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Jay Dreyer :: ESPN's Simulated Press Conferences

ESPN's Simulated Press Conferences

One of the benefits of being laid up due to surgery is that I get to watch a lot of TV that I normally wouldn’t have a chance to watch. I’ve seen a lot of movies, Simpsons re-runs and last night’s nose-achingly funny episode of Arrested Development. (Tobias as the mole…just hilarious.)

I have, however, stumbled upon what might be the dumbest thing I’ve seen on TV in a while…ESPN’s simulated press conferences shown during SportsCenter. Let me try to set the stage for you. Steve Philips, former Mets GM and current ESPN baseball analyst, comes out to a waiting throng of reporters and cameramen and pretends to be a general manager for a major league baseball team. He comes out, gives a prepared statement and then goes on to answer questions. So far he has pretended to be the GM for the Red Sox, Yankees (surprise) and Cubs. I have no idea how many teams they’re planning on doing this for, but I for one cannot wait for the simulated Devil Rays press conference.

Can somebody out there help me understand this? Why? Why? WHY? I find real press conferences close to useless, so I’m stumped as to why ESPN has found it necessary to come up with these “fake” ones. The level of detail is just amazing, too. Respected reporters are participating in this. Jeremy Schapp, Buster Olney, Karl Ravech, and whoever else is sitting around the cafeteria in Bristol joins in. They have photographers. Everyone shouts out, “Steve! Steve!” so they can get their questions heard. Philips even matches his wardrobe to the team’s colors.

The thing is, I just don’t get it. The whole thing strikes me as over-the-top silliness – and that’s saying something considering the source. The “reporters” ask relatively interesting questions, and Philips does his best to give insightful answers. Fine. But let’s keep in mind that Philips doesn’t work for ANY of these teams. He’s just giving his opinion. I’d be much more interested in seeing him on SportsCenter giving his opinion than this traveshamockery. What a waste.


| posted 11/08/2005 09:42 PM