First, Sports Illustrated planned to bypass the District during the magazine's tribute to the 50 states last year, ultimately agreeing to offer an abbreviated look at D.C. Now ESPN has taken up the District dissing, avoiding the land of Hoyas, Colonials, Wizards, Caps and Nats during its 50-states-in-50-days tour featured on "SportsCenter."
The slight prompted a mayoral news release yesterday, in which Anthony A. Williams called on ESPN to reverse its decision and offered to show Chris Berman around town.
"It makes no sense that ESPN would travel the country, invest 70,000 miles on a show about America and sports and yet entirely skip the nation's capital," Williams said in the statement.
WTOP political commentator Mark Plotkin went further, saying he would give ESPN a week to respond before downgrading to basic cable and calling for a boycott.
"One of the reasons we're in our colonial status is we take stuff like this, we take these insults," said Plotkin, who successfully lobbied Sports Illustrated to include the District last year.
An ESPN spokesman said the District would be referenced in either the Maryland or Virginia segment, but that statehood remained the criteria for a full segment, a stance that Plotkin said added insult to injury. The mayor's office also sent a letter of protest to ESPN but would not join Plotkin's boycott pledge.
-- Dan Steinberg