BRISTOL, Conn. — Looking to make more efficient use of its growing stable of National Football League analysts, ESPN on Wednesday premiered its newest SportsCenter segment. Dubbed the “Miller Lite Hit It N’ Quit It,” the segment affords analysts between 1.5 and 2 seconds to analyze upcoming NFL games before rapidly moving on to subsequent analysts.
“We have an extraordinarily large pool of former NFL players now drawing paychecks as analysts here at ESPN, and we feel this new ‘Miller Lite Hit It N’ Quit It’ segment brought to you by Miller Lite is a seamless way for us to fit as many of those analysts into a single 60-minute SportsCenter broadcast as possible,” said ESPN, Inc. President John Skipper at a press conference introducing the segment. “If all goes as planned, the ‘Miller Lite Hit It N’ Quit It’ segment brought to you by Miller Lite will allow viewers to hear from as many as 45 of our NFL analysts in a single minute.”
The segment is the brainchild of ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming Norby Williamson, who admits to beginning the season uncertain as to how he was going to make adequate use of the sports behemoth’s vast collection of like-minded and largely indistinguishable analysts, a group that includes former gridiron greats Raúl Allegre, Eric Allen, Ray Bentley, Lomas Brown, Tedy Bruschi, Cris Carter, Brian Dawkins, Trent Dilfer, Mike Ditka, Herm Edwards, Tim Hasselbeck, Merrill Hoge, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, Keyshawn Johnson, Ray Lewis, Jeff Saturday, Mark Schlereth, Jason Taylor, Marcellus Wiley, Darren Woodson, Damien Woody, and Steve Young.
“Some may think it’s unnecessary and even borderline corporate malfeasance that we should have so many NFL analysts on our payroll, especially since the entire ESPN family of networks only carries one NFL game per week,” Williamson said. “But once those critics watch each of these men shine in their one-and-a-half- to two-second weekly window, then that tune will surely change.”
And in spite of growing doubts among television critics skeptical that such brief and seemingly inconsequential analysis could provide any substantive commentary or insight, Williamson notes that focus groups responded positively to the segment in the weeks leading up to its introduction.
Said Williamson, “The ‘Miller Lite Hit It N’ Quit It’ brought to you by Miller Lite segment tested wonderfully with our focus groups, as it seems our target audiences really don’t want the likes of Tim Hasselbeck or Tedy Bruschi speaking for more than two seconds at a time anyway.”