Slap Hitter: The Sports Media Hates Sports


Today's top sports story sucks. Tom Cable allegedly hitting his assistant coach is not a sports story. The editor of the Sporting Green made it his banner tale. Ray Ratto writes about the episode with the glee. He writhes with pleasure anticipating who's going to say what to whom next. KNBR then wastes the better half of the morning on the inanity of which Bay Area coach could beat up another. This isn't sports, people, it's middle school.

The Cable news is just a drop in an over-filled bucket of goo. Michael Vick signed a contract...will PETA protest in Philadelphia? Is Brett Favre a prima donna? What's Don Nelson's deal? If what the hacks want to report on is personality or motivation or character let them write for People magazine. Yesterday the A's won a game that they would lose nine times out of ten, throwing journeyman Brett Tomko at the best team in the big leagues and beating them. The Giants came out of a summer long slump to score double digits on the Mets. These are sports stories. Within them come interesting questions about internal fortitude and yes, character, but when sports talk devolves into nothing but chattering journalists, saying, "Ooooh, no he di'int" I'll skip ahead to the Datebook section.

It's like the sports chattering class doesn't have faith in sports itself, figuring that if the story is about lineups or strategies, the audience will tune them out. They're wrong. I'll read the game story and figure out for myself whether I like the people in the box score.

This tripe of who's zooming who is not what I'm waiting for with baited breath. I know the news cycle of the Raider rumble will last the week, and by then some other feature will be passed along as news. There's controversy enough in the sport itself. Should the A's release Garciaparra? Will Russell stand up as Raider QB? But the editors and program directors who are making the calls need to make better ones. Better strategically and better morally. 24-hour coverage feeds the beast with empty calories, and me, I'm ready for a hunger strike.— Kibby Kleiman