An Open Letter To ESPN The Magazine

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I was flipping around the internets on this, the slowest news day of the year, and I came across an interesting post at Desipio about ESPN the Mag. Everyone knows that "The Mag" is a cumbersome and awkward piece of literature, but it has never been taken to task like this. The post is an actual email to the editors and I've pulled out a few parts for you....

No, I still want the Insider subscription. I just don’t want your strangely sized, poorly written, overly designed magazine. I mean, really, have you ever taken a good look at it? It sucks.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

1. First off, your magazine is a weird size. It’s not magazine size. I know you think it’s an edgy size, because everything you do is edgy, but really, it’s just annoying.

3. What’s with all of the shirtless athletes? It’s like you can’t decide if you want to be a sports magazine, or a men’s magazine, or a gay men’s magazine.

Honestly, that Carl Edwards cover didn’t even make it to the house. I just tore the address label off of it and set it on fire right at the mailbox then threw it into traffic. Holy crap. What were you thinking? Your audience is not women. What man is going to see that at a bookstore or grocery store and actually carry it up to the checkout? You might as well have given out a free “I LIKE DUDES” t-shirt with this one.

7. Your features are always late, lame or both. For instance in this last issue little Busty spends five days with Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks…starting May 15. For the July 14 issue. Holy crap, how is he filing his articles…by carrier pigeon?

The 0:01 where you fake a photo and it’s supposed to be funny…never is.

And we finish with Rick Reilly. Just about the time he started to phone it in at SI, you brought him over to work for you. That’s just so perfect.
It's still beyond me how ESPN makes even a cent of this magazine. The thing comes out every week and is about 400 pages long. I also am not sure how I get two copies while not having paid for the Insider in over 4 years (I still don't want the thing). I know it's easy to rag on the thing, but if it annoys you as much as it does me, you should check out the rest of that post. Good stuff.

An open letter to ESPN The Magazine (Desipio)

14 Comments:

Can you opt-out of the magazine and keep the insider? The magazine goes straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin every time.

ffhater said...
Jul 16, 2008, 3:31:00 PM  

"I also am not sure how I get two copies while not having paid for the Insider in over 4 years (I still don't want the thing)."

You're not the only one. For a year straight I was getting 2 copies with my Insider subscription. Then, I called to cancel my subscription to the Insider and the magazine and still get the magazine every 2 weeks. What gives? If it weren't for the Bill Simmons article I would never read it... oh wait I read the Simmons article online. I never read it.

Anonymous said...
Jul 16, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  

I live in an apartment with my sister. She got a subscription as a gift one year. The bastard still comes, and just sits in a pile of unread The Mags on a table. There's like 10 of em just sitting there. Its complete crap

tecmo said...
Jul 16, 2008, 3:49:00 PM  

Hilarious. You guys all subscribe to a gay men's magazine!

GMoney said...
Jul 16, 2008, 3:56:00 PM  

Probably 90% of ESPN the Magazine "subscribers" do so in order to get Insider, according to the Bureau of Making Up Statistics Out Of My Ass.

A major reason why I've never subscribed to Insider, or even given it a free trial, despite several enticing aspects like true real-time scores is the automatic ESPN The Magazine subscription.

Morgan Wick said...
Jul 16, 2008, 4:03:00 PM  

On sickdeals.com, my wife told me that I can have a years subscription for $5.95. Even at that price I told her NO!

Scott F. said...
Jul 16, 2008, 4:50:00 PM  

If ESPN is literally giving this shit away, why are they still producing it? It's obvious they aren't making money by substriptions. I'm guessing they just want to flaunt it as another entitenty as the self proclaimed "World Wide Leader in Sports".

Anonymous said...
Jul 16, 2008, 5:17:00 PM  

Ignoring the various incarnations of "sucks" and the roundabout homophobia, the post makes an excellent point about that Brandon Webb piece. It makes no sense for a publication that comes out once every two weeks to have that much lag time. If I were to guess, Buster did the work then Webb went into a mini-funk, and they held the story while Buster did 1,000 ESPN radio spots.

Hank said...
Jul 16, 2008, 5:23:00 PM  

It's written for the reading skills of about a 10th grader. I can't believe they pay a lot of people a lot of money to produce dreck like that.

Have they ever read SI in the 70's and 80's?

So it's more like a poorly written, teenbeat gay teen and gay illiterate adult queer ADD male magazine.

hollywood wags said...
Jul 16, 2008, 6:48:00 PM  

It comes once every 2 weeks

Anonymous said...
Jul 17, 2008, 1:13:00 AM  

I had the same problem with the Magazine. I contacted ESPN, and while they told me that I could not cancel the magazine, I could have it donated to the military. Mine now goes to a US military base in the United Arab Emirates. I know they appreciate it much more than I ever would. You guys might want to consider the same thing.

Anonymous said...
Jul 17, 2008, 10:16:00 AM  

Awhile ago, I got one of those $6 subscriptions because it was a cheap way to get Insider. Somehow, I haven't gotten (or paid for) the mag for 6 months, but still have Insider access. Weeeee!

Matt said...
Jul 17, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

Here's why they continue to produce, some of you receive two copies, and they sell annual subscriptions for dirt cheap rates...

ADVERTISING.

Media agencies like to place one ad buy that goes across multiple platforms (TV, online, radio, print), and that, in a nutshell, is the ESPN business model.

Without "THE MAG" (aka "THE RAG"), they have no print component, thereby sacrificing ad dollars.

The reason you get two copies of the mag is so they can claim a higher number of subscribers and, in turn, higher distribution.

They don't care if you don't pay for it. They just need to keep you in their subscriber database so they can sell their audience.


Hating ESPN since 2002,

Cecil from Cecil Twp.

Jul 17, 2008, 12:47:00 PM  

Recently I received the latest Men's Journal and thought to myself 'what's with the dude on the cover'...and then I read this. Coincidence? I think not!

To this day the best thing about that damn ESPN Mag is/was the commercial aired during initial launch...you know...the one with the chick that says "esspinnn."

Makes for good radio during my sports reports.

Monty said...
Jul 17, 2008, 5:26:00 PM  

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