Monday, November 06, 2006

Media Impact

For those who don't think the media impacts the results of sporting events, think again.

The 1-6 Miami Dolphins came to Chicago this past weekend proclaiming how the media here in Chicago, and in Miami, gave them no chance of beating the unbeaten Bears.

No chance.

But that's why they play the game.

The Dolphins professed afterward to any media-type who would listen how the disrespect they got from the media helped motivate them to win the game. Yet, ironically, when you ask an athlete if he or she reads the papers, they generally say no.

Yeah, right.

Of course, this doesn't mean that to guarantee your hometown team wins a game that you, the sports writer, should show them disrespect in your coverage. Of course not.

Just because most major-metro hometown newspapers sell more copies, by the thousands, when their hometown teams win, doesn't mean that reverse psychology in coverage should be applied regularly. So the next time an athlete tells you he or she doesn't read the papers, don't believe it for one minute. Especially at the two-minute warning.


***

I'd be remiss here if I didn't say how much my father motivated me to be a sports fan. Not just a sports fan, but one who critically analyzed and observed a game and therefore played it the same when I had the chance.

Now that I'm a working sports writer as well as journalism educator, I take those lessons to heart. I make sure my students know to capture information beyond the games, as I try to do in my coverages to this day, my 29th year in the business.

My father and I never had a catch, but I sure caught his drift. My father died Oct. 30. He was 94 and stricken with deep-seated Alzheimer's. He no longer recognized most anything or anyone and he'd forgotten virtually everything. But I sure won't, Dad. I sure won't.

1 Comments:

Blogger Farhan said...

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7:53 AM  

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