Website Review: ESPN Surfing

7 08 2009

espnsurf

First, let’s start with the navigation and esthetics of this ESPN website. The site is pleasing on the eyes in a feng shui on Ritalin sort of way. The navigation is fairly uncomplicated, that is if you don’t mind developing carpel tunnel syndrome after a few visits. The good news is after all those mouse clicks you’ll develop the speed, dexterity and hand-eye coordination to beat Billy the Kid in a gun fight.

Now let’s get to the writing and content. Keep in mind ESPN is the very website that pays Rick Reilly more than a million dollars a year to write in-depth columns about his dentist appointments. I’m not kidding. A Google search for “Rick Reilly dentist” produces 16,000 results. His columns are as painful and gruesome as passing a kidney stone in that very dentist’s office bathroom while waiting for a root canal.

I can’t be sure but I think the ESPN Surfing stylebook and libel manual mandates the words “X Games” and “ESPN Surfing exclusive” appear in every post. Who could forget the post about Jake Howard’s quiver? Or what about the stirring conversation piece about bringing surfing back to the X Games? Have you fallen asleep yet? Stay with me.

Let’s take a look at the ESPN surfing team.

Jake Howard
I was a little hard on Jake in Surfing’s Mitchell Report. I wrote “If Barry Bonds was sheet white and wore a corn husk toupe he would look just like Jake Howard.”  This time I provide photographic evidence.

barr_jake

Mr. Howard appears to be one of the best press release re-writers in the industry. He used to work for SURFER magazine. Good credentials. I know writing stimulating stories about the surf industry on a daily basis is a painful and difficult task. Trust me. I’ve done the research. He seems like a nice enough chap. What I’m saying is he could use a little more frosting on his donut. A little more pizzazz. You’re not writing obituaries and captions for grip-and-grin photos here buddy.

Jon Coen
He’s from the East Coast. New Jersey to be exact. Name two good things  from New Jersey? You can’t, because the Sopranos weren’t real and Bon Jovi sucks. (edit: a quick Wikipedia search reminded me that Frank Sinatra and Dean Randazzo grew up in Jerz, but you get my point.) I think it’s great ESPN recognizes the need for some talent from the Right Coast. When they hire someone with talent I’ll be the first to let you know.

Kimball Taylor
I actually have a lot of respect for Kimball Taylor and I’m surprised he supplements his income by contributing to this Disney-owned crash test vehicle. Come on Kimball. Get your soul back. Hemmingway didn’t go around submitting short stories to Wave Action to supplement his bullfighting habit.

Christina Scannapiego
She’s another New Jersey native. How many Jersey writers does a surfing web site need? Hell, I’ll bet ESM doesn’t even have one. I don’t necessarily have a problem with Christina. In fact, after scouring the site, I couldn’t find anything she’s written. Maybe she ghost writes Howard’s re-writes of press releases. Maybe she’s waiting for a hurricane swell to hit Ashbury Park? Maybe she’s working on the sequel to the “Sex and the City” movie. Who knows? But if you can get the four-letter network to pay you for doing nothing you’ve already made one fan.

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5 responses

7 08 2009
Larry Bertleman's Fro

Holy shit. I just spit my coffee on the keyboard. Keep this stuff coming. Espns surf site in crap, but they have a pretty cool profile of Clay Marzo. But it was made by E;60 for tv and doubt if any of these guys had anything to do with it.

7 08 2009
Not impressed

Really? A blog called nugable has the audacity to bash other sites?

7 08 2009
James Jr.

Of coarse you’re not impressed, Not impressed. You’re probably working in a sweat shop for Disney scanning the NET for any bad press.

Nugable is a great name…A lot of websites use lame names to get peoples attention. You ever heard of twitter, google, yahoo? Its gotta be catchy, son,. Get in or get out, got it

7 08 2009
Not impressed

Im still not impressed, whah whah 😦

21 08 2009
ESPN Surfing Web Site Review Part II (Simple Jake Strikes Back) « Nugable

[…] weeks ago I reviewed ESPN’s surfing blog. According to the official Nugable.com stats it was the second most-read post in this humble […]

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