ESPN’s full-circle coverage is giving me a headache

I just channel-surfed to see how the home-state women are doing in the NCAA national championship game and landed on ESPN 2. It took me a moment to realize I was watching something, well, different. On ESPN 1 (I’m watching the HD versions of both channels), traditional coverage of the game is being aired, while on ESPN 2, as you can see from the photo below, there’s a display of five camera angles. In a sixth window — the middle screen on the bottom row — instant replays or stats are displayed.

Perhaps more interesting is the “alternative” announcing taking place on ESPN 2. Rather than play-by-play, someone who sounds remarkably like Peter Sagal is chit-chatting with a former basketball player (and who sounds unremarkably like every other former basketball player) about everything but the game. Okay, once in a while, they’ll mention something about the game. After three minutes, I know about the guitar painted on the court, the shoe companies roll-out of next season’s models and, well, they’ve convinced me: I’d rather be watching House. Maybe someone I follow on Twitter will post the game-end score. Outta here.

Later: Tuned back in for the end of the game. Pat Summit adds a seventh national championship to her legendary career. Amazing.