Just as "SportsCenter" became the centerpiece of ESPN's effort to revolutionize sports television back in the early 1980s, the new Fox Sports 1 network is its hoping that "Fox Sports Live" will become the draw that brings fans over for its nightly dose of highlights.
After sampling the show for a few nights, it strikes me that "Fox Sports Live" is like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch.
It's either going to have you smiling, maybe even laughing, and hoping for more, or it could prompt some foul language and have you reaching as fast as you can for the remote.
The show's co-anchors, Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole, were a popular duo in Canada and it's clear that these two guys don't take themselves, or the games they're talking about, seriously.
That's good or bad depending on how you want your sports served. If my team won the game being featured, the humor of Onrait and O'Toole would be much more appealing than if my team lost.
It's clear that Fox Sports 1 wants to separate itself immediately from ESPN, whose on-air personalities shine through much better on radio (Mike Greenberg, Scott Van Pelt for instance) than on TV. If only every SportsCenter could deliver the punch of its commercials, it would still be the one-stop shop at the end of the day for all things sports.
But the part of the show that "Fox Sports Live" wants to showcase and differentiate itself from ESPN is the panel discussions that feature the likes of Andy Roddick, Gary Payton, Ephraim Salaam and Donovan McNabb. Holding it all together, and quite nicely in the eyes of many fans, is former ESPN "Sportsnation" host and ABC "Splash" co-host Charissa Thompson.
What's interesting here is that McNabb, Payton, Roddick & Co. are talking about sports that they didn't play, at least on the professional level.
How many times have trained journalists heard athletes sneer when they didn't like something that was said or written — "How do you know? You never played the game."
McNabb, clearly showing more spunk and opinion than he did when he basically tried to remain vanilla and politically correct as the Eagles' quarterback, has been the most forthright of the panel.
For example, in a week when everyone was fawning over Ichiro, McNabb said he doesn't belong in the same company as Pete Rose because a good portion of Ichiro's hits didn't come against major league pitching.
Give him credit for going against the grain, but does McNabb have any credibility when talking about where Ichiro stands among baseball's greats?
Bottom line with this show and all of Fox Sports 1's programming is that some of it's amusing, some of it's not, and that at least for now, ESPN has nothing to worry about.
To ESPN's "SportsCenter" for continuing its "My Wish" series.
At a time when headlines about A-Rod, Anthony Hernandez and Johnny Manziel demonstrate all of the things that sports shouldn't be, the "My Wish" series reminds of us what sports can be and of what it can mean to people.
Not every segment is a tear jerker and sometimes the reactions of the recipients are not as heartwarming as anticipated, but there's not a bad story in the bunch and it's nice to see how personalities such as Roger Federer and Kasey Kahne interact with people away from their regular platforms.
While waiting for the college football and NFL seasons to begin and the baseball pennant races to heat up, the Little League World Series has grown to earn a good chunk of America's attention every August.