For devout sports fans, sports aren’t fun. Games involving their favorite teams are survival events, not opportunities to riff. Believe me, when my Bengals are playing, I am not in the mood to laugh, even when they wins. I don’t think I’m alone here. Fox should realize this, up its journalistic standards, and try to outflank ESPN by being less of a shill to its corporate masters, not by going for the drunken frat boys who apparently find ESPN too much like trigonometry.

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Robert Weintraub is the author of The House That Ruth Built. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Slate, and a television writer/producer based in Atlanta.