Thursday, June 02, 2005


So as I have been watching ESPN pretty regularly over the last week, I have noticed a disturbing trend that has entered their realm of sports journalism. I had been so blinded to this trend because it was always so close and the possibility seems very dire. But I am afraid that ESPN has truly fallen prey to the same reporting that Jon Stewart has criticized for years on the cable news networks. As the 24-news channel has become a staple of cable networks, priorities on reporting have become massively skewed as the latest Wall Street report comes right after the breaking news that Brad and Jennifer split up. Is it true that we, as a nation, care more that Bo lost American Idol than about the AIDS epidemic in Africa? In my despair for our country's news outlets, I held close to the sports world as my only beacon of light in a dark world. In sports reporting there is drama and struggle, victory and defeat, greed and selflessness. But as I kept up with the talking heads analyzing the NBA's Eastern Conference finals, I became convinced that 24-hour news stations have taken on a life of their own. In a eerily familiar turn of events (a la James Bond's Tomorrow Never Dies), news stations are creating their own news. After Dwayne Wade was shut down by the Detroit Pistons defense in Game 1, two days of expert analysis focused on why they hadn't been focusing on Detroit before. About how Detroit always did have the ability to shut down Wade, and about how the Heat were given the challenge to prove themselves. After Game 2, Wade had scored 40 and the Heat had tied the series at 1-1. The media was in a frenzy asking Pistons players about how they wouldn't be able to stop Wade. When posed a general question on the topic, Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace responded, "the problem isn't with us, it's with you f***ers. We did it in Game 1 and you all wondered how Dwayne could break out. He did and now you think we can't stop him? I'm gonna go play Game 3 and stop talking to you f***ers." Now sports journalists have asked stupid questions for years to try to fill their columns but the excessive redundancy of ESPN in this matter has me quite frustrated. It's like they don't even remember what they said three days ago, and certainly don't expect their listeners to. Yes I understand that you have to fill four channels of programming for twenty-four hours, and baseball highlights just don't cut it, but still, be honest with us. We aren't idiots! We know that Wade is an amazing player, that Detroit has a strong defense and that analysis doesn't win ballgames. In seven game series, you should concentrate more on the subleties of the matchups. Somehow these guys don't understand that Prince can shut down Wade one night and be killed the next and yet be able to do either on the third. That's the way the game is played and ESPN is playing us for a fool.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Ok, if I wasn't sure you needed to be a sports journalist, or any kind of journalist for that matter, before, I am totally convinced now. This post should be like published somewhere. I know nothing about journalism, but I must say I'm impressed by your passion about a subject like this.