By Kenny Howell
Fox Sports 1 debuted over the weekend as competition to ESPN's monopoly on sports coverage. I haven't got to check out much of it, but I did catch their college football preview show, hosted by Erin Andrews, and a panel of experts.
Fox Sports 1 had a chance to do something different, to really set itself apart from ESPN, making it a true alternative. But the preview show was just the same old thing. It closely resembled ESPN's College Football Live, same format, same mixture of former players and analysts. I thought maybe the addition of someone like Clay Travis, a brash radio guy, might liven it up a bit, but he seemed a bit uncomfortable, and they didn't really give him much screen time.
The College Football Preview show could have set the tone early, but it was clear when we saw the football playing robots, that was not going to be the case. Could they just get rid of those things. I have never heard anyone say they liked them, but they seem to have been around forever.
The top story right off was Johnny Manziel. Something ESPN has beat to death. Did you know he liked to party? I sure didn't Fox Sports 1.
Then, to keep with the not fresh and new theme, they brought on Regis Philbin to talk about Notre Dame. Nothing says fresh and new like Regis Philbin.
It was the same old story throughout the show, who is going to win the Heisman (Eddie George thinks it might be Teddy Bridge-over troubled-Water, gag), who is going to win the National Championship, and pretty much everyone toed the line picking the usual favorites of Alabama, Stanford, Ohio State, Oregon, etc. Only Mike Pereira took a chance, throwing Louisville in there.
I did kind of like Petros Papadakis. He seemed like he would deviate from traditional thinking occasionally. But he didn't pick a SEC team in the National Championship, so how smart can he be.
I'll stick with ESPN on Saturday mornings, despite them still keeping Cowboy Troy employed. It's still a solid show every week, despite some faults. If Fox Sports 1 figures out they need to differentiate themselves from their competitor, I will give it a chance, but my first impression was not a good one.