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You'll Survive the Aaron Judge Look-Ins

Kyle Koster
Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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ESPN will cut into tomorrow's college football games, including Northwestern-Penn State, to show Aaron Judge's pursuit of a 62nd home run, a decision guaranteed to tick people off but also the one that needs to be made. The entire game is available on ESPN+ for New York Yankees enthusiasts. A similar decision rankled those more interested in the Clemson-Wake Forest tilt last Saturday.

One can understand why a person who doesn't care about baseball or Judge would bristle at the idea of having the thing they do care about diminished in some way. At the same time, we've long gone past the point of overboard on this issue. If ESPN has the ability to show a historic baseball moment live on-air, they should absolutely do it. As a rightsholder, this is their prerogative. It would actually be a stranger decision if they didn't show Judge besting Roger Maris in real-time in lieu of a punt or two running plays that gained three collective yards.

These live look-ins come with a generational divide. When I was younger, going live to something else was a thrilling experience because there were about 1/10th the opportunity to watch live sports. It felt like something extra and, more than anything, felt like a communal experience waiting on bated breath for history. Younger viewers, who have always been able to have the exact thing they want in the exact way they want it, bristle at the notion of getting a small pebble in their shoe.

But you know what? Anything ESPN does is met with complaints. And the stakes here are really, really low. For all the protestations and promises that a brief baseball detour will lose a viewer for life, I defy any diehard Penn State fan to follow through on their threat to just ... not watch the Nittany Lions the next time they are on ESPN. It's not happening.

The sun will rise on Sunday and everyone will forget about this absent the constant prodding to be upset about something.

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