The L.A. Times’ sports media writer, Larry Stewart, ended his column today by pointing out that 10 years ago, everyone hated the continuously on-screen score display when Fox introduced it, and now everyone loves it, so perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to judge Fox’s latest innovation, Scooter the Talking Baseball.
Well, there are a couple of faulty premises here. For one thing, I watched Fox’s first preseason NFL game in the summer of 1994 and remember that I thought it was a pretty good idea to have the time remaining on-screen throughout (and was indifferent, at worst, to having the score up there as well).
More importantly, I think even people who hated the on-screen score display could tell that there was a sensible rationale behind it. The entire rationale behind Scooter seems to be “kids will love to watch baseball on TV if there’s an animated talking baseball telling them what a fastball is, even if the game starts at 8:30 Eastern and lasts past midnight,” which I don’t think is sensible.
Also, when the on-screen score display was first introduced, it didn’t make any noise, unlike Scooter.
Levi: I still refuse to believe that Scooter exists.