The Sports Hype Machine; Friend Or Foe?

Victor BoydContributor IMay 7, 2010

In a few months I will be 50 years old, I have seen Aaron's 715th home run, Micheal Jordan, Johnson vs. Bird, Secretariet, The Bird, Muhammed Ali, Bobby Hull and Orr, Gordie Howe and the Steel Curtain. I am part of the generation that still remembers when television went off at 2 am .

Now we have ESPN and Comcast Sports and others, where you can get sports news 24/7, 365 days per year. And I have witnessed the end of the intelligent sports fan.

Due to the media hype machine intellectual sports reporting has fallen by the wayside, and one the by products of this is that we are constantly being sold lemons, with the newest lemon  named Tim Tebow.

The hype machine isn't concerned with the truth just the bottom line. When I began playing sports I was told, "stats mean NOTHING if you don't win a championship", and now stats and ESPN's Play of the Day are the measuring sticks upon which greatness is measured. 

How can anyone even begin to compare LeBron James to Micheal Jordan? First of all, I DO believe LeBron James is a great basketball player and with all of the points he has scored and the flying dunks, rebounds and blocked shots, James hasn't won ANYTHING.

Now let's take an objective look at Mr. Tebow, here is a quarterback that has played on a team with and surrounded by first round draft picks, playing in a high school offensive system that does not translate to the pro game.

Tebow is not the athlete that Micheal Vick was coming out of college, his 40 time is comparable to that of most lineman and he has a popcorn arm. So, what makes anyone think he is going to be a great pro quarterback?

And the truly sad part of it all it is that I think Tebow is a nice young man, that in the very near future become a victim of the same hype machine that created him. Because all the machine has done is put a bullseye on his back, so when you see a 6"4 250lb. linebacker bearing down on him and he can't escape because he isn't fast enough remember the hype machine as he is being carted off the field. 

The sports hype machine picks far more losers than winners, and the serious sports fans suffer. So, the next time your watching a sporting event on TV turn down the sound and enjoy the true beauty of an athlete competing at the highest level. Pick up a baseball mitt and smell the leather or take you son or daughter to a game and watch their eyes, and then you'll remember what I never forgot.