Wednesday, July 25, 2007


USA Today ran a big piece in today's sports section about the "Crisis of Faith" pro sports is facing with the three scandals now supposedly rocking sports: Michael Vick's indictment on animal cruelty charges in football, referee Tim Donaghy possibly fixing games in Basketball, and Barry Bonds possibly using steroids in baseball.

First of all, and I'm sure it's because I'm a Giants fan and I love Barry Bonds, I don't see that as a big deal anymore. The media are trying to whip up a frenzy, but fans have long ago made up their minds about Barry and more or less moved on. Just because he gets booed when he comes to the plate on the road doesn't mean anything other than opposing fans don't like him. And Michael Vick's indictment won't register for long either. Even if he's convicted, what Vick is accused of doing has nothing to do with the game of football. People will see him as a monster, but football is doing a pretty good job of isolating him, and while scholars may see the dog fighting charges as indicative of a culture of violence that is ingrained in the NFL, most fans won't care.

The NBA is in deep trouble however.

But what gets me most is how the media, even a relatively staid paper like USA today, is manufacturing and spinning all of this. This so called crisis in sports is not yet real, but it *does* have a chance of becoming real if the media harps on it enough--in the same way that Hearst turned an innocent Fatty Arbuckle into a rapist and murderer in order to sell papers. And that's a real crisis.


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