitler mustache
  • SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott calls Tim Tebow an “untalented gaytard”

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