Morals, media don’t mix

Chris Gates

Two National Football League players and another man are lost at sea off the coast of Florida. I turn on my television and the first thing I see is … T.J. Houshmandzadeh?

Yes, it’s true. Because of the sad state of the national sports media and their coverage, NFL free agency is of the utmost importance. It’s greater than life or death!

It’s obvious that the NFL is the most popular professional sports league in the United States. However, we must draw the line at some point.

This time of year is the most exciting time to be a sports fan. The NBA and NHL are racing toward the playoffs with the NHL trade deadline ending today at 3 p.m. Major League Baseball spring training is under way, and NCAA basketball is gearing up for conference tournaments and March Madness.

So how come Housh is the leading story throughout so many media outlets? I’m hearing more about the former Bengals receiver and his signing with the Seattle Seahawks than I am about LeBron James averaging over 32 points per game in his last three outings, which is a better story.

There’s also Alex Rodriguez returning to the diamond after admitting to steroid use. Barry Bonds is back as well. Did you know that his perjury case might not be decided until late in 2010?

Probably not, because rather insignificant NFL players might be on the move.

And yes, two NFL players along with two former South Florida football players went missing off the coast of Florida. They left on Saturday just before winds picked up. The boat capsized because of the rough conditions and when the boat was found, only one of the four men was there.

Apparently this isn’t newsworthy enough.

To make matters worse, it’s not only Houshmandzadeh. Quarterback Kurt Warner might be going to San Francisco as well.

I know that he turned the Arizona Cardinals around and nearly won a Super Bowl this past season. However, he’s not among the elite quarterbacks in the league and without Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to throw to, it’s doubtful he’ll put up numbers anywhere close to last year.

Houshmandzadeh isn’t a top-tier player at his position either. Heck, he wasn’t even the best wide receiver on his own team last year.

What this all leads to is that covering sports aren’t about what’s newsworthy anymore. It’s about contracts. It’s about fluff. It’s about entertainment.

The amount of coverage depends on the amount of money coming in. If there’s incentive to cover a sport, the national media flock to it. If not, then it’s your job to get the real information.

Contact principal sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].