The Onion Sports Dome

Courtesy of,r:0,s:0

Courtesy of,r:0,s:0

The satirical newspaper, The Onion, has come a long way since its founding by two University of Wisconsin juniors in 1988. What was once a campus-wide publication skewing the truth of everyday college-life events is now a worldwide conglomerate with print editions available for free in New York, London and other major cities. It has even spawned a website, poking gentle fun at the 24-hour news cycle.

But now The Onion has sprung from the confines of the Internet onto your TV screen with the Sports Center send-off The Onion SportsDome. Airing on Comedy Central Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. the Dome creates a complete world for itself within the show, with fake commercials airing between the even more hilarious hosts who play their parts to a tee. Each host is an eerie funhouse mirror image of a Sports Center host, with clear parallels between The Onion Sports Dome and ESPN. The “stories” skewer the biggest news in sports and the sentimental feelings surrounding sports, like “Ben Roethlisberger one win away from being a good person,” referring to the Steelers’ quarterback’s off-field problems last year, or “Shaq O’Neal traded to the Mavericks and scraped for spare parts,” in response to the “Big Ticket’s” new role as an enforcer on the court. The Dome even creates hilarious fake tweets from athletes, which sound frighteningly like the real deal. “Not to rub it in, but do you sort of see why I left the Cavs now?” LeBron James “tweets.”

The Dome provides a great satirical look at our love of sports, but one must have some basic knowledge of current sports happenings to distinguish the fact from fiction. The completely nonsensical dialogue in the stories is delivered with a stone serious straight face by the “hosts,” and the punchlines can be lost on the unsuspecting viewer who is not “tuned in,” so to speak. But there is one further drawback. The Onion frequently goes for shock value in its various publications, and the Sports Dome is no different. Occasionally the show will go a little over the line, with stories poking fun at drugs and sex that are over the edge. But if your sense of humor can get over that little hiccup, The Dome is a great treat for any fan of sports and comedy.

Kirk Bado