Sports Media: Is It Out of Control?

M.T. RobinsonCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2009

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 1:  The Goodyear blimp flies in the twilight cloudy sky during the game between the Washington Huskies and the USC Trojans on November 1, 2008 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 56-0.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

This may border on the ironic, but I am going to use my little corner of the media world to take a quick look at the current state of our sports media in 2009. The good, the bad, how everything has changed from my early days, to what I see, read, and hear now.

I would assume that during the formative years of America, the original newspapers of the time quickly found that they needed more news on a daily basis. That need led to an original decision to send a reporter to watch the big game/sporting event for the first time ever, and bring back all the details.

The publisher probably had no concept of how far his idea would eventually go. 

Looking around, I think we are good for sports media now in this country. Overload would be a mild term, avalanche would probably be more descriptive. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, everyone has now become sports media.

If you can type, you have a gig. Even if you cant type, you will still be able to post your most inner thoughts for all the world to see, forever and a day. No matter how stupid or brilliant those thoughts may be. This is not how things used to be, and not all that long ago, people respected each others privacy.

For arguments sake, let's start by examining the printed media and those very same 1903 type newspapers here in 2009. Newspaper served the American sporting public for many decades quite well, and provided fans with an indirect link to the sporting scene as it has evolved. You got the big story, you got a bunch of little ones, and you got stats.

Simple, basic, perfect.

Once again, in the quest to add more content, another publisher decided to start including letters from the sports fans, and having someone answer them. Yet another decided to start asking the players involved a few questions after the game. You can see where this was all headed, even from back then.

The race was on. Photos were eventually included, adding the sports photographer to the mix. The printed media system worked, and for many years had this basic format to themselves, after all who could print better then they could? This kept the number of sports reporters and the like in manageable numbers.

The introduction of Radio and Television to the mix during the '40s and '50s changed the media game somewhat, but technological development was still in its early stages. There was still room to breath between everyone concerned. A person could actually have a bad day, and not have it be old news by the time he got off the crapper.

But those days were numbered, because content has no border, and deadlines are always approaching. 

Through the '70s, while sports media coverage continued to expand, it was through these three basic outlets. The development of two separate ideas in the '80s lit the fuse for today's wild media frenzy, the 24 hour sports channel ESPN, and the Internet. Both changed the game forever.

Both outlets gave fans instant access to sports news and information. And once again, in the quest for more content, we have watched both ideas grow to their current bloated status here in 2009.

How many sports channels are there? How many Internet sports sites? Could they even be accurately counted anymore? And all of them scrabbling over the same content that everyone else is trying to cover.

When is it too much? Do we really need to see the thoughts of every f^%$#@$ person on the face of the Earth? Do we really need to spend billions of man hours researching who got busted, who got laid, who said what?

All I ever wanted was my NFL highlights, some quips from the winning locker room, and who the hell we play next week.  All I wanted was the box scores and standings. Not this.

Even though the Internet has give me a place to speak, my question becomes: Should I? Does my opinion matter anymore than yours? Why should you care? Why does anyone care if Tom Brady didn't want to talk to Suzie Kolber?

This sounds like high school crap to me...Are we really this bored? Does every minute of every day have to be filled with the commercials and content that repeats without end? I need a break...

As to our now intimate status with each other online, if I, or any one else for that matter, dare to post something sports wise that someone disagrees with, well hellfire, its an online game of "your mama is so fat"—quick as you please.

The Net has given every chickenshit loser with an attitude a place to post his most insane ramblings. People used to tie these things to rocks and throw them through your window. Now it's just another email or board message, to be followed by more.

I have reached the point where I usually don't read any fan postings on my stories, unless I have picked a neutral subject like cheerleaders, and even then I got static from fans of teams who thought that only their own chicks should have been on the list: "I did not get up today with the specific intent of insulting you, or your fine cheerleaders sir, that's just a bonus...", Geeze...

Having such intimate contact with everyone in the world has its advantages and its disadvantages. I have made a few friends online through sports, but I have also been forced to endure the stupidest people ever born, time and time again.

Look on any sports message board, right now, and see how long it takes to find a hater. A fan who has decided to make up for their lack of winning, class or companionship by posting the most vile racist crap possible, while hiding in the comfort of their parents basement.

Sometimes, I am just reading a sports story, you know, Tiger Woods sinks putt to win. And after finishing the story, I scroll down to see the thoughts of people who are also interested in the same story.

"Off Topic" would be putting it mildly. None of these people could have ever met without the Internet, now they are fighting online, even as you read this, someone is posting insults.

I have news for all of you. We live on a tiny dust speck, in a gigantic universe we can never hope to understand. All the name calling, the finger pointing, the racist remarks, the political posturing, are all just piss in the wind.

Did any of us choose to be what we are? Was there a line for Male, Female, Other, White, Black, Eskimo, Martian? Do any of us not get up in the morning and not take a leak? Do we really need to know every minute of every day, if everyone did indeed take that leak? 

I expect Hater posts about this story, which will prove my point beyond a shadow of a doubt. Instead of wasting time bitching at me over some moot point, go play with your dog. Tell your mate you love em. Go get some food.

I think we might have been better off without any media at all, but that ship has sailed...thanks for reading. 

Irony can be so ironic.