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Masoud: Take the ESPN challenge until spring training starts (Feb. 16)

Chris Masoud | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It’s that time of year again, that slow lull when the sports world doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. From Super Bowl Sunday to Selection Sunday, fans wade through the eye of the storm as the networks desperately search for anything that can grab our attention.

2012 was heading in that usual direction until its path was unceremoniously disrupted. SportsCenter was debating the legacy of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning in the morning and suddenly discussing the sensation of Jeremy Lin by the evening.

But let’s assume I can go through the next 560 words without making a single Linsanity pun or reference to the phenomenon. Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and every other publication have done a pretty good job of dissecting every remotely possible angle of this story. I will respectfully abstain.

Instead, if the Knicks had lost Feb. 4 — which would have been their sixth loss in seven games — we’d probably be interested in my Most Extreme ESPN Challenge.

Too worried about police finding certain beverages in your backpack to take on Hesburgh Library? Too hungry to accept Waste-Free Wednesdays in the dining halls? Then sit back, take Friday off and tune in to ESPN.

12:00 a.m. The first of 12 straight hours of SportsCenter begins. Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott guide you through the NBA and NHL circuit, breaking up the highlight commentary with tweets from LeBron James and Mark Cuban. A brief segment of an exclusive interview with CC Sabathia and a piece on Tom Brady’s wife appear amidst the highlights as well.

2:00 a.m. Late-night snack and more SportsCenter.

3:00 a.m. Just as you begin to memorize the lines, the set changes and Neil Everett and Stan Verrett begin hosting SportsCenter L.A. Don’t be fooled — they’re the same highlights.

9:00 a.m. The set changes again and Sage Steele leads the commentary of the same highlights you saw last night. The segments are the same. The Top 10 plays are the same. The hair and the tweets are different.

12:00 p.m. No-name hosts lead the broadcast for the next

three hours. Fresh sports news has started to come in, and for these aspiring anchors and potential primetime replacements, nothing is more important than delivering the latest and greatest in witty form.

12:45 p.m. Adam Schefter reports Ben Roethlishberger didn’t like his breakfast. Bill Belichick bought a new sweater. Tom Brady’s wife will be on a photo shoot in the Caymans.

2:30 p.m. Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay cross-examine each other’s draft board. Kiper has Michael Floyd as the No. 3 wide receiver taken off the board. McShay has him at No. 2.

3:00 p.m Veteran Bob Ley begins the broadcast of Outside the Lines. Ley narrates an interesting discussion on concussions in high school football and the implications for the NFL. For the first time since 12:01 a.m., you are listening.

3:30 p.m. Baseball Tonight is airing in February. Opening day is April 4. Wow.

4:00 p.m. NFL Live is on. The Super Bowl ended less than two weeks ago. Wow.

5:00 p.m. Tony Reali randomly awards points for whoever talks louder on Around the Horn.

5:01 p.m. You throw the remote control at the television screen when Woody Paige opens his mouth.

5:30 p.m. Finally the only reason you have a television set: Pardon the Interruption. The Emmy Award-winning show features intelligent banter, humorous mini-games and authentic interviews. Kornheiser and Wilbon, we thank you.

6:00 p.m. The most unnecessary hour of SportsCenter comes on. You wish you had a class that began this late.

7:00 p.m. NBA Countdown and live NBA action take you to the end of the night.

As you take out the T.V. dinner from the microwave, you resign yourself to the subpar basketball of a 66-game season and live cut-ins to Lob City.

But why are the Knicks on again this week?

Contact Chris Masoud at cmasoud@nd.edu

The views expressed in this Sports Authority column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.