ESPN Airs Real 'Friday Night Lights,' Bothers Locals

By Alex Weprin Comment

Sometimes, seeing how the TV sausage is made is not the most pleasant experience. Take the example of the fine folks of Folsom, California which hosted ESPN last week when the network televised a high school matchup between Folsom and nearby Grant.

The coaches, players and local media were excited… until they got a taste of what TV is all about:

“The national exposure is great for the kids and the fans, but being told exactly what you could have on your sideline, like water buckets, is new to me,” Grant coach Mike Alberghini said. “During a game, I’m in a tunnel vision of thought and anger, but this was (different).

It may be new to him, but that is how ESPN-and most other TV networks-operate. Did the network inconvenience some people? Perhaps, but what ESPN did was not all that bad.

A commenter on the story nailed it:

Look folks, any time a large network comes into cover a regional event, they’re going to take control. That’s a given — and whether they want to admit it or not, they all knew what was coming. ESPN plans these things right down to the last detail. To whine about their “attitude” late in the week is silly and only makes those doing so look stupid and uninformed.

Exactly. ESPN did what ESPN always does, and it ended up with a smooth, professional product.