If you don’t already have it in for the Miami Heat, the Worldwide Leader in LeBron James Overload is about to give a few more reasons to drink the
Kool-aid Haterade on October 11, when their “Heat Index” goes live. Check out some of the features you can expect:
- breaking news surrounding the Miami Heat;
- coverage of every Heat game and team practice;
- constantly updated aggregation of all ESPN stories regarding the Heat;
- Chase for 72 – an automated, daily forecast of how many games the Heat will win including ESPN.com’s John Hollinger projecting the odds of the Heat matching the Chicago Bulls’ record of 72 wins;
- Tracking the Big 3 – an automated tracking of how James, Wade and Bosh stack up against the best trios in NBA history;
- Heat Tweets – a module that collects tweets from Heat players and fans;
- complete video, podcast and story contributions from ESPN reporters Marc Stein, Chris Broussard, Chad Ford, Chris Sheridan, John Hollinger and Ric Bucher;
- Heat content from ESPN TV analysts;
- Hollinger Stats – automated applications featuring Hollinger’s analytics on the Heat team and players;
- Hollinger’s All-Time Power Rankings – a ranking pinning the Heat against the NBA’s all-time great teams;
- Triple-Double Tracker – a module tracking James’ progress towards averaging a triple-double for an entire season;
- Hoop Schemes – basketball analysis and video breakdowns by TrueHoop’s Arnovitz;
- video analysis by Scout Inc.’s David Thorpe;
- live chats during each Heat game involving Heat Index contributions;
- a Heat Index Facebook page;
- photo galleries of Heat players and celebrity fans;
- The Scene – Jemele Hill covering the culture, scene and lifestyle angles tied to South Beach as it relates to the Heat and the buzz surrounding the team;
- contributions from athletes, including former Heat players, and celebrities who live in South Florida and are regulars at Heat games.
Am I crazy, or is this a little excessive? I mean I grew up a Miami Heat fan, and this seems a ridiculous even to me. Oh, thank god we found another way to squeeze in some more celebrity face-time. “A module that collects tweets from Heat players and fans”?? I think they already have something like that – it’s called Twitter – and wouldn’t you know it, it even works outside the Miami Heat organization. I’m all for stat-tracking and the like but as much as I realize that ESPN is just following the money, it breaks my heart to see what is sure to be some of the highest-level athletic competition we’ve seen in a long time watered down with extraneous garbage. I don’t need to hear Jemele Hill reviewing restaurants on South Beach on ESPN, and I don’t need pictures of Will Smith & Son at games to make me interested in watching.
On the other hand, if ESPN’s goal is to make non-Heat fans RAGE to make sure they tune in to root against Miami, then I have to tip my hat to the new Worldwide Leader in Evil Genius-ing. It’s just not fair that I have to be the one getting wedgies on the playground for being a Heat fan.
The Heat will host the Detroit Pistons tonight at 7:30. You can watch on NBA TV or a local FOX affiliate, or follow ESPN’s coverage via espn.com.