Now, I didn’t get ESPN until right before Pardon the Interruption debuted eight years ago Thursday, so I don’t really know what ESPN’s afternoon programming looked like. I imagine there were a lot of SportsCenter reruns, maybe some extra NFL Lives just in case we weren’t sure how OTAs were going in mid-June, and possibly some Up Close with Gary Miller.
Eight years later, those SportsCenters aren’t reruns but rather the same show aired again live, those NFL Lives air at night, and Up Close with Gary Miller has been upstaged by the YES Network’s CenterStage with Michael Kay. ESPN’s afternoons, meanwhile, have been revolutionized by the show we affectionately call PTI.
It’s funny when you think about how something so derivative itself could spark a revolution. It would be like Rob Thomas becoming the new voice of a generation. PTI simply preyed on the well-known idea that people enjoy sports and sports debate. All Pardon the Interruption essentially did was take the idea of sports talk radio and put it on television.