ESPN is the USA's sports leader, sanctioned by God, the American Way, and Brett Favre. Males of a certain age (11-75) who don't watch the network risk placing themselves under serious suspicion of being candy ass pansy boy homos, NO HOMO. So you'd think that ESPN wouldn't have trouble drawing young viewers. But America's sports indoctrination machine is flagging because of the internet and the computers and the fatness! So ESPN has been forced to take drastic and, we daresay, un-American measures: Video games in the football broadcasts. This marks the failure of American P.E. teachers:

The network, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, has spent the last year working on a new technology with Electronic Arts, the leading game publisher, that would allow ESPN commentators to interact live with realistic-looking, three-dimensional virtual players as they pontificate about coming matches during broadcasts... Boiled down, the complex technology, which will make its debut this Sunday on ESPN's popular "NFL Countdown" program, involves using an Electronic Arts' title - say Madden NFL 09 - with specialized digital camera equipment in the studio. Presto: Both real and virtual people move around the ESPN set to demonstrate plays and possible situations.

The NFL never should have allowed this. Kids already prefer video games to real sports. You're just encouraging them. Hope you like announcing Madden XBox tournaments, ESPN. That's your future. [NYT]