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A Little Love For Soccer, A Little Bile for ESPN

I love the ESPN family of networks, I really do. I really don't understand the thought process behind it but here me out.

ESPN has this really strange notion in its head that if they broadcast an event on the flagship network, no matter how obscure or far down the list of important events in the life of a normal sports fan, they will not only drill it into your head beforehand but also after the fact as well.


You remember the whole Breeders thing (how could you not?) . A couple weeks back, it was a huge weekend full of college football and NFL excitement and all ESPN wanted to talk about was the Breeders Cup or whatever hell that horse race was. Why? Because they were broadcasting it and needed to make it sound like something you absolutely had to turn off college football for (which I pray and hope you did not). THEN, after the event was over and promotion would seem pointless, the major ending of the horsey races was in the Breaking New box on ESPNNews for an entire day! Again, this being a day filled with important college football finals and impending NFL games. They made the decision that in order to impress upon you how insignifigant your interests were and how much more important thier horse race was, they refused to let it go almost 24 hours after the fact. (FYI, I found a great deal of pleasure in finding out that the ratings for the Breeders Cup hit an all-time low this year. Take that, you stupid fucking horses.)


I bring all of this up in a post that's supposed to be about soccer because they did it again this weekend. Sure enough, if you checked in to ESPNNews at any point on Sunday (the day after HOW many big college football games went down? The day HOW many NFL games happened?), the little Breaking News box was all about the NCAA soccer champions, UNC for the women and UCSB for the men. College soccer, a sport that ESPN had devoted .006 percent of coverage to this entire year, was now overtaking college football and the NFL in level of importance. The logical reason I learned was, of course, that ESPN broadcast both of those events earlier in the day.

Did the world stop spinning? No. Did cats and dogs begin living together in perfect harmony? Of course not. But its just one of those peeves that really bothers the hell out of me. One of those times when ESPN rips a page from the MTV playbook and tells you "Don't be concerned with what YOU like, be concerned with what we TELL you to like."

ANYWAY, the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (fantastic name, BTW)
won the men's title which is a bit of a big deal apparently. How big? The students of UCSB took it upon themselves to throw a goal into the ocean. "Was it the goal from the actual game?," you ask. Um...no it wasn't.

See, the game was played in St. Louis (soccer capital of the west?). As
Deadspin points out, that means that the students of UCSB found a random soccer goal, razed it and then carried it all the way down the street to the ocean where they proceeded to dump it in the ocean. While I will ask why these die-hard fans were in balmy Santa Barbara and not beautiful St. Louis to cheer on their boys personally, they do score a 9.7 for their effort and out-of-the-goalie-box thinking.