By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Why try and put a number on it?

Usually in this space, say once a month or so, I'll do one of those top-10 lists of best this or worst that. They're fun and symmetrical (I think).

But today we'll change it up a little and do a list, but not put a number on it.

The topic? Things in sports that bother me (and is there a way to change them).

So, in no particular order, and no set number of items, here we go:

OVEREXPOSURE - There is just too much available right now. Every game, at nearly every level (pro, college and even some high school sports) can be viewed.

I know it sounds odd, but it's too much. When everything is on, nothing is special. Every game rolls into one.

Think of the baseball all-star game when you were a kid. That's where you finally saw the players you'd only seen before on "This Week in Baseball" with Mel Allen.

Today, you can see every player play every game. That just takes the fun out of it.

ATHLETES TURNED ANALYSTS - There are countless guys, across all sports, who loathed the media when they were playing.

Then, when they were done playing, and those big paychecks stopped showing up, voila, they became the media.

Why become what you hated? Because they liked getting a paycheck again.

Now, to be fair, many of the ex-jocks turned talking heads are pretty good. Some can even speak passable English.

BEING PREVIEWED TO DEATH - Please, please just start the game. We don't need three hours of build up before every quasi big game.

The Super Bowl, of course, is the worst offender, as its hours upon hours on Sunday of features on the backup punter, but we've come to expect that.

It's the others, minor stuff that drives you mad when you expect a game to be starting and you're staring at two hours of fluff. And let's not get started on post-game shows.

INSTANT REPLAY - This doesn't bother me except that it needs to be universal.

With all of the technology we have (the same technology that allows us to see every game) why not use it to get things right?

Heck, they use replay at Wimbledon, the stuffiest event going, and it works wonderfully. If Wimbledon can do it effectively, all sports should do it and use it extensively, not just in certain situations.

IN-GAME COACH INTERVIEWS - This has been a trend for too long now and I'm still waiting for any coach from any of the sports that do it to say something interesting.

The TV guy who has to ask the questions feels uncomfortable doing it and the coach has better things to do than tell us that his team "needs to work harder out there."

The game should be enough, if it's not, no canned cliches from a coach will save it.

THEME MUSIC - Can't you just sense Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson rolling over in their graves over this?

This is the music that is played when a player comes to the plate. Really? He picks "his" song and away we go.

It's bad enough that stadiums for all sports blare music during any down time and do it incessantly regardless of the situation.

But when you come to the plate? I can live with closers having their cute little intro tune. That's once a game. But for your first at-bat in the second inning? To quote the great Charlie Brown, "Good grief!"

Here's a suggestion for a song for all hitters - The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. Get it? The Sound of Silence?

In a perfect world, there would be only two songs played at a baseball game: The National Anthem and Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

That would be music to the ears.

Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

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