>Sensational Sportscasting

21 Jun

>Two things are starting to really bug me about sports and TV nowadays…

1. “The best/greatest/…in history”
I fear this is a growing trend. How many times did we hear the guy calling the NBA Finals say that someone/something was “the greatest in NBA/NBA Finals history”? Yes, there were some remarkable and memorable performances, but I think ABC/ESPN’s announcing crew gets near-failing marks for their blatant sensationalism of the series. Not everything has to be a historical comparison, and let’s be honest: there have been better series in the last 10-15 years than this one. So let’s put some integrity back into sportscasting, for the good of sports. Don’t get me wrong – I applaud efforts to add perspective to sporting events. I do that myself as an announcer. But I don’t do it just to do it…a play or a game would truly have to rank up there before I’d say so.

2. Players posing with trophies
NBA players/coaches holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy for ads. NFL players celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy before they play the Super Bowl. NCAA athletes in a lot of sports (softball, basketball, etc) clutching the NCAA title trophy before they win it. I don’t think most of these are Photoshop illustrations…the inherent problem here: THEY HAVEN’T WON THE TROPHIES YET. Isn’t it a bit of a problem to get so comfortable with the greatest prize in your sport before you win it? I would say yes.

Let’s borrow from the NHL for a minute…players have so much respect for the trophies of the game, especially the Stanley Cup, that they won’t even touch the trophies until they win them. They won’t touch lesser trophies, because it stokes the fire within to win the big one. They sure as hell wouldn’t be seen dead gripping the Cup before they win it, for fear of throwing away their chance to win it and facing stigma and backlash from teammates and fans. Personally, I think it would be the worst kind of tease to get comfortable on film/photo with a championship trophy and then not win it. Why would you do that to yourself? The networks do it to promote the game…but I think the athletes sell themselves out by participating in it. I’d err on the side of respecting the game, my team and the trophy I’m striving to win and decline the photo op.

Of course, these things are driven by trying to make an event seem bigger than it really is, which in turn leads to higher ratings, more ad and sponsorship dollars, etc. It’s all about money. But why isn’t it enough anymore to simply appreciate these contests and the players in them? Maybe it’s an unrealistic utopian sports vision I have, but I just don’t get why tomorrow’s games always have to one-up today’s.

I’m out like 2001 World Series co-MVPs Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.

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One Response to “>Sensational Sportscasting”

  1. Ted C. Williams 06/23/2008 at 12:19 PM #

    >I agree with you with the trophy posing. I liked how they did it in the beginning, where they would pose NEXT to the trophy, but not touching it. Those photos had a look of the players’ desire for the title, but not the look of them actually as the presumptive champions.

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