When we hear about football celebrities doing stupid things, my roommates and I make the same joke: “You know what? I bet Jerry Jones would hire him.”
Lately, Jones has sort of become known for picking up renegade stars, such as Terrell Owens, for reasons only he can understand. Most of us believe Jones just wants as much media attention for his beloved football franchise as possible. While this view might be cynical, I’m not so certain it’s that far from the truth.
Michael Rosenberg recently posted an article on SI.com about sports celebrities and the media’s coverage of their “ugly sides.” Nothing in history can compare to the media time spent covering Tiger Woods’ multiple affairs, but Rosenberg asks a few extremely simple, yet relevant questions:
How much of this did we need to know? And if you’re going to be a sports fan in any conventional sense — because you want the escape and enjoy the games — does it help, in any way, to check the Internet for the latest embarrassing cell phone camera shots of a famous athlete?
Or would you rather just watch the games?
Why is that national news outlets, such as CNN, NPR, and others that traditionally only give the most major sports limited coverage at best feel, the need to report on the moral scandals within sports? And, more importantly, why do these outlets feel it’s necessary to report on something like the arrest of one of Woods’ mistresses?
I’m asked all the time about whether I think “news” is changing with the advent of new technologies. Although I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the views held by people who actually care about newsworthiness, I’m obligated to think that what was once considered “news” a few years ago is now resigned to the boring/negative category in the minds of most media users.
People don’t have to get their information from traditional news outlets anymore. I’m tempted to think that news about foreign affairs and other “important” (an extremely relative term) topics isn’t even considered news by a number of people in our world. If you don’t believe me, please explain why Adam Lambert is featured on CNN’s homepage talking about politics and why what he thinks matters.