Saturday, May 26, 2007

The problem with sports media and sports today

By Joshua Normand (a.k.a. Josh in Rogers Park)

May 2007

There are a lot of problems with professional sports today. We can talk about the numerous NFL players being arrested or alleged to have done something wrong. If we look at baseball, we are coming off of the new steroid testing, which implies that many baseball players used steroids from approximately 1994-2003, if not earlier. The NBA has an urban image and no longer appeals to the average middle-aged white male (or middle-upper class male, regardless of skin color). Hockey is run by a NBA stooge who stubbornly canceled a season because of his self-righteous attitude on a salary cap, which he and his owners were mostly at fault for.

The bottom line is that professional sports for the average fan are not accessible. All of the important games are on late at night, or priced higher than normal games are. Every playoff game starts no earlier than 830 pm eastern time and ends around midnight, which makes it impossible for the average fan to stay up and watch the conclusion of the World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals. Only the Super Bowl is immune because it�s played on a Sunday evening and it has to end at 10:00 pm or so eastern time because there�s a special TV program on after the Super Bowl.

Every sports media journalist (or talk show host) is complicit to a certain degree with this. Very few people (Phil Mushnick of the New York Post being a notable exception) criticize the commissioners of these sports for putting playoff games out of the reach of the average sports fan.

After the horrendous attack on our country six years ago, one would have thought that the entertainment world would have learned a lesson or two about greed and avarice. Maybe one or two small changes would have been made that would have been token gestures to the common fan. Not the case. Perhaps the sports people are telling us that we aren�t wanted anymore. We are too smart and too stable for their shenanigans. Maybe theater and music are more appropriate entertainment outlets for us. At least a play that starts at 8 pm doesn�t have rain delays, 40 minute halftime shows, and other silliness.

Too much time is spent on nonsense such as women's sports, inclusiveness and other social experimentation at the expense of real problems. We don't have time for nonsense after 9/11. Political correctness is more than a silly fadd, it can harm people.

On a better note, I want to wish everyone a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. Let's remember that we're in a great country, despite its shortcomings and that many people fought and died to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.


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