After a year in which poker has become the fastest-growing "sport" on TV, it's no surprise that it has come to this:Okay, what's wrong with this picture? You got your poker; you got your "Rock, Scissors, Paper;" you got your totally manufactured babes in wet t-shirts scaling big mountains, etc. What you don't got—at least on Big Time Media, BTM—is shooting.
Fox Sports Net will air the World Rock Paper Scissors Championship -- yes, apparently there is one -- tonight as part of its "Best Damn Sports Show Period" (8 and 11 p.m.).
"Over the last three or four years, the line that separates sports and entertainment has been blurring. 'Best Damn Sports Show Period' is a perfect example," Fox Sports spokesman Lou D'Ermillio said. "It's going to be a fun telecast. It's not being presented as, let's say, the seventh game of the World Series."
The championship took place in October. The competition will be repackaged into a New Year's Eve special and possibly even a series (!!), according to the network.
If it's a hit, look for "Duck, Duck, Goose," "Freeze Tag" and "One-Two-Three Shoot" coming to a cable channel near you.
Of course, that's understandable...after all, sport shooting is just behind jogging and bicycling in terms of participation. That puts sport shooting ahead of mountain biking, in-line skating, the entire roster of the ESPN X-Games, skiing, snowboarding, hacky-sack, dog frisbee, big wave surfing, drunken college students surfing the hoods of moving cars, curling, high-stakes poker, badmitton, rugby, dodgeball, pin the tail on the Demo...whoops, donkey...and a host of sports we're force-fed on the roughly 3,000 BTM sports channels.
Do you suppose that our absence in the BTM might, just maybe, have something to do the fact that all of sport shooting, whether it's hunting big game or plinking with a BB gun, has something to do with firearms? I mean, I know that's crazy, but why would BTM pass up revenue, allowing upstarts like The Outdoor Channel (and bless their hearts!!!) to siphon away millions of dollars in real bucks, if it wasn't because of firearms?
That's not bias, is it?
I talked to the sports editor for Associated Press in Chicago a couple of years back about why AP ignored the shooting sports. He told me that if the shooting sports had any support at all, why didn't he read about them in the paper? I suggested that, since he was one of the gate-keepers, we'd entered into a chicken-and-egg sort of thing. His response:
"I've got real sports to cover, little boy, so bye-bye."And he hung up on me. Damn, those sports editors are erudite! Maybe I should have taken notes.