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TV for the Lowest Common Denominator

ESPN Should Terminate "Jacked Up"

Update [2006-9-20 11:44:16 by tommasse]: Survey posted at end of story.

So during the few minutes I listened to Dennis and Callahan this morning on WEEI, they were talking about the Monday Night Football broadcast and how they felt about the presentation of the allegedly popular segment called "Jacked Up."

They don't like it.

Neither do I.

And that's an understatement.

As I mentioned in my post-game analysis earlier today, there's seems to be an conflagratory* epidemic ravaging the NFL. There appears to be an alarming number of players who are more interested in making highlight shows instead of doing their jobs properly.

Players seem to forget their responsibility to their teams and their teammates so they can get a clip on "Jacked Up", one of the most insidious, ridiculous (not Stewart Scott's ridiculous -- another thing I don't understand -- I'm kind of sick of all the street talk on ESPN, but that's another story) and utterly annoying, if not grossly insulting "features" ever created by ESPN, or anyone else for that matter.

The etymology of the phrase is cloudy at best. There is some indication it is gang-related. There is plenty of evidence that it is violence-related.

According to The Online Slang Dictionary:

jacked up adj 1. stabbed or attacked. ("He got into a fight and got all jacked up.") 2. broken or ruined. ("You really jacked his car up!") 3. displeasing, rude, etc. ("What you did to her was jacked up.")
Whatever its derivation, the segment is clearly directed at the lowest common denominator, and there seems to be one particular audience demographic that relishes it more than others.

During the morning radio discussion Gerry Callahan made a great point about the feature. Two of the desk jockeys are Steve Young, who suffered multiple concussions, and Michael Irvin, whose list of football injuries is longer than his rap sheet. The health of both of them has been seriously and detrimentally impacted by vicious hits sustained during their careers. How they can rationally partake in endorsing this moronic ritual is incomprehensible.

Yet there they are, as Callahan pointed out, laughing and mocking while their brethren get brutally mashed.

Now, we're all adults here. We know football is controlled barbarism at its finest, and we like it that way. Yes, we glorify its violent and aggressive characteristic. But most of us know there are lines that are not to be crossed. Football is about team competitiveness, not injuring people, and that's the difference between a normal highlight show and ESPN's revelry of near-criminal activity.

To their "credit," ESPN refuses to show plays in which players are actually injured. It's a thin disclaimer, because the types of injures sustained on many of these plays will not become evident for years.

Had "Jacked Up" existed a dozen years a go, a player consistently featured probably would have been Bill Romanowski, whose brain function now approximates that of a squeaky toy.

Ya, barrel of laughs.

Why players seem to feel the need to be on TV is up for speculation. One popular theory says they think a resume of clips on TV highlight shows will boost their value in contract negotiations.

It doesn't really matter. Coaches, those more interested in their teams' winning, should discourage the practice and the mentality.

And ESPN should stop promoting it.

Nice image you're projecting, ESPN. Nice image.

* "Conflagratory" may or may not a word, but I decided its possible meaning would be easily inferred and it would be descriptive in context. If anyone knows a better word, let me know.


Should ESPN abandon "Jacked Up"?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    (100 votes)
  • 30%
    (43 votes)
143 votes total Vote Now