College Football Fans Were Not Happy About ESPN Cutting Into Games To Show Aaron Judge At-Bats

Aaron Judge has 60 home runs this season, needing one more to tie Roger Maris for the American League home run record. It’s a big deal and the most exciting thing Major League Baseball has had in terms of a record chase in years.

However, if there is a group of fans that will not care all that much about a member of the New York Yankees trying to tie an American League record (and reach a tie for 7th on the all-time list), it’s college football fans in the South. So, as Auburn and Missouri played a tight (and ugly) game, and Clemson and Wake Forest played a tight (and much more entertaining) game on Saturday afternoon, those fans were not exactly clamoring for Judge updates as the Yankees played a matinee game against the Red Sox.

ESPN thought differently, and cut in to Judge at-bats, putting up a split screen during its ABC and ESPN games and shifting sound to YES Network every time Judge stepped to the plate.

Unsurprisingly, neither at-bat yielded a Judge home run, which only further infuriated fans (and college football media), who made their displeasure known to ESPN — particularly those watching Wake-Clemson where both cutaways happened in the middle of big plays.

Those who are mad about this are, of course, going to be more vocal about it, but it does feel like a bit of a misjudgment (no pun intended) from ESPN in assuming there’s a great deal of crossover from college football fans wanting to see this live. Some pointed out that they did this during McGwire and Sosa’s record chases, but that was also a very different time where you didn’t have MLB.TV and various streaming services that allowed you to watch games from out of market if you wanted. The split screen probably would’ve gotten some folks upset, but the real mistake was switching to sound for the entire at-bat rather than the football game people were trying to watch.