Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Press is Pressing

I live in Nashville, Tennessee home of the Tennessee Titans. The Titans used to be the Houston Texans.

Why the brief history lesson? The focal point of this post is on John McClain, a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle who is one of my favorite guests on our local radio talk show on WKDF The Zone.

McClain, even though I love his NFL insights, seems to be pressing a bit about access the media should receive from major sports organizations. In a conversation last week discussing the NFL and how some of their injury reports are very vague or purposefully "questionable", McClain made the point that NFL GMs owe it to the fans who pay for their tickets, buy their sponsorships, fill up their suites, and buy their merchandise to communicate with them ... (and here is the line in question) by utilizing the media.

McClain's point was pretty much on the money. Teams do owe it tot he fans to communicate info in a timely, accurate manner. However, I disagree that a power the likes of the NFL "needs" the media to communicate. The NFL knows that many fans get their news straight from the team's website more and more these days. McClain surely knows that too as it has been widely reported that mass media entities, such as a newspaper, are struggling to catch up to a world that appears to have passed them by.

But let's look a little closer. Who is right? The team will obviously skew its coverage towards the positive when the chance presents itself. But the media provides an unbiased look into the issue, thus letting the reader decide.

Right? Maybe, but maybe not. Every fan base has their conspiracy theories about columnists' intentions to undermine an organization. So, albeit that a team site might provide a very "homer" tone to its information, many fans actually want to hear that.

So where are we? Not sure. But I firmly believe there is room for both entities to coexist. But, it will be a work in progress.

Take care.

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