ESPN's Marvel Broadcast Probably Wasn't Aimed At You and That's Okay

Stephen Douglas
Draymond Green
Draymond Green /

ESPN had their first of what will almost certainly be many Disney product heavy theme nights on Monday with a special edition Marvel broadcast of a Golden State Warriors - New Orleans Pelicans game. Draymond Green was the star of the game by collecting the most hero points, which is an advanced metric first used by Stan Lee in a 1925 issue of Spider-Man (citation needed). Green is now legally an Avenger and will have to skip next season to film his own MCU film.

So how was the broadcast? Well, silly. It had characters popping up on screen and glow puck technology on steroids. It looked like a video game and featured debates about which Avenger was the coolest under pressure. It was very much not for me, someone who does not care about Marvel. It was very much not for many basketball fans.

On the other hand, what about the people it was for? If it got a handful of younger people watching a basketball game they wouldn't have watched anyway, it was worth it, right? I know if there had been a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-infused broadcast when I was a kid, I would have watched it and probably recorded it on VHS and rewatched it multiple times. I think anyone would want to get behind something like this if ESPN was mixing their favorite sport with their favorite pop culture.

And that's the thing. This isn't just a Disney thing. Here's the NFL Network on May 4th.

They did that because they like Star Wars and they probably have some viewers who will happily sit through a Star Wars discussion because lots of people like Star Wars. No parent company is involved with this production decision.

One person who was into it that you might not have have expected to be into the Marvel thing last night was Draymond Green, who has two children who like Marvel and secretly wanted to be the hero of the game. It was as excited as you'll ever see him.

Ultimately, who cares if they do a Marvel broadcast on one of ESPN's five channels? So what if they turn Draymond Green into a comic book character every now and then? Every broadcast doesn't need to be for adult fans. We have enough important games starting after most kids on the east coast are supposed to be in bed to pretend that professional sports are about children. If something like this gets some kids to stay up past their bedtime, well, that's probably a good thing for the sport. And the kids.