I hate the ESPN ‘Ball Track’

Memo to ESPN: Thanks for ruining the annual Home Run Derby with your annoying, distracting, execrable and stupid Ball Track graphic.

For those of you who care about such things (all two of you), ESPN introduced a fiery line that follows the path of batted balls during the annual homer tournament. Remember the glowing tail that Fox used to follow the course of the puck during hockey coverage about a decade or more ago, presumably because they thought fans were too dimwitted and slow (or so their message seemed)? ESPN has brought the technology back to crap on its fans tonight.

Hey Bristol Braintrust — Josh Hamilton blasting 28 home runs is exciting, thrilling and made great television. Your Ball Track? Not so much. In fact, quite the opposite. The Home Run Derby is simplistic, perfect television at its best. It’s not complicated, it’s strictly for the fans, and it showcases exactly one aspect of an extremely complex, thinking-person’s sport. So what? It’s July. It’s hot. It’s fun.

The Ball Track? It celebrates the triumph of ESPN.

I’m turning your broadcast off, now. Thanks. Alienation was just what I was looking for to begin my week.

Is this what British and Spanish fans have to look forward to next year when the Bristol Galactus takes over part of the Premier League and La Liga coverage? Oooo. A line that follows the course of a ball, because we think our viewers are too stupid to follow it. Nice. Thanks for condescending.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: More television shit that pisses me off. … So I switched over to AMC and watched the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. As they’re halfway through rolling the credits, the screen splits in two and AMC cuts into Yello’s “Oh Yeah” and broadcasts some ads as the credits roll. This has been typical for any TV station broadcasting a movie with commercials (i.e., other than HBO, Showtime, etc.) where the end credits and the soundtrack epilogue are cut, or otherwise subjugated. But for Ferris Bueller? The end credits themselves were secondary to the accompanying coda scene of a beaten Mr. Rooney ignominiously walking home and then hitching a ride with a school bus filled with ’80s kids. Of course, on AMC, you got to see this scene in split-screen while watching and listening to AMC’s commercials. Though Rooney’s facial expression at the end of the scene — after spying “Save Ferris” and “Rooney Eats It” scrawled on a binder and the bus ceiling, respectively — required no sound, but I digress.


One Comment on “I hate the ESPN ‘Ball Track’”

  1. Brade says:

    I don’t often want to stab people, but I found myself with just that impulse as ESPN ruined an evening I planned to enjoy with that moronic “ball track.” The problem is I don’t know who exactly to stab.

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