ESPN’s Latest Sports Center Gimmick: “Mt. Rushmore of Sports”


Ugh. ESPN has decided to once again has decided to add a fan-based, nonsensical feature to Sports Center. This winter, you’ll be able to nominate individuals for something called the “Mt. Rushmore of Sports”, and after Rick Reilly runs the segment into the ground on Sports Center daily, vote on the four people that should represent your state’s make believe, Mount Rushmore. Via ESPN….

SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship news and information program, and ESPN.com, the leading online sports destination, will combine to present a five-week, fan-based series to celebrate the sports icons from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The series, titled “SportsCenter Mount Rushmore of Sports,” will use fan-generated nominations on ESPN.com to identify the top four sports greats in each state/region, and online voting to select the state with the most impressive collection of sports luminaries worthy of being etched in the state’s Mount Rushmore of sports.

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As part of the series, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com award-winning columnist Rick Reilly will host daily SportsCenter segments focusing on the top five states/regions selected by fans as having the most significant collection of sports icons Monday, Feb. 16 – Friday, Feb. 20, beginning daily at 9 a.m. ET. Reilly, who joined ESPN in June 2008 as a multimedia essayist and contributor to the network’s coverage of marquee events, will also pair with PTI co-host and Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon, and a Associated Press writer (one per state/region) to pick the fourth “must have” luminary for each state/region.

Beginning Sunday, Jan. 18, fans can submit names of their top three athletes, coaches and/or team executives in their state by logging on to: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/sportscenter/mtrushmore. To be eligible, the sports icons must be individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of sports in their respective states/regions (athletes, coaches, team executives, owners, media/commentators, et al).

During the week of February 2-7, ESPN.com will reveal the final four names for each state/region. Fans can log on and rank the top five states/regions. In addition, February 8-14, the site will include an online exclusive content featuring ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Steve Bunin discussing and debating the selections. On television February 16-20, Reilly’s “SportsCenter Mt. Rushmore of Sports” segments will profile the five finalists and argue the merits of each of the top five states/regions.

At the conclusion of Reilly’s segments on SportsCenter, fans can vote online for the top state/region Feb. 20-23, and the winner will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 24, on SportsCenter at 6 p.m.

Sorry for the length of that blockquote, but I thought it was necessary so you could understand the sheer nonsense of the idea. This is just like the annoying “Titletown” stunt, but with actual people instead of cities and towns. The fact that Rick Reilly is involved makes me dread it even that much more.

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