Sunday, January 9, 2011


Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 1/9/2011

You may or may not be familiar with it from the Internet, but The Onion’s “Sports Dome” which is a parody/spoof of ESPN’s SportsCenter will begin its cable TV run on Tuesday night (1/11) at 10:30 PM ET (9:30 CT) on Comedy Central. It is sandwiched between “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”.

Even though it’s all fake, "Sports Dome" isn’t that much distinguishable from the real, often goofball ESPN "SportsCenter." There are the same loud sound effects, overdone graphics, and loud sports anchors.

The hosts are Alex Reiser (Matt Walton) and Mark Shepard (Matt Oberg), two ESPN-like wise-asses who could easily walk onto ESPN and pull off a few segments of teleprompter reading, complete with trivial banter back and forth and a cool attitude. Except in this case, they're just faking it.

When watching it, you will think that it is actually coming from ESPN’s home in Bristol, CT, if you weren’t aware of it. Basically, what they’re doing is mocking the ESPN show.

In the first few episodes there are segments about: the Lakers' Kobe Bryant unveiling his newest personality; a list of 27 new rules for the NBA submitted by King LeBron and his Miami Heat teammates to make the games cooler and more fun; the city of St. Louis to entice Albert Pujols to re-sign with the Cardinals giving him a "key to the city", which is a real key with which he can unlock all the doors in the metropolitan area; a 40-second recap of the last four years of the MLS; a "Make A Wish" story with an 8-year-old girl with cancer who gets to go to a Mets-Phillies game so she can heckle the shit out of Mets' 3B David Wright; and a bunch of other stuff that sounds fuckin' hilarious.

There will be some quasi-recognizable expert analysts, playing off cheesy sponsored segments. And for the gamblers and forecasters out there, there is "The Toad" who is locked in a cage and gives out his sports predictions, which will remind you of Chris Berman, as "The Swami". And there is "The Steam Room", which is the Onion's version of ESPN's "The Hot Seat".

I remember way back when SportsCenter first started out as a half-hour show that covered all the previous day's highlights. Over the years, SportsCenter has become a sensationalized sports orgy consisting of less highlights amd more sports analysis and opinions that repeats itself over and over and over and over. If you’ve read the Peanut Gallery before, you may have come across comments about the craziness of their coverage, but since most of us enjoy sports, it gets tolerated.

These days, reading twitter updates on air and deciding which athlete is "more now" are things that make it on the air. ESPN is stocked with insiders who constantly bombard us with bullshit "news" that is just them throwing stories against the wall to see what sticks in an effort to be first to break the story. This is tough to accept as acceptable journalism.

I rarely watch ESPN SportsCenter anymore, as the Internet gives me the sports info that I’m looking for in a more timely manner and without all the commercials and normal bullshit that you get from SportsCenter.

The Onion has decided to go after ESPN on cable and that pleases me very much because for years I have been trying to go after them, but to deaf ears. The Onion has had some great sports videos in the past and hopefully, we’ll get more of it.

I wish good luck to “Sports Dome” and will be watching the first few shows and hopefully, it will not disappoint me, as have so many other shows in the past that I looked forward to viewing.

If you aren't familiar with their work, below is a brief description of Episodes 1-16 of Season One. The link to Season One is:

Once you open it up, the 16 videos will play in succession and you can skip forward or back to the next or previous episode, as the case may be. You might even like it.


1. NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: Drive Fast (2:40) - On the eve of the Sears Classic 500, legendary NASCAR coach Dan Amon shares his strategy for driving really fast in circles.

2. "Just Give Me The Damn Sepak Takraw Ball" (2:05) - Sepak takraw fan favorite Nguyen Thi Buch Thuy has once again angered Coach Lap with his antics on the pitch.

3. NHL Star Called Up To Big Leagues To Play For NFL (1:51) - The Miami Dolphins have drafted NHL star Alexander Ovechkin, making his dream to play professional sports a reality.

4. 2-Year-Old Donkey Called Up To Pro Donkey Basketball League (2:14) - Scouts say Scraps is the best donkey basketball player they have seen in years, but some are concerned he's not mature enough for the big time.

5. Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jaguars Realize Randomness of Life (2:41) - After comprehending the capricious nature of fate, the Jaguars could not go through with the charade of playing a meaningless football game.

6. Yankees Building Vacation Stadium in the Hamptons (2:28) - The new facility will be an intimate beachfront stadium where the Yankees can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

7. First Openly Gay Racehorse To Compete Sunday (2:59) - As controversy swirls around thoroughbred Ship's Captain, the horse's trainer says people should focus on the horse’s abilities, not its sexuality.

8. Coughlin Retires From Family To Spend More Time With Team (2:24) - The Giants coach said he valued the years he spent with his family, but wants to focus on more important things now.

9. NCAA Expands March Madness To Include 4096 Teams (2:26) - Online universities and bible colleges will be among the thousands of teams vying to prove they are the best in the nation.

10. NHL Woos Fans By Increasing Scoring With Bigger Nets, 3-Point Line (1:58) - Hockey officials hope to attract fans and create a higher-scoring, fast-paced game with a new aerodynamic puck and artificial turf instead of ice.

11. Evander Holyfield To Box Horse For Heavyweight Title (2:35) - Boxing officials are hoping the once in a lifetime chance to see Holyfield try to take down thoroughbred, Evening Dream, will reignite interest in boxing.

12. NFL Players Mentor Troubled Detroit Lions (1:49) - Thanks to the NFL's Mentoring Program, the Lions got to spend a fun-filled day with the pros learning to catch, tackle, etc.

13. Bad Boy Fencing Star Implicated In Yet Another Jewel Heist (2:50) - Steam Room analysts debate whether the International Fencing Federation should rein in this rogue, or if De La Croix will narrowly escape again

14. Fatal Staples Center Collapse Brings Merciful End To Clippers Game (2:21)- People are breathing a sigh of relief today for the long-suffering spectators' sudden deaths, and for the total elimination of the Clippers’ roster from the face of the earth.

15. Packers Fan Announces He Will Return to Drinking For Another Season (2:48) - Chris Lukawski, a longtime devotee of the Packers and beer, is confident his battered liver and family can handle another NFL season of unrestrained alcohol consumption.

16. Jockey Liam Hollins The Favorite To Brutally Whip Horse To Kentucky Derby Win (2:39) - Fresh from his Blue Grass Stakes win, Hollins moves onto the Kentucky Derby where he hopes to be the first to mercilessly beat a horse across the finish line.



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