03 April 2007
ESPN The Magazine has put Ron Artest on the cover of its magazine this year and not Crosby. Sports Illustrated has put Chad Johnson -- CHAD JOHNSON! -- on its cover, but can't seem to find time to chronicle the best story in sports from the past 12 months. You have to wonder if people who cover sports really like sports anymore.
This really resonated with me... and I think he's right. You do have to wonder if the people who follow sports anymore really like it. In fact I'd be willing to bet a lot of them don't.In a recent interview with Billy Packer, the guy who calls all important college basketball games, he indicated he doesn't watch it in his free time or study it. The only games he watches are the ones he calls. Why would I care about his perspective.
There's so much negativity and money following main stream sports right now, like basketball, baseball and Football. You have a lot of columnists/talkling heads trying to inject themselves into the storyline of sports instead of just narrating the storyline, looking for bits that might escape the casual observer. To me they are not doing their job. A good actor is the one who makes you forget who he is, and you think he is his character. It's why Tim Robbins is always Andy Dufrene to me, and Morgan Freeman is always Red. In the same way a good storyteller is the one who makes you forget your listening to a story, and makes you feel apart of it. Too often these days sportswriters try to become the story, and the easiest way to do this is to inject negativity into sports. Sports announcers have fallen victim to this disease.
Then there's hockey. There are very few times when you feel the sportswriter is trying to make himself into something bigger than the sport. They all write about the sport because they love it (or most of them do). Frei, Buccigross, Burnside, and 99% of all the other hockey columnists I find really write about hockey because they love the sport it, but they understand they are just the storyteller. Hockey announcers don't make themselves into something bigger than the game, they don't inject themselves into it the way Phil Simms or Billy Packer try to. They just try to give some insight into the game, the way it should be. Even obvious homers, like the Avs announcers, show their love of the game. They aren't trying to impose themselves on the game.
This is just another reason why Hockey is more fun than any other sport.
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