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(Drama) King James put on quite a show

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POSTED: July 12, 2010 9:48 a.m.
The sporting world has lost its mind. During a primetime media spectacle Thursday night on ESPN, NBA star LeBron James announced he will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. The fanfare swirling around the event, the palpable buzz it generated and the press’ exaggerated analysis of the six teams stumbling over each other to woo “King James” was downright embarrassing.
Call it what you will — “The Decision,” the LeBron-a-thon, pseudo-history in the making, a pathetic ratings grab. It’s overkill and it’s ridiculous.
And just when it seemed the weeklong recruiting process and subsequent announcement had all but redefined “outrageous,” viewers learned the one-hour ESPN special had sponsors. Sponsors! As if it was an actual athletic competition. The sideshow included speculation from pundits, poll results charted with color-coded graphics and maps, and retrospectives of James’ career that would make Oprah’s Oscar special envious. The WrestleMania-style hype put coverage of the 2008 presidential election results to shame. And those results actually meant something.
It’s absurd that society for days has been uproariously excited to learn the identity of the city in which James will soon increase his net worth by millions. As the 25-year-old athlete revealed his plans to relocate to the Sunshine State, sports fans huddled around television sets, mouths agape, hearts pounding, minds racing. Perhaps the disconnect with reality was, for some, just what the doctor ordered. Maybe the soap opera provided a brief respite from the harsh realities facing many “average joe” NBA enthusiasts — tight budgets, demanding jobs and never-ending to-do lists. But when the circus is over, the harshest reality is this: The “average joes” will return to their daily struggles while Ringmaster James basks in the glow of media glorification and collects a paycheck big enough to feed his faithful fans and their families for 10 lifetimes.    
So, what’s next? Brett Favre still hasn’t committed to a second year with the Minnesota Vikings. Watch out — he’ll likely require his own reality show and a “Twilight” movie cameo when the big moment rolls around.

 

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