Allen: Sports coverage? Think local.
National sports columnists and commentators are useless. If you're knowledgeableabout your local team, they will add absolutely nothing of value to yourknowledge base. They're a waste of time.
National sports columnists and commentators are useless. If you're knowledgeable
about your local team, they will add absolutely nothing of value to your
knowledge base. They're a waste of time.
In fact, I really don't know why anyone puts stock in what ESPN, FOXSports,
CBSSports, SI.com, etc have to say about your local teams.
Whether it is Mike Freeman declaring that Randy Moss is lazy after watching a
single game - one in which he had no idea what Moss was actually being asked to
do - and writing a national column for CBS to that effect, Gregg Easterbrook
spending an entire season ignoring facts and calling for season-long or
lifetime suspensions for Bill Belichick, or nine out of ten ESPN
"experts" picking the Lakers to beat the Celtics in the 2008 NBA
finals, today's national sports media is little more than a lot of ill-informed
There are so many voices out there that they first need to get your attention,
which they attempt to do by trying to outdo each other by saying outrageous
things. They spend so much time coming up with the "take" that they
can't prepare properly for the rest. There are so many teams and players out
there that there is no possible way that they are well-informed and
knowledgeable about each one of them. They just can't. So they have to settle
for a surface knowledge of the team or topic, spout a few things they heard
someone else say, and declare it as Gospel.
If you watch or read that commentary, and have noticed the glaring errors made
on statements about your local teams, it's probably safe to say they're making
the same errors on all other teams as well. It's because they have nothing more
than a cursory knowledge of the team, and aren't familiar with the day-to-day
workings of the club.
If you want real knowledge and analysis about your team, you're better off
sticking with the locals. They actually watch all the games. They know the
players from being around them almost every day. They talk to the coaches. They
have a sense about the teams from all of this access. They're not perfect of
course, and many are not without their own agendas and making a name for
themselves, but for the most part, you're better off getting your information
from these local scribes and reporters. This of course only applies to what
they say about the teams they cover. Don't expect the Patriots writer to tell
you what the Red Sox farm system is like. Likewise, don't expect the locals to
have deep insight on the out-of-town teams, unless they're also checking with
and citing the local sources on those opposing teams.
In this age of the internet, even if you're looking for information on an
out-of-market team, you're better off looking at the local coverage from that
city. It's easy to find, and you're going to again read from people who are
around the team.
Bruce Allen is the creator of Boston Sports Media Watch,
which has recently been recognized by SI.com as one of the best non-corporate
sports web site's on the Internet