Last Sunday, on February 11, ESPN aired its 30,000th SportsCenter. As ESPN is always quick to mention, the first SportsCenter aired on Sept 7, 1979. This milestone in great American sports programming began two days prior to my 2nd birthday. SportsCenter eventually grew to average more than 1,000 episodes per year, enabling the program to air its 30,000th show nearly seven months prior to my 30th birthday.
So how did the SportsCenter broadcasts pass me so quickly? After dusting off my old high school calculator, I decided to crunch the numbers. I discovered that in the duration between SportsCenter 1 and SportsCenter 10K, on December 2, 1988, there were 2.96 SportsCenter airings per day. How this was, I am not sure, as ESPN did not begin airing a second daily SportsCenter until January 1, 1982.
From SportsCenter 10K to SportsCenter 20K, on May 17, 1998, there were 2.9 SportsCenter airings per day, curiously less per day than the previous 10K, and even more curious considering a third daily SportsCenter began airing on August 20, 1990.
On Aug 25, 2002, ESPN aired SportsCenter 25K. With the addition of a fourth daily SportsCenter beginning April 6, 1999, the average amount of SportsCenters per day increased to 3.2. Again there would be another decline in daily SportsCenters as ESPN broadcasting averaged only 3.06 SportsCenter airings per day from SportsCenter 25K to SportsCenter 30K on February 11, 2007. By the way, if anyone can explain how the amount of SportsCenters per day drop on occasion, please let me know.
After doing all that math, I began to wonder, barring accident, injury, or a game of global thermonuclear war gone awry, will I live long enough to see the 100,000th airing of SportsCenter? Using the most recent average of SportsCenter airings per day (3.06), SportsCenter should pass its remaining 5K milestones on the following dates:
SportsCenter 35K – July 29, 2011
SportsCenter 40K – January, 16, 2016
SportsCenter 45K – July 4, 2020
SportsCenter 50K – December 22, 2024
SportsCenter 55K – June 9, 2029
SportsCenter 60K – November 27, 2033
SportsCenter 65K – May 15, 2038
SportsCenter 70K – November 2, 2042
SportsCenter 75K – April 20, 2047
SportsCenter 80K – October 8, 2051
SportsCenter 85K – March 26, 2056
SportsCenter 90K – September 13, 2060
SportsCenter 95K – March 3, 2065
SportsCenter 100K – August 21, 2069
August 21, 2069. I will be 91 years old. Living to see SportsCenter 100K is my new long term goal. Remembering what I watched at 91 years old, however, may be a whole other issue.