One of the reasons I went into the media business is partly to be a ‘voice of the fan’. And when it comes to tweets like this, my decision is reaffirmed.
First, let me say, I understand why he tweeted it. I do. There are stories that media have heard and know about athletes that have not seen the light of day. If they were, we fans would all probably think of sports and athletes in a completely different light. However, we aren’t privy to these stories.
[Side note: would be nice if media would pursue those stories. More on that in a bit.]
However…that tweet also shows that there is still a disconnect in some circles between media and fans. Are there still people in this country that believe players in sports don’t use PEDs “rampantly”? Given the number of people in this country, and those that are sports fans, the answer is yes. There are people who are sports fans that don’t ‘eat, live and breathe’ sports. They’re not on social media for hours upon hours of the day. They’re not able to read websites with all of the latest sports tidbits and rumors. They work, have families and when they “have time”, then are they able to find out what’s going on.
If media believes it’s rampant, then report it. Do the dirty work and find out if “rumors” are true. Don’t badger fans (like one national radio host I know does – not the person that tweeted above) that are outraged by these PED stories. They (“we”) are fans. Fans get their news from media. If media’s not reporting it, then fans aren’t going to know, are they?
Think about it. Think about the Lance Armstrong story. His triumph over cancer, his victories in the Tour de France, his “Livestrong” movement – all part of what media presented to fans. Many fans believed in Armstrong because of what they read. He was built up to be this near saint-like figure. And when it all came crumbling down with truth, the aforementioned fans were surprised. Media? Not so much. Why? Because they’d already heard the rumors and whispers in their own circles.
Fans aren’t a part of those “circles”. So there will always be people who “don’t believe” in the seedy side of sports.
If only this video would deter video-bombers in the future. But then we’d miss out on this funny ‘Oh Snap!’ moment by this reporter in New Orleans.