Sunday night's NCAA Tournament selection show on CBS was like bad pizza—something you're initially excited about that totally disappoints and is ultimately left unfinished. And the stale pepperoni on this soggy pie? The 90 seconds that Charles Barkley spent trying to operate a touch screen.
Let's not blame Barkley for this. He's one of TV's most entertaining clowns, a distinction earned with the help of no gadgetry other than his unpredictable mouth. So why ask him to go all John King and poke away at this over-sized iPhone? Greed, mostly.
This year's selection show, for the first time ever, was two hours long. That's an hour longer than it's been since 2002 and 90 minutes longer than when it was first televised in 1982. Selling two hours of ad space requires filling two hours of content. That's how you end up with Barkley jabbing his sausage fingers at this screen with all the technological know-how of your grandpa trying to send an email.
The good news is that CBS got rerun-of-Frasier type ratings for this disaster. Those were, in part, caused by the full bracket leaking online about a quarter of the way through the ship's sinking. That leak was, in part, caused by the show dragging on for so long and refusing to give the fans what they wanted. So maybe there's hope that CBS learns from this and pares the show down next year.
For Barkley's sake, let's hope so.