Sunday’s matchup between the Bears and Packers isn’t just historic because the teams have only met once before in the postseason. It’s also a watershed moment for ESPN, as it forced the network to begrudgingly cover a sporting event not taking place in the Eastern Time zone.
“So the Packers are from Michigan, right?” asked SportsCenter producer Bob Shell as he prepared for a segment about the game. “Wait…that doesn’t sound right. The Bears are the ones from Michigan. The Packers must be from Ohio State. Actually, screw it, we’ll just feature that entire middle section of the map there.”
According to insiders, the Connecticut-based company has always been supportive of sports in the other 95% of the country.
“Ever since we heard a rumor Tom Brady played college ball at some school in the ‘Midleft’, we’ve tried to get more info on that section of the nation,” said Shell. “We do so much Brady coverage it’s important to have plenty of background on him.”
Despite covering the Jets-Steelers matchup 12 minutes for every one minute of Bears-Packers programming, ESPN believes it’s doing a great job.
Not everyone is convinced, however.
“They’re totally going through the motions,” said Chicago native David Winters. “They have like that one little ESPN North blog on the website, and the other day on SportsCenter they actually referred to the Bears as ‘that team from Canada, probably.’”