The Golden Age of Ignorance in Sports Media

There was a time when sports television was entertaining and refreshing. Shows like ‘PTI’, ‘Around the Horn’, and ‘The Sports Reporters’ gave sports fans the opportunity to hear insightful and interesting commentary on the day’s top sports news. In search of higher ratings and more “buzz” networks like ESPN and FS1, have created more “debate” shows with less content and more bloviating from their hosts.

We’re now in the middle of an epidemic of poor sports content on radio and television. From ESPN’s ‘First Take’ to FS1’s ‘Undisputed’ to even Bill Simmons’ [poor excuse for a show] ‘Any Given Wednesday’; there’s a nonstop barrage of arrogant and despondent shot-jocks who spew their ignorance all over the airwaves. Take Max Kellerman for example, a once well renowned [and respected] American boxing commentator has become the heir apparent to Skip Bayless on ‘First Take’. He gave an interview a few weeks before starting the show explaining that he wasn’t interested in being the new Bayless; yet, he’s constantly trolling superstar players (i.e. Tom Brady & Drew Brees) while making outrageous claims. That sounds an awful lot like Bayless to me.

It’s not just on a national scale. Even local sports talk radio has gone down the tubes. Living in New England, I have the unfortunate pleasure of listening to the close minded dunderheads on WEEI [Boston affiliate]. I understand that they’re views are skewed towards Boston sports; but they don’t even try to make rational points and/or arguments. If a caller calls into a show and doesn’t agree that Tom Brady and David Ortiz are the greatest athletes in sports, he/she are called out and considered stupid for their opinion; that’s open minded thinking at its finest folks. 

I truly miss listening to astute sports journalists give their take on sports. I know there can only be one ‘PTI’ or Katie Nolan or Scott Van Pelt, but that doesn’t mean all of this other trash should be polluting our eyes and ears on a daily basis. In a time where blogs (like this) and podcasts are a dime a dozen, why is it that there isn’t more talent found on these major/local networks? 

There are plenty of smart and interesting people offering up their introspective take on sports; if the major sports companies/networks aren’t going to do their due diligence to find them, then maybe we should.

                

If you like what you’ve read you can find me on twitter: @lavalleech

 

 

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Kaepernick’s Protest Highlights Our Cultural Divide

Over the weekend, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was the main topic discussed on the Sunday morning edition of SportsCenter. Most sports topics usually last a day, maybe two at the most before something new hits the wire and becomes the new hot take. Needless to say I assumed that this would fall under that category; I couldn’t have been more wrong.      

Kaepernick’s protest has started a fire storm throughout the country that I didn’t think was possible. People from both sides of the aisle have weighed in and it hasn’t been pretty. If there were people who believed that the race relations in this country were starting to turn around for the better, this movement by Kaepernick certainly exposed the unfortunate truth; that they may be more divided than ever.  

We’re doing such a disservice to ourselves and others by acting in the manner we have over this past week. Regardless of everyone’s political ideology, whatever happened to having a respectful discourse with another person? Unfortunately, one of the huge negatives to social media is that it has created this “bulletproof” arena where ignorant jackasses type away and spew some of the most disturbing and vile thoughts imaginable. This topic has become so polarizing that there is no middle ground; it’s either you’re completely behind Kaepernick or you’re not.   

As a society we need to make up our minds regarding whether or not we want athletes to speak out on social issues. One minute we’re upset because they’re not saying enough and then a minute later we’re roasting them for taking a stance that “we” don’t agree with. Just like most things in life, we can’t have our cake and eat it to. There were many that championed LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony for their speech prior to the beginning of the ESPY’s in July; but there’s been an outcry for what Kaepernick did. I understand that many have used patriotism as a justification to for why they don’t support Kaepernick but in the end, he’s doing the same thing but in his own way. 

The greatest positive that can be taken from Kaepernick’s protest was that it was peaceful. He did something to show the country how he felt about race relations in a non-violent manner. Shouldn’t we be commending and not condemning him for that? You don’t have to like what he did but you should at least appreciate that he did it without harming anyone. In a time when violence is at an all-time high, let’s appreciate that someone [in the public eye] was able to reach out to [and touch] so many in a peaceful manner. 
If you like what you’ve read, you can find me on Twitter : @lavalleech