Over the past few years, no one has expended more time, energy and ink criticizing The mtn. than I have.

And yet even I'm amazed at the level of anger about the channel and the Mountain West Conference's TV deal that remains among local fans. At least some local fans.

On the Deseret News Web site, stories about MWC commissioner Craig Thompson's contract being extended and Thompson talking about the league's continuing battle with the BCS elicited mostly comments about The mtn. Angry comments. Very angry comments.

And the stories weren't about The mtn. or the TV deal.

Now, I realize you have to take a lot of those comments with a grain of salt. Or even a truckload of salt.

The anonymity granted by comments and e-mails allows even nice, polite people to unload their venom. But if the best you can do is make fun of Thompson's hair, well, it's hard to take you seriously.

The point here is that the folks at the MWC and The mtn. can't forget that this undercurrent of anger hasn't abated. That, yes, you're going to be judged more harshly than perhaps you deserve because of the residual resentment.

People who do what you do are open to criticism. And you're more open than most.

Don't take it personally. Do the best you can.

And accept that you're never going to make everyone happy.

Not even TV critics.

LOOKED GOOD TO ME: Given that I'm currently in the midst of the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., I didn't get a chance to see all of ESPN2's coverage of the MLS All-Star Game.

(I missed the pregame and the first few minutes of the game, and couldn't give the rest of the match my complete attention.)

But from what I did see, Utah, Sandy and Real Salt Lake all came off looking good. Maybe even looking a little bit more idealized and perfect than they appear to those of us who live in Utah and get to see it all up close and personal.

RSL owner Dave Checketts' vision of the stadium and the state getting some great TV exposure during coverage of the game was realized.

INSTANT REPLAY: KUTV did an amazing job with a replay during last week's FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake game.

I'm thinking it wasn't quite intentional, but it worked nonetheless.

During the insanity in the second half when the ref briefly ejected Clint Mathis instead of coach Jason Kreis, Ch. 2.2 showed viewers a replay of Kreis exulting after RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando made the save on Jeff Cunningham's penalty kick attempt. And viewers at home did not have to be lip readers to see exactly what it was that Kreis said.

Let's just say that it was the sort of expression that will get a movie an R-rating.

And that was the clearest possible explanation of why the fourth official told the center ref to red card RSL's coach.

LOOK CLOSER: If, however, you paid even a tiny bit of attention to what happened during that sequence, the original explanation of why Mathis was sent off instead of Kreis makes no sense whatsoever.

The radio postgame show went on at some length about how fourth official Tyler Ploeger thought it was Mathis, not Kreis, using the, um, colorful language. But Mathis was nowhere near Kreis or the fourth official at the time.

The later explanation — that referee Ricardo Salazar didn't understand what Ploeger was saying — made a lot more sense.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com