Editorial: Let the Games Begin

Chad Johnson, the player formerly known as
Ochocinco (perhaps now, Ochosinko), had a really
bad week. He was arrested. Then he was fired by the
Miami Dolphins. Then he was fired by VH1. Then he
was fired by his wife. We racked our brains, but we
can’t remember anyone getting fired three times in
one week since Billy Martin managed the Yankees
under George Steinbrenner.

But even Chad’s firing made for great television, with it being captured by
HBO cameras that just happened to be featuring the South Florida gridiron side
in this year’s installment of Hard Knocks.

And that’s just the way it’s going for sports fans, who head from the Olympics
(you miss team handball, don’t you?) right into the best time of the year for
televised sports. From the baseball stretch drive (now featuring two extra playoff
slots to battle for) to the start of football—both college and pro—it’s about that
time when couches and waistlines across America get abused for months. You
know…because we’re so healthy the rest of the year.

TV ratings for sports continue to amaze, being trumped only by the even
more eye-catching rights fees that networks are coughing up to air the biggest
properties. Oh, who are we kidding—even the smaller ones are getting silly
money now, thanks to the TiVo-proof nature of sports and the multiple new allsports
networks that have popped up already, with another one expected next
year if and when Fuel rebrands as Fox Sports One.

Whether it’s thanks to social media or Tim Tebow going to the Jets, the
amount of eyeballs on sports shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. At
this point, the only thing that could hurt a sport is the sport itself. We are looking
squarely at you, National Hockey League. The NHL, which already struggles
for mainstream attention, is apparently going to miss part of its season due to a
work stoppage. If you really want to disappear with all the other sports options
available, it’s your funeral. Just be back by the Winter Classic outdoor game on
New Year’s Day; that’s the one everyone likes.

Summer will be coming to a close soon, and that’s too bad because it means
many people in the TV business have to start trying a little harder at their jobs
again. But we are sports fans around here, so football season kicking off is just
about a fair trade-off in our book.