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It’s Good To Be King

By Mark Solway | June 1st, 2006

Power: We all know how power works in sports. One team has the most power while the others stand in line behind it, dutifully losing their games each week to the more powerful team. How is this determined? By the Power Rankings, of course. It’s a proven formula, it’s science, it’s unassailable knowledge, it’s empirical fact, it’s a LAW handed down by the WORLDWIDE LEADER IN SPORTS . Actually, it’s crap. That is what power rankings amount to, totally subjective, inherently biased and unavoidably uniformed rankings that are, by their very nature, arbitrary. They have absolutely no value whatsoever. And ESPN knows that, whether they acknowledge it or not. These rankings are done purely to inspire a reaction, hopefully a negative one. The more backlash a piece creates, the more said piece gets viewed, fan A passes the link to fan B who posts it somewhere so fans C through Z can click and fume. It’s a snowball of anger. (If anyone knows how to make one of those, please PM me) And the folks at ESPN just smile … with dollar signs on their teeth. Actually I have no way of knowing they have dollar signs on their teeth but I hope they do. But they smile, dollar signs or no, because we (the collective we, fans in general) are making them money. Loads of it. In today’s world of online advertising, page views are king. The formula is a simple one: an advertiser pays based on the number of viewers a site can deliver to a page. The more viewers that click, the more potential customers the advertiser reaches, the more money ESPN makes. Understand it is this very reason ESPN runs these things, it’s the reason they employ morons like Jay Mariotti and everyone on Someone Ordered Pizza Last Night and Didn’t Eat It All and most of the people on Look Around the Room to See What Poor Diet and No Exercise Does to You After 45. ESPN will continue to do these things until we as fans learn to IGNORE them. If we ignore and disregard and do not, under any circumstances, click, ESPN will be forced to change. Until then ESPN will continue to be king … and all because the subjects are…

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