Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bias in the (Sports) Media Revisited

As I have discussed before, there are a number of college sports teams, specifically football teams, that the national sports media usually assume are good - always.

I listened to WHO radio this weekend and their broadcast of the Iowa-Florida Outback bowl. I wish to preface this by saying that I realize WHO, who only carries Iowa games and not Iowa State games, can be a bit more than biased toward Iowa and Iowa sports teams' infallibility. From the broadcast, here is one of the more obvious examples:

"...and the [Florida quarterback] hands it off to the [Florida running back]. Oh! He gets hammered by the Iowa defense! What a hit by [Iowa defensive back]! First down. Gain of ten by Florida"

"...and Drew Tate hands it off to [Iowa running back]. Oh! And he runs over two blue shirts! What a great run by Iowa. Gain of one yard on the play."

I'm serious about the quotes above, too. This is how the whole game was reported. Every incomplete pass by Florida was "almost" intercepted and most of them "could have been" run back by Iowa for six. As Iowa was losing 31-7 just one more touchdown would put Iowa "right back in the game." Ridiculous.

Although I expect this from WHO while broadcasting Iowa football, I also expect pathetic reporting from the Des Moines Register. Let's highlight the article titles for Iowa State's 3-point loss to TCU and Iowa's 7-point loss to Florida.

Des Moines Register headlines for Iowa State:
Can youth-driven Cyclones win big ones next year?
ISU sucked this year. Can it get any worse?
Highlights and lowlights from ISU's '05 season
Emphasis on "lowlights" anyone?
Cyclones left to replay the 'what-ifs'
Like "What if the Register covered us like they cover the Hawkeyes?"
Cyclones after loss: 'We were so close'
Houston Bowl update: Stadium to be half empty?
The Register's yearly commentary on how all Iowa State students should go to the bowl game because ISU actually made it to one.

Des Moines Register headlines for Iowa:
League tells Hawkeyes: Call was wrong
By the way - they would have had to score two touchdowns in 1:30 after the bad call. Win: unlikely.
'Happy Hawk Day' has sad ending for fans
And who cares about the sad ISU fans? No one, because Iowa always wins bowl games, right?
Outback: It was that close
Bowl win, sweep of rivals unprecedented for Florida
You see, Florida isn't a good football team after all...
Whether Ferentz will stay or go is anyone's guess
Kirk Ferentz is such a darn good coach you'll see him in the NFL... never.
Gutsy, iffy calls kill Iowa in Outback
Along with that whole "Iowa isn't really that good of a team" factor.
Outback Bowl poll: What hurt Iowa the most in its Outback Bowl loss to Florida?

On the Radar Poll: What hurts Iowa State football from being taken seriously nationally? People like the idiots at the Des Moines Register.

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