Friday, May 15, 2009

Apology needed for covering apologies

It is simply amazing – and sometimes so ridiculous – how sports news is covered today.

I can remember one of my first Monday press conferences following a 49ers game when Bill Walsh was the coach in 1986. The press room at the team’s Redwood City practice facility was in fact a trailer and Walsh would actually sit down and have lunch with about a half dozen or so reporters in there. Rarely did a TV cameraman or TV reporter ever show up and it was strictly a relaxed and informal affair and that’s when the 49ers were World Champions.

In those days, the games were covered but there was little focus on the practices and preparation unless it was a playoff game. Now practices are covered extensively. And mini-camps. And draft day has become akin to the presidential election day results.

But this is what it has come to: I turned on TV Friday morning and some reporter on the scene was theorizing where and when Manny Ramirez might meet with his Dodgers teammates. Why? The reporter was covering … an apology?! That’s right. Not a game. Not a practice. Not a press conference. A friggin’ apology!

Sports media these days are investing valuable time and resources, spanning the globe to bring us the constant variety of sports, the thrill of victory and the agony of … apologies. If any athlete or coach screws up these says, an apology is sure to follow and sports reporters will follow the apology story to the bitter end. So ESPN and other TV and newspaper outlets frantically rush and send a reporter just to record two words: I’m sorry.

Boo hoo? Tee hee. It’s laughable.

What makes Manny’s kiss-and-makeup apology to his teammates so utterly preposterous is it was supposed to come in private. No reporters allowed. No cameras. No audio or video. Yet BIG NEWS! Manny apologizes! What does A-Rod think? The ESPN Nation? A poll: Do you think Manny’s apology was sincere or not? Top 10 Apologies of All-Time!

In the end on Friday, Associated Press and others needed confirmation that there had been an actually apology issued and Manny’s teammate Casey Blake was the “inside source.” Silly.

There’s got to be a better way. And there is. Twitter. Let Manny tweet his own apology and we can all move on with our lives to find out what’s the latest news on Brett Favre. No harm. No foul. No BFD.


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