CNHI News Service


January 29, 2013

Sports coverage isn't about sports anymore

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Sometimes I have to wonder whatever became of sports journalism.

My reasons for starting this job were because it wasn’t supposed to be a job. What sports fanatic wouldn’t want to get paid to write about sports?

Unfortunately, sports journalism changed in the past 18 years. It isn’t all fun and games like it used to be. This is what it has come to:

Lance Armstrong went to Oprah Winfrey to confess to what most of us already expected - that he was guilty of using performance enhancing drugs during his run of seven straight Tour de France championships following his fight with cancer.

Manti Te’o chose to appear on something called “Katie" with Katie Couric — which I honestly had no idea existed until I was at a car dealership last week — to explain the whole episode with the fake girlfriend who later died of cancer.

It is interesting that both sports figures went to non-sports media to tell their stories. I guess they were expecting sympathetic ears.

Armstrong, at least, helped raise funds and awareness for cancer research. The story of Te’o — who must have suffered enough in the lopsided loss in the BCS championship to Alabama — is just plain weird. And it just won’t go away/

As if that wasn’t bad enough, here comes the latest from Danica Patrick, the NASCAR driver who is a media darling for her looks and not much else. She was the subject of an Associated Press NewsBreak on Friday, which is usually meant for major news.

Of course, that isn’t always the case. I remember once when a AP NewsBreak came across alerting all the world that Mike Piazza had dyed his hair. This news was about as relevant.

It was revealed last week that Patrick, who just began divorce proceedings with her husband of seven years in November, announced she is dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr., another NASCAR driver.

Text Only
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg College sports upended by NCAA vote, judge's ruling

    Big-name conferences have leave to write their own rules, and a federal judge is forcing colleges to share television and marketing royalties with players. The guise of amateurism is gone from college athletics. What's next is anyone's guess.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Baseball still catching on to official reviews

    The Marlins clung to a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning against the Reds last week when an official review of a play at the plate changed everything. The game's controversial outcome - Cincinnati won 3-1 - illustrates baseball's struggle to adjust to the new replay system.


    August 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad sports team owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    August 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014