Tuesday, March 27, 2007

End of the Sports Machine

George Michael's Sports Machine a weekly recap sports show that aired at 11:30 PM on Sunday nights has been a weekly routine in my life for over 20 years. The Sports Machine was ESPN before there was an ESPN.

According to USA Today The Sports Machine is going off the air because NBC which financed the show demanded several staff cuts. George Michael said that if there were layoffs he would be the first to go. Which just proves that the classy guy I watch interviewing athletes for over 20 years wasn't just an image cultivated for the show.

I'll miss the sports machine. But mostly I'll miss the "Plays of the month" monthly feature that George did. I always recorded that segment, first on tape and lately on DVD and used it as pregame entertainment for our superbowl parties each year.

The best feature George ever did was a fairwell to Julius Erving. His musical montage of Dr. J's basketball career was a masterpiece. When I showed it to a couple die hard basketball fans it left them in tears. My biggest regret was that he didn't do the same kind of show for Walter Payton when he retired from football. He wanted to, but Walter asked him not to make a fuss about his retirement and being the classy guy George is, he complied.

I know the Sports Machine was just a 30 minute sports highlight show. But my family is going to miss it almost more than me. Because now they have to sit and listen to me prattle on about the good old days when the Sports Machine was on.

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