Sunday, January 06, 2008

My last post was done about 15 seconds before scrambling into work. So I think I need to elaborate on Keith Olbermann's remark and why I found it wrong.

My beef in this case is not with Olbermann himself. He is simply the latest offender in a media which are desperate to find "great stories" in dire circumstances.

To me, the Washington Redskins were not a great story, because to tell it, it would have to include an innocent 24-year old man being shot down in his own home. His grief-stricken teammates and coaches won their last three games of the season to make the playoffs, which I suppose is admirable considering the pain they went through.

But winning football games can't turn the Sean Taylor tragedy into a great story. Even had the Redskins won the Super Bowl, it wouldn't bring their friend back. It wouldn't help his child and family with the pain they are going through, and will continue to go through.

His teammates, I'm sure, would trade all their wins to have their friend back.

The point is, sports can provide an escape. It can't solve problems. The Saints' success last season may have been inspiring to the people of New Orleans, but it didn't rebuild one house or rectify damage done by Hurricane Katrina.

I have written about this topic before. My problem is that when some in the media use terms like "great" to describe miniscule events in real tragedy, they run the risk of missing what's important.

Football can be a diversion. It's results can't make real problems have happy endings.

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At 12:59 PM , Blogger Joel said...

Well said, Zach.


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