EspyTime Theater included in the montage of Middle Eastern violence against women the infamous footage of the sequence wherein an unidentified woman drops to her knees on the long-since-abandoned soccer field and is executed with a single pistol shot to the back of the head.
Of course, most networks which have previously aired that gruesome image (CNN, etc.) usually cut away before the trigger is pulled so that the viewer can basically "guess" the outcome.
Not EspyTime Theater, though.
"Bam" ... one shot to the back of the head.
When you get right down to it, the shock value wears off once you realize that, five years from now, the F-bomb will be a regular part of the EspyTime lexicon of "acceptable vocab" -- and the opening montage to SportsCenter will feature the wacky fun of that bullet-to-the-head.
As John Feinstein said on air while covering a Navy football game last autumn ... "Fucking refs."
So, yes ... the Espy Awards on EspyTime Theater were about as predictable as predictability gets, so second-guessing the selections is moot.
Here goes, anyway:
Barbaro got robbed!
By the autistic kid.
In case anyone asks, the "Game Of The Year" was NOT Texas-USC -- mostly because there was no D played that night.
Also, what's the rationale behind selecting an 18-inning NLCS game for the "top three" when, in innings 10 thru 17, ummm ... nuthin' happened.
Just because it's 18 innings doesn't automatically make it "twice" the fun of other 9-inning games.
Besides, any game in which Phil Garner is one of the managers qualifies for an immediate disqualification.
If Bobby Cox is the manager in the other dugout, indeed ... "double disqualification."
Since EspyTime Theater sometimes goes sleepytime on any/all games w/o dunks, dunks, dunks and decapitations, a helping hand makes America a stronger nation than an EspyTime Nation.
So, if you're searching for the authentic, unpimpified Game Of The Year, that would be the one which was played in Williamsport, PA four months before the Wronghorns' knock-off of Three-Pete.
The Ewa Beach All-Stars of Oahu, Hawaii -- down to their final three outs against defending champion Curacao in the Little League World Series title game -- scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and then won the championship on a walk-off home run in the seventh to win, 7-6.
THAT ... was breathtaking (which EspyTime shoulda realized after it spent two weeks of devoting air time to coverage of the tournament and the 1,500 commercials for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes).
Tony The Tiger aside, THAT was the best ballgame of this new millennium.
Which is why Vonn Fe'ao should've taken home an ESPY for "Most Forgotten Superstar."
That kid was nails.
And, there's never been a better black-n'-blonde mullet in the history of the game.
The least-surprising development of the taped awards show was EspyTime Theater's prolonged milking of The J-Mac Saga. EspyTime Theater has gotten a lotta mileage outta Jason McElwain, who, despite the network's repeated pimping of him and his contrived "achievement," seems like a nice kid who has beaten some tough odds.
Yet, his 20 points-in-4:00 feat got him benched for the playoffs for Greece Athena High, hence, according to the Haystack Mandate, J-Mac is disqualified from "Moment Of The Year" consideration.
J-Mac's coach -- a media whore named Jim Johnson -- has yet to explain to America why he benched the best player on his team.
Translation: "He was America's sweetheart for one night. Now we need Dumbo to hand out the towels and jump around like a goofball."
To repeat (for the umpteen-millionth time), the story of the year was Alexi Salamone, the leading scorer for the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team at the Paralympic Winter Games at Torino (as reported accurately by Planet Haystack at the beginning of May).
Do the math ... connect the dots ... Alexi Salamone was left TO DIE nearly 20 years ago as a double amputee/Chernobyl-deformed-baby.
Again, to reiterate ... this is not a case of coming off the bench and scoring 20 points against a crappy opponent in a game you're already winning by 20 -- and then getting benched because you no longer fit into Coach's publicity stunt.
Alexi Salamone was a toddler, with legs which didn't work, living in an alley in the then-Soviet Union.
"You eat teaspoon of borscht. Is good. Tomorrow, you get biscuit. And dry clothes maybe."
Once you sift through the debris of who or what is being pimped and expolited, the real stories are just waitin' to be unearthed.
Unless it's Danica Patrick exposing her overrated bod.
That trumps all.
By the way, your runner-up for "Moment Of The Year" is Roethlisberger's tackle on Nick Harper after the Bettis fumble.
Either that or USA snowboarder Lindsay Jacobelis hot-dogging and wiping out in that snowboard pseudo-event which cost her Olympic gold.
Observation: The surgery that Will Ferrell had as a young man was a success.
The guy has no funny bone -- and no ability to tickle much of America's.
Here's who is funny: The cartoon dog in those ESPN360.com commercials. We still need to get some answers as to why the doggie wears an eye patch -- and as to what Kenny Mayne and Bill Walton did to the Gary and Ace, the Ambiguously Gay Duo ...
EspyTime Theater ... so perplexing and arbitrary ...