ESPN's college football coverage was interrupted by Aaron Judge's at-bats last Saturday.
Screenshot from YouTube

Bristol, We Have a Problem: ESPN Airing Judge's At-Bats Over CFB Was Mind Boggling


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You think you want to watch college football on a Saturday in late September. You think you want to see a revamped Wake Forest take on powerhouse Clemson in a ranked ACC matchup. You think you want to watch Missouri and Auburn square off in a bizarre game of SEC bottom feeders.

Think again.

You want to watch baseball. Specifically, you want to watch New York Yankees star Aaron Judge try to tie Roger Maris' American League single-season home run record of 61. ESPN knows it. You know it. But you don't know that ESPN knows you know it.

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So, when Clemson and Wake Forest were trading punches late in the game and Missouri looked to be setting themselves up for a win, ESPN did you a favor by splitting the screen to a Judge at-bat against the Boston Red Sox. They even did you one better. They switched the audio to the baseball broadcast, too.

Just as ESPN predicted, you and all college football fans loved it.

ESPN Forces Aaron Judge At-Bats into College Football Broadcasts

Or...maybe you didn't. Don't worry, you're not alone. Several fans took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.

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As you can see the programming decision was received gracefully. Even Sean McDonough, the play-by-play announcer for the Wake Forest/Clemson game, was thrilled.

Let's get real, though (as I lock my hands, take a deep breath, gather myself and lean forward). Who thought this would be a good idea? It's the wrong choice for so many reasons. One, he's trying to tie the record, not break it. Two, the people who care are probably already watching the game. Three, the people who don't, aka the college football audience already tuned in, don't want to see their game interrupted by baseball. I get it. Baseball records are cool, and Judge is having an unreal season, but this isn't Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in '98. This isn't Barry Bonds chasing the all-time home run record.

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ESPN heard the outcry and pledged not to cut to Judge's at-bats against the Toronto Blue Jays during Monday Night Football between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Ironically, it would've been perfectly fine. The New York City fanbase would've cared to see Judge take some swings.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports appears to have learned its lesson, though: don't mess with college football Saturdays.

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