When ESPN couldn't show Olympic highlights, they did the next logical thing – made Tim Tebow and the Jets their Olympics. And boy, did they go for the gold. Remember those days when SportsCenter transformed into JetsCenter and ESPN slapped the fancy "DEVELOPING STORY" or "BREAKING NEWS" tags on someone sneezing in Cortland? Remember when Sal Paolantonio was embedded with the Jets and having to file daily reports on the Jets practicing Wildcat plays and Tim Tebow lining up on the punt team? Remember when SportsCenter threw a day long birthday celebration for the backup quarterback of the New York Jets?
Remember SportsCenter's darkest days?
We sure do! And so does SportsCenter because now they admit that, well, yes, that JetsCenter coverage may have been just a shade on the heavy side. While not fully admitting TebowMania 2.0 and the Jetpocalypse was overdone, SportsCenter executive producer Mark Gross did have this to say about pulling back after hundreds of hours devoted to Gang Green and their quarterback situation to Newsday:
"Honestly, a couple of weeks in we pulled back because it did feel at that point, in training camp, that we weren't reporting anything all that new. We just didn't need to be there every single day."
"I wouldn't say it failed, but we tried something, wanted to be aggressive with the coverage, he said. We learned over the first couple weeks this is pretty good. We also learned, you know what, we don't need to be embedded with the Jets. We'll do just fine if we're not."
While it's encouraging to see SportsCenter finally saw the forest for the trees on this one, the troubling aspect is that it took two full weeks of the Jetpocalypse to realize nothing new was being done or reported.
Between you and me, I don't have my hopes up for the same kind of restraint throughout the regular season.