Who Should Analyze the Analysis of the Analysts?
Every Sports Lover. Reminder: I told you there would be an NBA season, and not just a lockout. Now we are in the NBA’s postseason, and I have noticed that really great professional basketball analysis is hard to find. Looking around the various media outlets, I hear opinions that are based on hype and popular opinion. I see stories that lack REAL substance. Should I compare the New York Times with the Enquirer? Of course not. Why, then, should I have to weed through the many channels of so-called sports analysts who are little more than news reporters slash paparazzi (sans cameras) slash bandwagon fans?
From a marketing perspective, the media’s hype is lucrative for ball clubs and individual players, especially if the hype surrounds a player who knows how to handle his “hype time” in a way that pleases fans who use twitter. Those same fans will blow up twitter and then race to the stores and the web to purchase the various items that bear the player’s name and likeness. Many people who do not follow sports or even care about sports will suddenly know the name of the player or team who is the subject of the “hype time.” (2nd reminder/ previous post: It’s all about the money: http://sportsfanlunatic.com/2011/10/04/its-not-whether-you-win-or-lose-its-all-about-the-money/)
(I’m pretty sure you witnessed ”Linsanity”)
In the old days, there was a small clique of sports analysts who had to speak off the cuff and really know their stuff. They didn’t have computers everywhere, so if they wanted to quote stats, they had to know them, or have easy access to someone else who knew the numbers. Those were the days, my friends, when people who truly cared about sports did most of the talking. I’m not sure about you, but one conversation about sports that mentions the color of the team’s uniform is one too many for me. Highlights are exciting and fun to watch, but nothing compares to listening to someone pick the game apart. Everyone agrees that a player should have his head in the game, and I’m saying that the people who get paid to talk about sports need to get their heads in the game, too.
It is so bad that I was upset back when Avery Johnson got called to coach the Nets because I loved to listen to him talk sports. His passion and knowledge was awesome. (Shout out to Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser and the PTI show on ESPN … love you guys!)
My message to sports media is this: We’re (the consumers) watching and listening. Step it up, do some freestyle analysis and stop relying solely on the teleprompter. Make it exciting for the fans with your knowledge of the game, not just with fancy highlights and promotions. (Although I do love the ESPN hilarious ads that feature Jay Harris, the 6pm SportsCenter anchor… that guy is a natural.)