But something ESPN’s touched has gone to shit! Can you believe it?
Anyway, as the post before has shown, I was outraged as to how the Spelling Bee is now run. It’s a disappointment to end all disappointments. It’s like finding out there’s no Santa Claus and 100% aren’t really your boys. You just get depressed.
Don’t believe me? Actually have a life on Friday Nights? Well let me tell you why the modern spelling bee blows.
1. No oversized polo shirts.
Remember when the Bee started on the Worldwide leader? The kids would be wearing white polo shirts about 25 sizes too big. And in a way? It was perfect. You have this singular group of special kids who, in wearing ill-fitting clothes, were shown to be as misfitted as the child in his schoolyard environment.
Now? They’re wearing their own clothes. It forces them to lose a part of their mystique. And yet, with the move to prime time? ESPN felt a need to add to the pressure.
2. The parents onstage.
Here’s the thing. If you’re socially awkward? National television is not a place where you’re at your best. Add your stage parents on the stage and eliminate the comfort room? That’s just shitty.
Really. Say you’re Wendy Guey (MOGWAI!) and you’re given mycetophagus. You’re stumped. Flat out. You’re time on the stage is growing short. And you throw the desperation full court heave.
You don’t get the comfort room anymore. You have to sit on stage with your stage parents who don’t want to say that they’re so disappointed in you, but you know in your heart that they are, and you have to watch some Indian kid who was bred to detect a dipthong from two towns over take the title that was rightfully yours!
…or so I’ve heard.
3. Spelling shot clock.
Now in certain elements a shot clock is necessary. If school didn’t have a shot clock, no child in their right mind would show. Basketball goes from lame to awesome with a shot clock. But fringe sports?
FRINGE SPORTS DON’T NEED A SHOT CLOCK!
Do you think there isn’t drama in you knowing what a speller doesn’t? Don’t you want the speller rolling out with a miracle guess in minute 4? It’s like the poker player who puts someone to the test with 42 off-suit and the other guy comes up with a miracle call? Pure fucking drama.
A shotclock is another way ESPN has made this spelling bee artificial. Boo. Boo I say.
But the 4th one? The 4th one is going to be the twist that M. Night Shamalyan wishes he could think up.
4. Erin Andrews
Really. The Bloggers favorite made the spelling conditions worse on this day. I mean, you have a classy lady within your eyeline at all times, and if you’re a dude, I think you had to have her in fantasy mode in the back of her mind. And if you’re a young lady?
This does not engender a fully formed and actualized Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee experience. Not her fault, but come on ESPN. We need Katie Kerwin in our lives like we need gawky kids on National TV!
Then again, when a company decides to take something to “the next level,” this is what happens. The nice cable event? It becomes an overproduced piece of crap. I want my old spelling bee back.
(And if you’re asking if a part of this is bitterness that Sidharth lost? Yes. Yes it is. He’s if Justin Carroll and Rebecca Sealfon had a love child of Spelling Bee awesome.)