I did love Johnny Most, and I doubt I’m alone in that I watched Celtic games with the TV volume off and the radio on. Johnny was watching a much better game than me, and I loved him for it.
That said, there is a difference between the coverage of a team and the live broadcast of a game.
We all want honest coverage, but the Boston media is extremely overboard with their excessive attempts to portray everything negatively. It appears to be loaded with reporters with diehard agendas to get you to like them more than the players. The Herald in particular used to love this style of journalism. I’ve been in Chicago for a long time now, and the attitude is a lot different. I never understood why Steve Buckley hated Nomar Garciaparra, and had to constantly tell me what a negative person he was, as if I was ever going to pal around with the guy. Or why he had to dedicate an entire back page to the horrific scandal of Roger Clemens throwing a package of hot dog rolls. Hot dog rolls? Well, this is up there with Vlad Guerrero assaulting a police officer. (Side note – I think Vlad did it. If you saw him play, you know that guy will swing at anything.)
I could never take anything Gerry Callahan said seriously, and to this day I still don’t understand why he was so offended that Ty Law gave a high five to Keyshawn Johnson after the play was over. Or why I was supposed to dislike Erik Bedard because Erik’s goal was to make life difficult for the media.
There are literally thousands of examples like these. Bob Ryan is always the pessimist, and while others are highlighting his prognostication that the Sox are “not a playoff team,” can we get a little insight into Bob’s track record for this kind of prediction? Did he ever say it in 2004 and 2007? Or any other playoff season? If so, did he recant it (like, say, Eric Wilbur did in 2007)? Does he even have any criteria? And did Bob Ryan, like nearly every other sports journalist (and fan) in America, decide the Cardinals were “not a playoff team” last March when Adam Wainwright was lost for the season?
Sportswriters today are much different than they were 20 years ago. They used to write one column a day or one column a week and the only competition for readership was if there was another paper in the same market. Now, they yap because they have to yap, and yap more often because there are many more dedicated outlets, like 24 hour cable sports channels and thousands web pages, that people can turn to.
Fans have so many more options, but there is always one consistent – they gravitate towards the negativity. You can only read so many “this team is good enough” articles before you lose interest in that potentially accurate assessment that completely lacks sexiness. But when there is a problem – any problem – it grabs attention. How will they overcome this? How long will it last? I have to stay tuned and find out!! It leaves us needing – not wanting, needing – information and updates, and needing them often. And when there is no real scandal, then anything will do if you talk about it loud enough and often enough. CHICKEN AND BEER!! IT HAS TO BE A PROBLEM IF WE MENTION IT ENOUGH!! HEY, IF WE PUT IT IN THE SAME SENTENCE AS A LOSING STREAK, WE CAN ESTABLISH A CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIP!
And after a while, they all start to believe each other, and eventually themselves. I find little use for this breed.
And a side memo to Steve Buckley. While I trust you are a better judge of talent than me, and I liked your praise of Coco Crisp’s defense in CF, please do not insult my intelligence by comparing him to all the other center fielders you have watched play, and then mentioning Tris Speaker by name. Speaker left the Sox in 1915, some 40 years before you were born and nearly 25 years before televised baseball broadcasts. Crisp may have done better defensively, but you never watched Tris Speaker…