Editorial: ESPN goes nuts over Owens

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Dallas police claim NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens tried to kill himself. Owens and his publicist say it&8217;s not true.

Either way, what&8217;s known is that ESPN went nuts over the story. The cable sports network pre-empted its regular programming on ESPN and ESPN2 to bring viewers endless speculation on the matter.

We caught about an hour of it over the lunch break and after a bit watched only reluctantly for purposes of writing this editorial. There had been news from various sources and that news had already been on the air, as well it should. But then nothing new was developing and the cable network resorted to talking heads.

Isn&8217;t it tacky when in order to fill air space TV networks resort to reporters interviewing reporters? Here&8217;s a reporter for ESPN interviewing a reporter for ESPN the Magazine. At one point, they were debating the use of the word &8220;version&8221; by the magazine reporter. At least find an expert on this large continent of North America to interview.

When there&8217;s nothing worthy to report, go back to the regular programming. The viewers are sports fans. We would rather watch &8220;NFL Films&8221; or &8220;Cold Pizza&8221; than ill-informed speculation on the quality of the Dallas Police Department or psychoanalyzing the childhood of a crybaby football player &8212; especially when it might be a simple case of a nutty reaction to a pain medication.

Yes, it&8217;s a story. No, it&8217;s not worth an all-out blitz.