Everyone should probably take the following with a grain of salt, as I hate ESPN with about the same passion that some SW fans hate the OT and I consider the current state of things to be a direct affront to all that was good about my childhood, but anyway…
Please, fortheloveofGod, if you hate the pop-ups and the obnoxiousness and the loads of subscriber-only content, USE ANOTHER SITE! ESPN is not the be-all, end-all of sports information and it will have no incentive to heal itself if people just continue to watch its crappy shows and browse its crappy website. I used to turn ESPN (or one of its other networks) on when I got up in the morning and would leave it on as long as I was in the house. Some Saturdays, my TV would be tuned in up to 15 hours a day as I did work while watching college football. Now I only watch games and make a conscious effort to always turn off the TV when an ESPN show comes on. I have not used ESPN.com in years. I follow the same routine with ABC sports programming.
Granted, this places more demands upon my internet time and requires good video capability on my PC, as I don’t get to see a lot of highlights on TV, but at least I have taken my stand (useless as it is…LOL). There are a plethora of excellent specialty sports websites and blogs out there that the charming and internet savvy SDMB membership should have no problem finding. Yahoo’s sports section does just fine in terms of delivering all the general news and no, their boxscores are not as good as ESPNs (this is one area where I will give ESPN.com credit), but they will do. For those interested in football, NFL.com does a good job updating scores and play-by-play for all their games. For those who want excellent rundowns of camp news, sign up for FootballGuys.com’s daily email service (they are a fantasy site and start to charge once the season starts, but their emails are pretty good). Because of the wild popularity of fantasy football, there are tons of specialized NFL sites to choose from (most of the rankings are pay-only, but their news and analysis are generally free). College football fans and baseball fans have about 12 million absolutely amazing blogs to choose from; the situation is not as good for college basketball fans, who generally have to rely more on team-specific sites (like DBR and IC), but we get by. As with all things hockey, there’s less out there, but the people running it are very dedicated. I’m not a big NBA person, so I can’t comment on that scene.
So, in conclusion, down with ESPN!
/told you I was bitter and not exactly rational about this