SportsCenter’s Decline

Matt Feeney:

On ESPN’s reality show, Dream Job, aspiring sportscasters auditioned for an anchor job on SportsCenter, which is more than the network’s flagship news and highlight show. It is the sports show whose late-night edition, between 1992 and 1997, achieved iconic status in the hands of anchors Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. Dream Job was something of an ordeal to watch. The contestants read too fast or too haltingly, exclaimed inappropriately, got snagged on Slavic hockey names, and painfully tested look-at-me catchphrases and snarky tonal flourishes. It’s strange that ESPN added Dream Job to its lineup since they already have a show in which aspirants compete, with an irritating surfeit of eagerness and theatrical sarcasm, to capture the singular vibe of Dan and Keith. It’s called SportsCenter.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. “Da-Da-Dunt (refrain) DA-DA-DUNT!”

    I remember the NotreDame Coaching story, and ESPN pressuring ND to hire a black coach… then fast forward one year and ESPN didnt say anything at all about the Alabama job or Texas A&M job(re: hiring Black Coaches)… don’t get me wrong, I like Coach Ty(ND head coach), but it seems to me ESPN singled out ND because of their NBC contract…

    ESPN the virtuous? (no)

    ESPN the business. (Boo-Yow)


  2. delta dave says:

    I guess Tony Kornheiser will be trying out on Dream Job any day now…

  3. Blake says:

    I used to be a fan of the show but once Stuart Scott came along, I’ve virtually stopped watching it. He annoys the living crap out of me.

  4. Rob M says:

    What? Who are you people? Why don’t you just come out and say that you hated Caddyshack!

    While some men think of sports and hear the voices of Red Barber, Vince Scully, Mel Allen and Harry Carry todays men hear Dan, Chris and the gang. Look some may not be your favorites (I hate Kenny Mayne) and the 3 shows a day might not be great all the time. But as a whole Sportscenter is the best thing going today.

    But if I ever see one of those dreamjob kids on my 6 or 11 pm show, I may throw up in my mouth.