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.

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