Column by John Morris
A lot of what we know in the sports world is known because of the media. Our perception of athletes, teams and organizations are based on what we see on TV or social media.
Like a lot of things that we see on TV, this shapes our mind.
Most people in the world have played a sport, wanted to play a sport or idolized someone who played a sport growing up. For many, this seed was planted because of the media.
The media portrays most of these players as superhuman. LeBron James is perceived as the best basketball player in the world. Usain Bolt is coined as unbeatable, but how many people have truly watched him run in a race?
Everything the media covers in sports is not necessarily all good. It’s not always about a highlight or a good game; they also reveal the downfall of sports.
For example, ESPN, E:60 and ESPN’s 30 for 30 show a lot of things about teams, players and organizations that we may have never known if it weren’t for media coverage.
Despite the media’s sports coverage, some members of the public would rather be left in the dark when it comes to the personal lives of their favorite athletes.
Some people don’t like the media, whether the information is good or bad. On the outside looking in, when does it stop, or when is it OK to tell the cameras to go away?
Once they’ve moved on from the issue, the cameras and reporters go back to look for the next big story.
What about these athletes’ personal lives? Cameras don’t often show James watching TV with his children or Stephen Curry cooking for his wife and daughter.
A camera is always waiting for them to make a move, and as soon as it’s the wrong move or something the fans don’t agree with, their lives can change dramatically. If Derrick Rose stiffs on a tip, the receipt is on Bleacher Report within 24 hours. If a non-celebrity does the same thing, no one ever bats an eye.
The public doesn’t have their lives broadcast on TV for the world to see.
This brings a very human perception to us as fans since we paint these athletes as superheroes. Although the bad stuff makes for some of the best stories, the media does a very good job of keeping us in tune with the people involved in sports.
It’s not all bad; the media does try to shed some light on the good deeds athletes do. Usually around a holiday or an event for people with special need or social awareness there is a lot of good media coverage for the athletes.
The media seems to love a dramatic change in character to star a story. Stories like these bring in the most attention to a program or website. Johnny Manziel being a star quarterback at Texas A&M and having his character questioned for being a typical college student or Tom Brady being a nobody going into the NFL and being laughed at for his poor combine showing and eventually becoming one of the most popular faces in the game, by the fans standards. Even now Brady went through the media ridicule of an investigation being accused of cheating in a football game.
These types of stories will always make headlines because this is what catches the eye of viewers and readers. Talking about these people’s normal lives will bore us to sleep. The stories that make everyone question these people are what we live for.