We all know yesterday’s game was kind of boring as far as NFL football games go. Maybe it was the weather, but regardless, there was basically a lone highlight in the game as the Browns punted nine straight times during the 7-6 victory over the Chargers. Even still, I was riding my exercise bike this morning on a pretty nasty, wet day outside, and flipping around between ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and NFL Network, I didn’t see Trent Richardson’s 26-yard scamper even once. Maybe they showed it somewhere and I just missed it in my flipping, but I was also looking at those ubiquitous scrolling timelines that tell you what highlights are on the way, and I never saw it there either.
This isn’t a complaint about ESPN or NFL Network, specifically. I could lobby a lot of complaints about them in general,1 but I am not critical of them here. The Browns game was decidedly boring yesterday even if I’m elated that the team came out with the victory. I expect Browns fans and media to talk about how much tougher the Browns were mentally than the Norv Turner / Phillip Rivers-led team from San Diego. While Brandon Weeden was content to throw the ball away and just not turn the ball over, Rivers was screeching like a banshee and tossing could-be arm punts into the air.2 I don’t expect the national coverage to care much about it. Those are “deep cuts” in the wider NFL world. That doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for it in Cleveland.
As I said, this isn’t a complaint about ESPN or NFL Network. Rather, I’m wondering if there is a media gap large enough to be filled by someone like STO or Fox Sports Ohio. Even if there isn’t enough for a daily show, I wonder if one of those channels shouldn’t schedule a Monday Morning QB type NFL show centered around the Bengals and Browns, especially as those teams fight for national NFL relevance. I don’t know if it is even possible with TV rights and NFL rules, but I’ll ask it out loud anyway.
Is it possible? Does it make business sense? I have no idea. What I do know is that I would have been tuned in this morning for some deeper analysis of what happened yesterday in the Browns game even as it was one of the more boring Browns games, probably since the 6-3 wind-ruined Buffalo victory from a few years back.
So, what do you think? Is there enough demand for it or are we too far gone in the on-demand world of highlights on NFL.com for it to even matter?