Solochek: Media’s coverage less than ‘Super’

first_imgTwo Sundays ago, the NFL had its penultimate games which decided who was going to play in the Super Bowl.Since the NFC and AFC Championship games have ended, there has been non-stop reporting from Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Tampa, which is the home of the big game. During the major networks’ coverage, pundits have discussed the experience of the Steelers, the inexperience of the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald and his father covering the game, the comeback of Kurt Warner, Pittsburgh returning to the Super Bowl, the supposed battle between Cardinals receiver Anquan Bouldin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and the status of Hines Ward’s knee.Sadly, all of these stories came out three days after the game and nothing new has been discussed since.Sure, it is cool that Larry Fitzgerald’s dad will be in the press box in Tampa Bay covering the game for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, but does every show related to football on ESPN need to get all their talking heads to comment on it? Does ESPN columnist Rick Reilly need to write a column about it a week after the story broke?The fact these stories are being repeated day in and day out shows how dominant professional football is among the four major sports. The ability the networks have to tell me five times a day Ward will be wearing a knee brace for the game without losing viewership is unbelievable.Our obsession with the Super Bowl and all of the storylines it entails is most obvious in the coverage of Super Bowl Media Day and the schedule sports networks have before the game. A few days ago, journalists from almost every major news outlet in the country gathered at Raymond James Stadium to see Ward discuss his knee (again), ask Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt about the relationship between receiver Anquan Bouldin and offensive coordinator Haley (again) and talk to Warner about returning to the Super Bowl (again).Of course, none of them said anything new. Ward said he would play, Whisenhunt said everything was fine and Warner was happy to be returning to the Super Bowl after his two trips with the St. Louis Rams during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.Even when we thought we got our fill of these stories for the last two weeks, we can get a recap of all of them starting around 7 a.m. central time, you can start watching the coverage of the game on ESPN and continue throughout the day leading up to the game on ESPNews. That would be about 11 hours straight of Super Bowl coverage, which brings up how much they could possibly talk about for a whole day.Almost a half a day of Chris Berman is even too intense for the most hardcore sports fan. Sure, the first few hours will be enjoyable, but after the 18th “he could go all the way,” my head would surely explode.So, what should the networks do instead of constant coverage of the big game? What about concentrating on other sports?Without knowing it, former Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson is appealing the NCAA’s rulings on allegations that he performed illegal recruiting practices during his tenure in Bloomington. Also, Marquette has quietly climbed to the top of the Big East, the toughest conference in the country, unbeknownst to anybody.During the week between the conference championship games, the networks should let us go through football detox instead of letting us binge on every story they can come up with about the game as fast as they can. Give us some news about the NBA, college basketball or even hockey.If the networks held out until Media Day, getting news from the NFL would be appreciated by every fan who was going through withdrawal. Information about Ward’s knee or the story about Fitzgerald’s dad would be welcomed and would be more interesting if the networks waited a week or held stories back until closer to the game.So, those of you who enjoy the 24-7 coverage of the game, enjoy. Hopefully you won’t get bored or suffer the usual letdown during the game (not including last year’s Super Bowl).And if you get bored, you can always discuss the brace on Hine Ward’s knee.Ben is a senior majoring in journalism and history. Sick of the Super Bowl coverage, too? E-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more