I wasn’t going to write anything tonight. I was just going to let the 100 posts this month lie and start the new month on Friday fresh, but I had to add one more after watching the Spelling Bee tonight on ABC.
First, I wish someone would take the TV rights away from ESPN which treats this like a sporting event. Yes, it’s a competition, but is it right to have Stuart Scott and Mike & Mike of ESPN Radio there? There was Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts and an analyst whose name escapes me right now. From the way Mike & Mike were talking this week, I thought they were going to the main hosts, but instead, they were just making side comments and I believe they were on just four or five times during the primetime session. I don’t know if they had a bigger role during the afternoon session which whittled down the contestants to 13 finalists. But I don’t think even Mike & Mike thought they deserved to be at the Spelling Bee. What qualifications they have to be there, I’m not quite sure and I know Golic felt he didn’t belong.
Second, there’s no way that the Bee should be going until 10 at night on the East Coast. These kids should not be up late and should be in bed. Many were tired and one kid, Matthew Evans had bags under his eyes. That’s not right for a young kid.
Third, take the mic away from Stuart Scott. The winner, Evan O’Dorney, from California dissed the competition saying he preferred music and math to the Spelling Bee. If you saw the broadcast, or read Darren Rovell’s handicapping of the Bee at CNBC.com, you found out that Evan likes to write piano concertos and solve difficult math problems. Yet, Stu-Stu-Studio kept pressing Evan to say he now liked the Spelling Bee. Evan snapped, “You want me to say I like it because I won?” It made the audience at the Bee laugh, but Evan eventually accommodated Scott with “I guess I like it a little.” Come on, Stuart, give the kid some slack.
It’s nice to see the future of America will be in the hands of these bright kids. Some will become doctors, lawyers, teachers, maybe even the pastor of a church, but let’s not put the pressure of the TV lights on them. I saw a couple of kids mug for the camera. That’s not right. The Bee itself is pressure enough. Allow the kids to be kids, not make them be spectacles for the viewing audience.