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Monday, February 4, 2008

Elsewhere on the Gridiron...

(originally posted at MyESPN, mid-January 2008)

I've made no secret that at times, my band-dorkness will creep into this blog. This is one of those times.

So back in September, ESPN2, for the third consecutive year, showed a ESPN-produced broadcast of the Drum Corps International World Championships, most recently taking place in the Granddaddy of 'em All, the Rose Bowl. As I had the previous year, I recorded this broadcast on my DVR, and there it remains, so if the desire presents itself, I can watch it all over again.

A few weeks ago, DCI announced that the broadcast won't return this year, citing the cost of producing it. This doesn't pose a problem for me in terms of viewing (I'll be at World Championships this year) and DCI's wording alludes to the possibility of it returning, but I still think it's a daggone shame.

Perhaps it's because I'm a fan of both drum corps and ESPN, but I thought it was a well-done production that got better each year. While the full shows were never shown, ESPN's production and analysis were enjoyable and satisfied both the band dork and the sports fan in me. More important were the intangibles--the opportunity to expose many to an activity that otherwise would likely have only been viewed on PBS by those of us who were already fans. It also makes me wonder: Do the major sports have to put money into the production of their broadcasts? Does poker? Does cheerleading? Does competitive jump rope?

Regardless, I'd love to see the broadcast return to the Worldwide Leader, if not this year, sometime soon.


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