The controversial ending to Monday night’s Packers-Seahawks contest got me thinking, as it did most football fans, but not about how replacement officials have negatively affected this NFL season. It’s safe to say we can all agree the return of the zebras is a good thing.
It’s what happened after the game that started this alternate train of thought.
Please bear with me.
Immediately after the game ended, SportsCenter dedicated its entire post-game broadcast, and countless hours afterwards, to discussion of the catch, interception and offensive pass interference call that weren’t.
As newscaster after alleged newscaster began blasting the outcome of the game, putting replacement officials and the league’s choice to employ them in their place, using superlatives like “catastrophic” and “disgraceful” to describe the final play, I started thinking about the changing way sporting events are covered in this country, by one network in particular, as if they are trying to personally champion the cause to get Ed Hochuli and company back to work. I also started thinking of the fines that were about to be levied on outspoken NFL players, and the discrepancies between what some are allowed to say and others aren’t, when it comes to criticizing the game and the way it’s being officiated.
It got me thinking how paid journalists, at least those on ESPN, no longer “report” the news, but rather give their opinions, in this case, all of them negative and pressing for change, which is probably not the way Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite intended the medium to be. Read more…