The line separating factual sports journalism from fan opinion/analysis has been forever blurred thanks to the good folks at Disney.
It has now become impossible to watch – what is supposed to be a newscast – without being bombarded with more opinion than facts.
There, sitting behind a glowing desk not even Gene Roddenberry could envision, were two “news” anchors, shimmering in a Massengill inspired glaze, beneath an array of multi-colored lights. They proceeded to run through the slate of games the NFL has selected for its opening night and Thanksgiving Day.
As you know by now, the Oakland Raiders are featured on the second half of the Monday Night doubleheader and on Thanksgiving Day as well.
Oakland will host the San Diego Chargers on the Monday Night affair. To tease the game, the Disney Newscaster informed the viewing public that Charger running back LaDainian Tomlinson was 9 touchdowns away from reaching a career total of 150. Innocent enough, but what followed wasn’t. The Dumbo look-a-like then went on to say, “He just might get all 9 against the Raiders”. Nice. Never mind the fact that no man has ever scored more than 6 touchdowns in a game.
Moving on to the Thanksgiving Day games, of which there are three games played on that hallowed day, the Mickey Mouse reporter took a moment to comment on one game. Guess which one?
Of the Raider/Cowboy affair he said this, “I’m going to go ahead and pick the Cowboys right now.” Never mind the fact that the Raiders and Cowboys have played 9 times in their history and the Raiders have won 6 of those meetings, the last win coming in 2005 when the Raiders were in the middle of a historic streak of futility (more on this “streak” later).
I have no problem with people taking shots at the Raiders. Infamy inspires hatred, it is natural.
I do have a problem with a supposed newscast being used a vehicle for asinine commentary and uninformed opinion.
Do you ever hear Katie Couric use her primetime news status to give the world her opinion on the Obama Presidency? Yes, she reports real news and the Disney Channel is just covering sports. One is hard pressed to draw a parallel between the two news outlets. The fact remains, both are news outlets, with a duty to report facts and not opinion.
There is a time and a place for opinion and commentary. It’s not enough that the Snow White Sports Channel has a 24-hour monopoly on sports opinion, where you can tune in at any hour to hear gasbags spewing nauseous venom on everything athletics related. No, they have to utilize their factual reports as a means to interject meaningless commentary as well.
A recent trend for all Raider Haters out there has been to fire off the “Oakland is the first ever NFL franchise to lose 11 or more games for six straight years” argument for futility.
Guess who was among the first to report this asinine fact?
Go to any message board now, and I guarantee you’ll find some Bronco, Charger or Chief fan that has posted a comment of this sort within the last hour.
The facts are the facts. I cannot argue that. Six miserable years have amounted to a “new level of futility”.
However, if you stop for a second, you’ll realize that the mere unearthing of this fact is but another proof of the Raider Hatred flamed by the Lion King News Network.
They love to find ways to make the Raiders look horrible, but how about the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers never even sniffed a winning season from 1983-1996. In 1990, the Orange Creamsicle Pirates went 6-10, snapping a string 5 consecutive seasons of 11 or more losses. Thus, the Raiders six years of 11 or more losses become history. Never mind that Tampa only won more than 6 games once in any of those 14 seasons. The Raiders are the benchmark, really?
The Disney characters seem to have a love affair with the New England Patriots. Between 1989 and 1993, the beloved Pats won a total of 19 games. In 1994, they had an amazing 10 win season, but returned to earth in 1995 by going 6-10. Yes, they did not loose 11 or more games for six straight years, but they managed to go 1-15, 6-10, 2-14 and 5-11 during that span. The Pats record was not exactly impressive, but clearly not nearly as futile as the Raiders, right?
To top it all off, once the Pats reached the pinnacle of the NFL and achieved the title of “dynasty”, they were entangled in a cheating scandal that involved a video camera, the head coach and a few assistants. It was news for a few weeks, and then disappeared. I’m willing to bet anything that was it the Raiders, we’d still be hearing about it in the form of sharp barbs sprinkled in between facts during their newscasts.
The time has come for Disney to decide what their identity will be. Are they journalists or are they sports fans with an axe to grind who have the backing of a billion dollar corporation?
At this point, they might as well just hire Mario Lopez as an anchor to host a sensationalized, Hollywood style, sports themed, gossip rag…oh, wait…they did do that.