In Daytona for Speedweeks there was a lot of talk about the quality of racing, the two by two and what was going to happen when the Daytona 500 rolled around. Regardless of what you thought of all of those ideas, it got me thinking that we were at least talking about the actual “sport.” The competition, the racing, the guys on the track.
Everywhere else we’re talking about something else.
In football it’s been about their labor agreement. Billionaires and millionaires squabbling.
In the NBA, the owners are threatening a lockout, mainly because they don’t like how much the players are making.
Golf’s main news is their most recognizable golfer is spitting on the green.
And in baseball, the best player in the game is asking for somewhere near a third of a billion dollars to play for the next ten years. And isn’t happy with the quarter or a billion he’s being offered.
Is this where we’ve gotten to in sports?
The 24-hour news cycle has brought us a whole different idea about what’s happening when we’re supposed to be “at play.” We know every detail of how much everybody’s making. We know the minute-by-minute analysis of every negotiation, every dollar that’s accepted or rejected and the story changes five times on any given day. Because sports “journalists” are now competing with blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, the information is blurred. Cutting through the “dis” information is as much of the job as finding the information in the first place.
I like the instant information and the access the social media gives to fans (and media) alike when it comes to hearing what players, coaches and even organizations have to say. But it’s just that. What they have to say. There’s an agenda and sometimes the truth is even in question. That used to be what the media was all about: filtering through all of the blather and finding something close to the truth. Hopefully, some of that will survive.
Your Mom probably told you once, “Don’t believe everything you hear,” or something like that. She’s right.