Sports world is losing its mind

I see a bad moon arising.

I wonder what it was like Saturday to be among the tens of thousands of recently jettisoned workers and 300 freshly laid off ESPN employees who watched as ESPN scrolled — all day, all night, over and over — that Gordon Hayward has signed a $120 million deal to play for the Hornets?

Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems the NBA draft made for more interest among media than the public. I suggest that the severe popularity decline the NBA suffered this past season will continue — along with the antisocial conduct, starting with social media, of players.

Regardless, where will all the money come from? TV will continue to up its stakes in the face of diminishing returns? We’ll pay more to watch what we now know we can live without? Still plenty of good, unaffordable seats available! But will the willing be allowed in?

Can the NBA’s fresh, all-in marriage to gambling fill the TV ratings void? Or will shameless increased business with despotic, anti-democracy Red China and its Nike confederates still best fit the NBA’s needs?

Anyway, Sunday, ESPN’s scroll reported that Jayson Tatum has signed a $195 million extension to remain with the Celtics.

I often surmise that graphics that appear in sports telecasts are the work of some TV executive’s dim nephew. Regardless, early in Sunday’s Eagles-Browns, Fox wanted us to stop watching in order to read this: “Baker Mayfield, 0-for-2, 0 yards.”

Once it has COVID licked, the Center for Disease Control has to work on ridding football of the epidemic of silly talk. Six times in the second half of Saturday’s Indiana-Ohio State, Fox’s Gus Johnson or Joel Klatt said the key for IU’s defense “is to get off the field.” Once, IU immediately complied when OSU scored a touchdown.

If Steve Levy’s marching orders include making a mockery of “Monday Night Football” to sell it as a stand-alone NFL entity, it’s working. Monday during Rams-Buccaneers, he excitedly reported that Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans just became “the first player to score a touchdown in his first five ‘Monday Night Football’ games!”

From the start of Texans-Lions on Thursday, CBS’ Tony Romo, stressed Houston’s RPO — the stylish way to say “run-pass option.” But is that any different from what used to be plainly spoken as the “option”?

During Monday night’s Rams-Bucs, Tom Brady, the 199th pick in the 2000 draft, twice was intercepted by Jordan Fuller, a North Jersey kid and the 199th pick in the 2020 draft. Fuller’s mom is Cindy Mizelle — an in-demand backup singer for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and the late Luther Vandross.

When did a first-down become “the line to gain” — provided “someone steps up and makes a play in order to move the chains,” preferably by “running downhill”?

CBS’ “Hollerin’ ” Kevin Harlan at the close of Sunday’s Broncos-Dolphins: “The Broncos win for the first time in three weeks!” Yeah, they had a two-game losing streak! In that telecast CBS posted a graphic telling an amazing story: “Broncos 2-1 vs. Dolphins since 2011.”

Ed Randall’s “Fans for the Cure” (of prostate cancer) has posted new COVID guidelines in conjunction with New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Presbyterian and Methodist? As they say at Mt. Sinai Hospital, “It couldn’t hoit!” Go to [email protected]

The single most damning thing one can say, write or think about Craig Carton — still reliant on childish, vulgar put-downs and the sounds of flatulence — is that he makes it impossible to root for him. Not coincidentally, his target audience is now almost exclusively desensitized creeps. But that’s his business.

Given that there are now a ton of stoppages adding to TV commercials, isn’t it time to eliminate the two-minute warning from the first half? It serves nothing beyond a bit more money. I just answered my own question. As Mr. Burns told Homer Simpson about being the richest man in Springfield: “I’d give it all up for just a little more.”

Roger “Make It Rain!” Goodell no longer cares if you watch the games to root for your teams. He now prefers that you watch as a means to root for your money. Even on Thanksgiving.

Thanks to reader Terence Reilly for sending a screenshot of Saturday’s Boise State-Hawaii game. He noted that the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors was the team wearing all black.

Fox’s Troy Aikman’s TV dialogue book, compiled over 20 years: Good job, nice job, outstanding job, heckuva play, dial up a play, make a play, step up to make a play.

Reader Fred Hyde has correctly identified the Quote of the Month. During the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau, searching thick rough for his tee shot, was heard asking a rules official, “So you’re telling me that if I can’t find my ball then it’s a lost ball?”

After one quarter Sunday, CBS could not find — or recognize — any football to show. So it cut to commercials with four slow-motion videos of Jets and Chargers in acts of self-glorification. Didn’t matter that the teams were combined 2-17, TV doesn’t consider football a team game.

Peter Rosenberg, ESPN-NY’s “The Michael Kay Show” vulgar rap and pro wrestling maven/apologist — both industries bury their performers young — doesn’t understand that I was raised to despise the N-word as the worst of slurs. And as the brother of two sisters, including a twin, the sexual degradation of young women was intolerable. Apparently it wasn’t that way in Rosenberg’s household.

Not long ago, I’d record college football games into 3-hour slots, 3:15 to be extra cautious. Now? Four hours, the time taken to play Saturday’s Indiana-Ohio State.

College football is now loaded with players who transferred from here, there and everywhere. This is Rutgers is QB Noah Vedral’s third college — after Central Florida, then Nebraska. RU punter Adam Korsak was recruited from Victoria University. He’s from Melbourne, Australia. N.J.’s tax dollars at work!

Monday night, ESPN’s Louis Riddick identified Bucs eight-fingered Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul as “a smart football player.”

So the promoter is charging $50 for Saturday’s pay-per-view of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones, Jr., who total 105 years. The “bout” is attached to an official warning that it may not include boxing but appear as a maximum of eight, 2-minute sparring rounds. The ringside physician will be Dr. Nick, graduate of Club Med Med School.

But on we go. Yesterday my wife scolded me with, “It looks like you slept in those pajamas!”

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