Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is retiring at the end of the 2014 season. And in typical ESPN fashion, the Worldwide Leader is covering his retirement tour like he’s a foreign dignitary visiting America. I present to you – the Jeet Index.
Is your mind blown yet? ESPN has dedicated an entire page of its site solely to Jeter – there’s a map of the ballparks he’ll play in this year (not so cleverly titled the “cap map”), curated articles about Jeter from ESPN, numerous photo galleries, and *plenty* of lists.
You know, when ESPN created the Heat Index a few years back, it wasn’t nearly as painful as this. At least that covered a team, a gimmick that ESPN has to expanded to the NFL and had already started with their city-themed sites. But dedicating a site to *one player*? One player that played in just 17 games last year, and was terrible when he was actually on the field?
What happens on nights like tonight, when Jeter goes 1 for 3 but the Yankees get stomped? What happens on the numerous occasions throughout the year where Jeter isn’t in the lineup? Hell, how do you create *any* content for the site that isn’t just verbally fellating Jeter? The damn site is called the Jeet Index, there aren’t exactly going to be many articles talking about whether or not the Yankees should bench him or if he should just end his retirement roadshow and hang up the spikes right now.
I don’t even know what this subsite is designed to accomplish. There are plenty of compelling storylines about the Yankees this year that have absolutely nothing to do with their retiring shortstop and his last season in the majors. Did someone at ESPN have a light bulb go on over their head this spring and say “by golly, we’re not covering Derek Jeter enough!”? Could that have actually happened?
The Jeet Index is so pointless, so meaningless, and the concept is something that will do nothing to dissuade people from thinking that ESPN only focuses on star players and large markets. This idea is a perfect example of why people love to detest ESPN, and the fact that it got green lit tells me that either A) ESPN is oblivious or B) ESPN doesn’t give a damn about what the casual viewer thinks about them.