OK, full disclosure, I have a degree in Journalism, and spent 3 years as a sports writer before moving on to the wonderfully fulfilling world of Education.
But something happened yesterday that made me realize how much I truly hate today's media. At the NFL owner's meetings, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach (I'm a Baltimorean) sat down for a 1-on-1 interview with a reporter. And then throughout the day, there are maybe 10-12 small articles put out by the reporter. I realized, each article has 1 quote in it from Harbaugh, and then a handful of paragraphs playing off of that quote.
That got me thinking. When I went to school - which admittedly was before the 24-hour Social Media craze, but not that long before - reporters would scoop out a good story and then go to the athlete/coach to get a quote about that story. Now it seems there is very little reporting, and more waiting for an athlete/coach to say something, and then the reporters take that quick quote/soundbyte, and turn that into the story. Isn't that backwards?
It's not as bad in the world of golf, as it is with the NFL/NBA, but just last week Patrick Reed says he's a Top-5 player, and that one quote turns into nearly a week of stories. Really?????
If you look at golfchannel.com (or God forbid espn.com) a chunk of the "news" is a quote from an athlete about a topic or another athlete, and a full story revolving around that quote.
If I were a pro athlete in this day and age, I would be as tight-lipped (Tiger!!!) about as much as I possibly could. What good can come out of talking about anything, when it will probably be turned into a story?
I remember by Dad telling me that the old Colts (Unitas, Moore, Berry, Donovan, etc...) used to hang out at the local bars, and I've read how close Arnie, Jack, and others were with the media in their hayday.
Can you imagine some of the stories that those reporters could have shared if they wanted to? Of course they didn't, because it wasn't "news" back then.
Today, it's too hard to go find a story, so let's just ask an athlete/coach a question, and hope he says something he'll soon regret. And then we'll turn that into a story until another one does the same thing in a few days.
So is the media to blame, or are we - the sports fans - to blame for reading/listening/watching all of this?
Sorry for my rant!!!!