Friday, August 10, 2012

Media darlings

For whatever reasons, the media seem to adopt certain athletes as their favorite sons or daughters. They'll hype them to the max. They want them to win. They WILL them to win. And, lo and behold, sometimes they DO win. Lebron James would be a prime example. From always coming up short in Cleveland, to the "decision" to take his talents to Miami, to getting blown away by the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals a little over a year ago -- the media never wavered in their commitment. It didn't seem to matter that outside of the southeast Florida region most basketball fans didn't much care for James, to put it mildly, they weren't going to stop pushing that story down our collective throats until James was a champion. And now he finally is. Whew. I'm glad that's over.

There have been many others over the years in different sports, both male and female, that the media have come together to rally behind for their own reasons. Most times these athletes are amongst the best in what they do, but not always. Even at the local level, sometimes the bias can make one wonder. Take Brandon Inge, formerly of the Detroit Tigers. Though he never could hit much, while making millions during his career in Motown, Inge was adopted as the "favorite" Tiger. Inge was a team spokesman, gave great interviews, and was an all-around nice guy. But he still couldn't hit. Many were quick to defend him by claiming his fielding prowess at third base more than made up for his deficiency in the batter's box. Yeah? If that was so important, why did the Tigers kick him to the curb in favor of Miguel Cabrera? Cabrera's a beast in the batter's box, but compared to Inge, has Roberto Duran's famed "hands of stone" when in comes to fielding the same position.

The media wanted us to believe Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa were the greatest thing to happen in baseball for decades when they were slugging all those home runs years ago. Look back at what they said and wrote at the time. Once the whole steroid scandal broke, they turned on them quickly. Like the old "Mission Impossible" mantra, they currently disavow all knowledge of their involvement at the time -- but it happened.

Yet there's one athlete that is the undisputed champion when it comes to being a media darling. The king. The czar, emperor, Pope, President, pharaoh, and shaman of the media. They love him. They worship him. They can't get enough of him. His every word is looked upon as if Moses keeps coming down from the mountain with a new set of tablets.

Gee, I wonder who that could be.....




  1. Champion media darling? You must be talking about the guy you love to bash. Although recently the sharks smelled blood in the water and went in for the kill. The only thing the media likes better than making kings is to tear them down. But he bounced back and soon will be back on top of the golf world.

    I can understand your frustration with Tiger and the media. I get frustrated that Obama gets even better treatment from the king makers than Tiger. Tiger is only a golfer. The lack of objectivity with Obama steers public opinion, to the detriment of the nation.

    A big problem with the media is that they decide who is going to be their next superhero. Then we get overloaded with their adulation of the superhero. They turn him into an idol, role model, example of all things good. Then our kids and grandkids get hooked. Invariably the superhero turns human and makes a mistake (or worse) and we all are reminded not to fall for the media hype, the best role models are parents, teachers, etc.

    Then the media finds another one to hype.....

    1. Al. Nice job going a little further in depth than I did about the king makers, and I couldn't agree more with your points. In my opinion, you nailed it. Speaking of Tiger, hopefully my next post, comparing him to Rory McIlroy at the same age, will pass your inspection. Let me know.