What's Up With The Sports Media?

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What's Up With The Sports Media?

I might not be that old, but I still remember the days when a televised sporting event was all about the sport.

When I was growing up, ESPN’s SportsCenter would be on my TV every morning before school so I could catch the highlights of all the games.

Granted, I am much busier now, but I might watch SportsCenter for an hour a month.

It isn’t just about my lack of free time, it is about all the crap the sports media now covers.

I didn’t know a single person who enjoyed hearing about the Brett Favre saga 24 hours a day.

The amount of time spent on him a day made me think he was a reincarnation of Jesus.

If I remember correctly, he only has one Super Bowl ring, which was from more than 10 years ago. What’s the big deal?

I think ESPN set up its three stations (ESPN2 and ESPN news) so that Favre would be talked about on at least one of those channels 24 hours a day.

For the next several weeks, the focus will go from his first preseason snap this past Saturday with the New York Jets to his first regular season snap and so on.

Rachel Nichols will continue to follow him around everywhere he goes (which is the lone reason why I am envious of him).

Don’t get me wrong. It is good for the sports world to get updates. But all the time? Why can’t it just be a five-minute segment in the evening?

For three weeks, he was on all the time and now, I don’t care what he does. It is just another case of the media over blowing something.

The “media days” at the Super Bowl is actually a two-week circus where you learn every angle of the game and how we learned New England couldn’t lose to the New York Giants last year.

I am glad I didn’t waste two weeks of my life listening to those so-called experts.

There is the whole month break between the end of the college football regular season and the National Championship game.

One would wonder if there is any other game being played the whole month with all of the attention on it.

It almost seems to me like the media hypes up these games so much that it takes away from the game.

After hearing all about it nonstop, it feels like the game has already lasted that long and you just want it to be over.

Whatever happened to watching highlights of the games that were played the previous day?

Especially during baseball and basketball seasons, there is no reason why a one-hour show should only have 20 minutes dedicated to highlights.

There are enough games to show plenty of highlights of each to fill the dead air of Brett Favre and some reporter talking from some site.

I want to see how a team won and why a team won the game, not about a player who is in the preseason or offseason.

Maybe with all of the satellite dishes out there today, ESPN thinks that people already see the games and don’t need the highlights.

As a person who has two TVs in his room, I would challenge anyone out there to see every big play of every game. It isn’t going to happen.

If I want sports news, I will go to the Internet. If I want to see how the game went, I should be able to turn on SportsCenter.

I find it funny how an hour-long “Baseball Tonight” show can show three highlights of a game.

That goes to show how much nonsense they talk about.

I understand why the print media is turning to features, but I don’t understand why the TV has to go away from game coverage as well.

Sure, the feature stories are nice here and there, but I don’t really care about any of it. I want to see action.

Last week was the icing on the cake when I was working out and saw this on the “Hotlist” on ESPN news: “Manny gets haircut.”

What in the world is hot about that topic and what does that have to do with baseball?

Why is there a guy talking about it for five minutes? Is he breaking down the haircut?

I am glad I couldn’t hear the TV or there would have been something thrown at it.

This is just another case in a long line of them that talks about everything but sports.

Another thing that got on my nerves was a particular piece of Olympic coverage.

The United States girls gymnastics team came oh so close to getting a gold medal, and might have gotten it if not for a total choke job by Alicia Sacramone.

After she messed up in two straight events, one would assume that she was pretty down and the camera showed that.

However, there was no privacy at all.

It is one thing to get a quick glimpse of her to see her reaction.

It is another thing to have 10 different camera angles on her so every time she made a move there was another angle of her fighting back tears.

That is why people always slow down to see a car wreck.

Here was this 20-year-old girl’s wreck that cost a nation a golf medal. You think she would feel bad enough.

But no, the producer was probably sitting back in his nice, comfy chair and yelling at every single camera man to zoom in on her face so the whole nation could watch her fight back tears for three minutes.

I am well aware that everyone likes the agony of defeat picture (Adam Morrison of the Gonzaga men’s basketball team in 2006 is my particular favorite), but get the shot and move on. 

It is not fair to her to have to go through it for that long.

Sure, they want to show both sets of emotions, like when Nastia Liukin won the individual gold.

But there is a difference between winning and losing, and, sometimes, you have to give someone a break.

It reminds me of all the times a producer gets in the ear of a reporter to ask some stupid question to a coach or player about his or her future.

The one that sticks out most to me is after Roy Williams lost the 2003 NCAA title game to Syracuse and Bonnie Bernstein asked him several questions about the North Carolina job.

Give the man a break and let him go in peace. Sure, fans want to know the answer, but they also know they aren’t going to get it then.

The producer should know that, too, and realize that there is no need to ask those stupid questions that never get an answer and get a coach upset.

But hey, the producer isn’t the one asking the questions out in the open. He is chilling in the truck, knowing that he is safe from criticism.

I think there needs to be a camera on the producer at all times during a game and every time there is a mistake in coverage, the feed goes to them as they are busy lighting into someone else for the mistake.

That is what I call good TV.

The more I think about it, my whole problem has to do with producers.

It is probably the producer’s idea to talk about Brett Favre and other non-game related things for hours on end.

I have seen it first hand when I work in the truck during Bears games.

Most of the producers are busy telling the camera man where to shoot and he or she is the one who decides what stats and clips are shown.

The producer likes to take control and when things aren’t done his or her way, there will likely be some yelling.

Sports media is becoming more and more about the business than about the sport.

Maybe if there were producers who were about the love of the game, we, the fans, could enjoy watching the games more.

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