Sport has become like Hollywood, where the focus is moving towards the accessories, thrills, spills and frills. Fans were once treated to the physical output of the great athletes while less attention was paid with who they were dating, where they lived and what they ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Are those tools of mass distraction taking away from the sport? Yes they are…Saw a story on cricket for example, where corruption is being suggested and has primarily indicated that because a commentator harped on an issue, it could be true. What about the fact that the team was just playing bad cricket. Read this link for more http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-2380143/West-Indies-v-Pakistan-ODI-series-investigated-betting-corruption.html?ico=sport%5Eeditors_choice
The sporting competitions which are held outside the USA however tend to keep their eyes focused on results and less on the distractions unless impacting. I really think there are some teams who we have grown to expect certain types of performance, who are beaten by other teams; it means they are rebuilding. In that process of re-building there is going to be some bad play and some that really makes you think – could he/she be that silly? But bear with the team, their day will come again. </p><p>The NBA early 2012 was ‘distracted’ with news of affairs, players losing homes and all that jazz, but the media soon realised with a 82-game regular season, there was not enough space in print or time on air to give to the ‘drama’ but instead had to focus on the “GAME”.
Consumer trends must be pointing elsewhere for media to dedicate so much time to that kind of crap. What I know is Social Media is helping the media to have more stories that they can find space for and this recent article in the Tampa Bay Times “Maybe more athletes should stay off Twitter http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/maybe-more-athletes-should-stay-off-twitter/2131845 highlights the need to have the athletes focus on their primary roles and integrate themselves more in developing their skills or growing the game as opposed to feeding the media with unnecessary ‘noise’.
Some of the athletes who use Twitter are never able to get subject-verb agreement, they rant too much and misrepresent what their organisations had initially set out to do and as the article stated, the apology which comes after is a far cry from what was originally posted…meaning “somebody else has to write the apology”. It goes back to the old advise – Think before you talk or in this case, tweet.
None of the sports are able to avoid this plague and the recent doping scandals in track and field, baseball and cycling are just another set of examples. The question is – does one size fit all? Until the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the international sporting federations can agree to stamp out athletes who cheat using the same rules across the board, then some sport will flourish, while some will be always held under a cloud.
How about demanding that manufacturers publish all ingredients used in their supplements/vitamins for starters? How about publishing a list of approved substances? I continue to advocate for public education and general awareness, but the truth is, the drug industry may be bigger than the sport industry and as soon as one drug is discovered much more are made. WADA has to be on their toes at all times. Recently in the Washington Post, the story highlights the point that A Rod and Ryan Braun are being advised that lying can be worse than cheating http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/ryan-braun-alex-rodriguez-are-learning-that-lying-is-worse-than-cheating/2013/07/27/cf7f6370-f643-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html
The story also says “For the first time in almost 50 years, the new inductees are all dead. The players eligible for induction — Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, only the greatest power hitter and pitcher of their generation — are widely considered disgraced drug cheats who, in the end, needed lawyers more than Hall of Fame votes.” How then is the fight for abused substances going to pan out?
Some other distractions worthy of mention
- NBA trades for the 2013/2014 season
- The venues we have come to love have to find a new home e.g. Madison Square Garden
- Tell-tales of ex-wives of superstars
I say, let’s get back to basics, the game. Watch. Listen. Enjoy