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SportsDome parodies SportsCenter

The Onion’s “SportsDome,’’ premiering Tuesday on Comedy Central, takes unsparing parodic aim at ESPN’s SportsCenter in the form of a weekly, half-hour mock news show.

The show nails the look and feel of the real thing, and the first episode has a few amusing bits, such as St. Louis enticing Albert Pujols to re-sign with the Cardinals by giving him the keys to the city – working keys that literally open every door.

Also on the slate: scenes from a raunchy Broadway musical written and directed by Alex Rodriguez in which the antagonist is named Eric Cheeter.

But much of the satire in the premiere is too heavy-handed to be clever, such as a running story about retired NFL players suffering from dementia.

The biggest challenge SportsDome faces is this, of course: television sports news often is a parody of itself, a trait that always makes writing parody difficult.

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