David Lee Roth of the
great Van Halen once sang "Where have
the good times gone?" Even though this
song came out about 15 years ago, I think
that they still have some pertinent meaning
now, especially in the minds of NBA fans and
Ever since Latrell Spreewell tried to
strangle his head coach, you would think our
society is on the brink of disaster. Johnny
Cochran has been called in to play the race
card, and I, for one, have had it everyone
screaming "racism." It's about as
much fun to listen to as a train wreck or a
cry for help.
The America Journalism Review recently did
an interview with Keith Olbermann. Many late
night sports fans will remember him as THE
reason to watch Sports Center on Sunday
nights. The man had a way with words and a
biting, cynical wit to make anyone who says
they write for living seem like a worthless
hack. Olbermann was easily the smartest
anchor at ESPN, according to his Sunday night
partner Dan Patrick. He said that Olbermann
rarely ever talked about sports in the news
room and that he was always talking about
history, politics, etc. The writer of the AJR
article (whose name escapes me right now)
said "Keith was a man who realized there
were more important things than sports."
Now don't get me wrong. I love sports and
have been around athletics all of my life as
a player, coach and now a sports writer. I
make my living talking to you all about
sports. It' just simply what I do. However, I
gladly realize and accept the fact that there
are more important issues that we're all
dealing with. Yes, more important than sports.
On the other hand, if you pay close
attention to most of our media outlets,
especially television, it appears that there
isn't much else going on to talk about.
For example, the last couple of days I've
switched over to CNN's Crossfire immediately
after Sports Center. What do you think they
have been discussing? Latrell Spreewell
strangling PJ Carlisimo. Later, I'll switch
over to CNBC and/or MSNBC and the lead story
on both networks is still the death of
Princess Diana or Jon Benet Ramsey. Here's a
news flash. They're dead. Been dead. Gonna be
dead. Move on.
It's getting to the point where it is
impossible to tell news from fiction.
Which is why, I guess, people immerse
themselves in sports. It's easy to see how
people, including myself, can get wrapped up
in sports. When everything that passes itself
as new and important information but is
really rumor and entertainment hidden behind
a news desk, sports can really take on
driving force in society. And my job is to
try and walk that tight rope everyday.
It's a strange position to be in.
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