It’s a bit near the bottom but ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer takes a shot at the network for its heavy reliance on an ad for a slasher flick called Sorority Row that showed on many of its games including the Florida State-Miami clash on Labor Day.
One person who wrote to Ohlmeyer said the ad brought up horrific memories of Ted Bundy’s attack on sorority sisters at the Chi Omega house. On one hand Ohlmeyer said it would be difficult to “fault ESPN” for not catching a Bundy-FSU connection since the murders occurred more than 30 years ago, but Ohlmeyer goes further and suggests that ESPN should have at least declined to put the ad on during college football games.
“If you wrap yourself in the mantle of college football to the extent ESPN does, you might have to make an occasional financial sacrifice to protect it,” writes Ohlmeyer. “Put the “Sorority Row” spots in “SportsCenter,” NFL, MLB or other such programs, but a campus slasher movie strikes too close to home in a college football game.”
Of course many FSU fans were likely attending the game and didn’t actually see the ad for the movie whose official website name is “thetapi-or-die.com.” But as a longtime Floridian I can tell you the chilling impact the Bundy murders had on the state at the time. Then Gov Reubin Askew asked NBC to block the showing of a slasher flick it had planned for the weekend following the murders.
But still it may be worth wondering what fans of the Seminoles think about it and whether ESPN actually should apologize to them.