E-Sports Time! What’s the Deal Cowherd?
I wanted to do another league time blog, but that will have to wait. No instead this needs to be addressed and discussed. What is the deal with Collin Cowherd?
For those that don’t know the situation let me break it down for you. Back in February when Heroes of the Storm (HOS) (the newest MOBA by Blizzard) came out, ESPN decided to air the finals of a special HOS tourney called Heroes of the Dorm (HOD), a collegiate tourney of HOS. Now normally ESPN airs this on their web streaming service ESPN 3 for online viewers and it does pretty well there. But to many that’s where HOD should of stayed, ONLINE.
Many questioned the decision of broadcasting HOD on ESPN 2, even though many go to ESPN 2 to watch things like World Series of Poker, Billiards, Bowling, and Eating. Now how does something like some very talented and gifted college students playing HOS draw such irate and angry responses, but something like watching Joey Chestnut downing 62 hot dogs not draw these responses.
One major hater for E-sports and its’ competitors is Colin Cowherd. Cowherd was employed by ESPN at the time of HOD and he was not happy with his employer’s decision to air it. He stated “Here’s what’s going to get me off the air. If I am ever forced to cover guys playing video games, I will retire and move to a rural fishing village and sell bait.” He also stated “Somebody lock the basement door at mom’s house and don’t let ’em out. I will quit this network if I am ever asked to cover that. I tolerated Donkey Kong. I’ll tell you what that was the equivalent of… of me putting a gun in my mouth and having to listen to that.” Cowherd would eventually leave ESPN after he said these things on his radio show for ESPN, and now he works for FOX Sports.
But Cowherd’s hatred and borderline bigotry attitude towards E-Sports and it’s competitors is still strong. Just recently he was seen on his show for FOX Sports, The Herd making fun of competitive fight game players. He pulled up a clip from this year’s EVO competition, the biggest fighting game tourney of the world. In which pro Guilty Gear Xrd player ODG.Nage thought he won the round and the tourney, but celebrated too early and ended up losing the finals to Ogawazato. In the video Cowherd went on to attack Nage stating “There goes Spencer, he’s leaving the event and walking across the street to his mom’s house, where he still lives at 29. He goes over to the refrigerator, opens it up, he’s got a Hot Pocket! Oh yeah, microwave next. Look at the cheese! Big night for Spencer. Now he’s going upstairs to his room, a room where a girl has never entered. He sits down — look at that Star Wars collection.”
Now I have to ask, did a E-Sports Gamer steal your first girlfriend, or did a “nerd” wrong you in a past life Mr. Cowherd? This hatred is uncalled and unprofessional, especially towards a phenomena and booming industry such as E-sports.
E-Sports is shown to be just as popular as those “real sports” that Cowherd wants ESPN to cover. In fact sometimes E-Sports is more viewed than these real sports, such as The DOTA 2 Internationals drawing more viewers than the NBA Finals, and the League of Legends Worlds Championships drawing more viewers than The Masters, and the World Series combined.
But also why be so hypocritical Cowherd? His latest tirade was provoked by the news that a New Counter-Strike League will be launching by Turner and IMG in 2016 and will be broadcasted on TBS. Now we know how much Cowherd doesn’t like the idea of E-Sports airing on TV which unleashed his fury. But he acts like ESPN when he was there didn’t air E-Sports.
Back in 2005 ESPN launched a new program on ESPN 2 called Madden Nation. In this program some of the Top Madden players from the United States would compete for their favorite player in the NFL, which sponsored them by giving them their jersey to wear during games. Madden Nation was a moderate success, lasting 4 season from 2005-2010.
So how come something like Madden Nation that aired two years after Cowherd joined ESPN was ok, but HOD and E-Sports now are such a controversy? Did Cowherd at the time believe that it was just a passing fad, or did he think because it’s about an athletic sport like football it’s ok?
Or is he discriminating against the “nerd” stereotype? The player of Madden Nation didn’t fit that stereotypical nerd image we have, you know thick glasses, high up jeans, and skinny/scrawny looking. Now looking at the stereotypical MOBA player, they fit that description to the key, players like TSM’s Bjergsen or Impulse’s Apollo are prime examples of the nerd stereotype in E-Sports. Is that really that wrong though; what is wrong with looking like a “nerd.” Just because E-Sports players don’t fit the athletic sports build doesn’t mean these players aren’t talented or gifted like other athletes. Just because these players don’t run a 4.3 40 or jump up over 3 feet doesn’t mean they don’t have gifts and talents like other athletes.
Poker players and Billiards players are praised for their knowledge and smarts when it comes to their respective sports, so why not praise E-Sports players in the same regard. These players commit 10-15 hours a day learning every inch of their respective games, from what hits at what frames, to what items are the best for their style of play and character they select.
IT’S NOT CONSISTENT EITHER! Poker, Billiards, Bowling, and most Athletic sports remain basically the same; rules, same guidelines, same winning strategies same everything. But E-Sports is different. About twice a month the games change with constant patches that change the characters, items, or other things about the game. Meaning E-Sports players have to be really quick at adapting to the constant changes. It forces players to have to commit tons and tons of time learning each new change to see what still works and what doesn’t.
Cowherd’s comments and rants make you wonder is he jealous of E-Sorts players? Could it be he’s mad that more people would rather watch “nerds playing their games” rather than watch sports like NBA or MLB. Could he also be jealous that these players make loads of money being the best at something? How is it any different than guys like CC Sabthia getting paid to be the best pitcher in MLB, or LeBron James making money for being one of the best players in the NBA?
Cowherd represents a problem with the modern sports world. So afraid and unwillingly to accept change that he reverts to immature and unprofessional insults and comments. It’s time to wake up Cowherd, because E-Sports are here and they’re rising faster than you can put them down!
September 30th, 2015