Thoughts From the ESPN Up Fronts: Erin Andrews, Shamateurism, Grantland, the Unending Emasculation of Mike Greenberg

ESPN Up Fronts were today. Neon lighting. Mascots gyrating at you and forcing you to fist bump while you’re held hostage on an escalator. Awful night club music. Drab suits. Recurring Tebow imagery. It’s basically exactly what you would expect. Here are a few thoughts.

What’s New? Not a whole lot. 30 for 30 is coming back. Grantland is getting a YouTube channel. Kenny Mayne is coming out with a show that looks sort of like No Reservations, but for sports.

On Expiring Contracts: Michelle Beadle was not there for obvious reasons, though Erin Andrews was out front and center schilling for ESPN’s college football coverage. The Up Fronts had segments on Soccer, NASCAR and the X Games. There was no MLB segment, there were no MLB personalities and there did not appear to be an MLB logo on a graphic with all the league partners. Read into that what you will.

On Corporate College Sports: At a time where other outlets are debating “amateur” college sports becoming an anti-educational corporate cesspool, ESPN trotted out “the” Ohio State University marching band for its big sell to advertisers. They are also really excited about the new Pac 12 and ACC deals. Included among highlighted in the college football segment were such marquee match-ups as “Oregon vs. Arizona State” and “Florida State vs. Virginia Tech.”

On War Correspondents: Lisa Salters joins the Monday Night Football crew. She will be “in the trenches,” in “the heat of the battle,” to cover the “vicious battles” between players “gunning” for one another. She’ll be covering “the special games” played in the NFC East.

On Metrosexuality: I’m not sure if you’ve heard this before, but Mike Greenberg is not very masculine. He wears flamboyant outfits on Dancing with the Stars. He was “thrown off the chess team” in high school. Mike Golic is much larger than him. Sage Steele might be able to beat him up. This shtick is old, and it’s 2012. Can we dispense with the heteronormative jock picking on little girly man jokes?

On Grantland: Grantland is the first website “to successfully blend sports and pop culture.” (Their emphasis, not mine.) We’re just going to assume that’s a shot at the now deceased Page 2.

First Take: Skip Bayless and Stephen A were there selling ESPN’s awesome NBA coverage. The duo has, apparently, “elevated argument to an art form.” Socrates was just dragging his knuckles. Epistemology? Pssh. Did he even have a take on Tebow?

[Photo via Presswire]

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