Sunday, December 28, 2008

Best year ever - for media?

While much of the media is spending its remaining time in 2008 telling us it just may have been the best year ever in sports, you have to wonder if it was the best year ever in sports, media, that is.

Think about it.

  • For starters, I'm still waiting for John Madden or any other analyst, for that matter, to tell me something I don't know or didn't already know or didn't see for myself. I imagine many of are you are too;
  • I'm still waiting for FOX to stop telling me how great the World Series was this year. Is it over yet? Who was in it?
  • I'm still wondering why Dan Patrick is doing the "schlock" he's doing in Sports Illustrated and is so the stiff on NBC's Sunday Night Football studio that he never was on SportsCenter when Rick Reilly, the guy he basically was traded for at SI, is hitting media homers for ESPN;
  • I'm waiting for the idiot in the Detroit media who piled on live insult after demeaning live personal insult on Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli to apologize and wondering why he still has press credentials;
  • I'm waiting for the guys in the FOX and CBS studio shows to stop making believe they're real reporters. That's sort of like when Digger Phelps made believe he interviewed Bob Knight for ESPN;
  • I'm waiting for athletes to stop dodging the media and instead use their web sites to answer questions they were never asked;
  • I'm waiting for ESPN to apologize for bringing in Bob Knight as a studio analyst for its NCAA basketball coverage. Are they kidding? The only thing Knight probably likes more than criticizing the media is stealing its money. ESPN might as well have brought back Rush Limbaugh on NFL Countdown;
  • I'm waiting for ESPN's First Take to eliminate the contrived "debates" between Skip Bayless and whoever they bring in to sit opposite him;
  • I'm waiting for NBC to tell me why so many of its play-by-play and color analysts were in New York for events they were describing during the Olympics in Beijing;
  • I'm waiting for the "feel-good" stories already being dreamed up this year about the rehabilitated Michael Vick next year;
  • I'm still waiting to know why the media thinks it's necessary for us to know that according to his ex-wife, Alex Rodriguez passed out during his child's birth;
  • I'm waiting for media-mogul Mayor Michael Bloomberg to shut up about Plaxico Burress before he spoils what's left of the entire American public as prospective members of the jury pool;

Is the World Series over yet? Who's in it?

Greatest year ever in sports? Maybe. Greatest year ever in sports media? Maybe not.

Happy New Year.

HBSSPORTS, otherwise known as Howard Schlossberg of Columbia College Chicago's Journalism Department (, can be reached at He is a staff sports correspondent for the Chicago-area's Daily Herald ( and sits on the editorial advisory board of and contributes to the Journal of Sports Media ( He is the author of Sports Marketing (Blackwell Publishers, Malden, MA, 1996).