The Good, The Bad and The Holidays!
December 17, 2010
Christine Brennan, a longtime friend and USA Today’s distinguished sports columnist, author, television star and Northwestern grad, penned a thought-provoking piece this week in which she decried the lack of attention paid by the mainstream sports media to the historic winning streak being compiled by the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team…………if the Huskies beat 11th ranked Ohio State on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, they will match the 88 straight wins strung together by the 1971-74 UCLA men’s teams coached by John Wooden, the record streak to date for college hoops………if they win, they can set a new mark two days later in Hartford against Florida State………….since writing the column, I have seen comments by other journalists, bloggers and mopes at computers in their parents’ basements flogging her for trying to compare the two in the first place………but the real issue here is what the heck is the mainstream media using as its standards for what is a story in the first place these days?…………I offer you this week’s results from the annual Associated Press Top Ten Sports Stories of the Year announcement as evidence that something is really screwed up to begin with………..the 2010 top sports story of the year in a poll of AP members? Why the winner is Tiger Woods and his grotesque saga that began in November, 2009 with the famed collision with a fire hydrant and a tree as he drove his SUV away from his Florida home at 2:25 a.m. one night…………”Tiger Woods’ humbling return to the public eye, from his televised confession to a winless season on the golf course, was voted the sports story of the year by members of The Associated Press,” trumpeted the AP release………..if that is not deplorable enough as a barometer of what some view as the top story in sports, I did note and would point out to Christine, that it does indeed involve women, many of them, just not in sports……..if this pathetic story is not enough, others in back of the Woods steamy soap include the inspiring Super Bowl triumph of the New Orleans Saints in that suffering city, the remarkable World Series triumph by the San Francisco Giants and its roster of unlikely characters, the death of John Wooden and the NCAA hoops crown by the UConn women, their second in a row………but true to form, the list also is soiled with the likes of the cloying Brett Favre-is-back story and NBA free agency, topped by the LeBron James move to South Beach and the now universally panned television announcement, ESPN’s embarrassing “The Decision,” a new low during my life in sports TV, right up there with the staged apologies and soul-baring shows by Mark McGwire and A-Rod………..using this as a measuring stick, where, then were other riveting stories that could have made the Top Ten like the Ines Sainz scandal, Jenn Sterger and Favre, Reggie Bush returns his Heisman, the World Cup of Soccer officiating, and the tempest over Cam Newton?…..here’s one that didn’t even come close, and I have got to wonder why? How about the 2010 United States Olympic Team at the Vancouver Winter Games?……here is a team that won 37 medals, the most by any nation in the history of the Winter Games, by a nation never before viewed as a winter sports power, and with signature, golden achievements………..like the first medals in 86 years by our Nordic skiing athletes…..nope, not an Olympic-related story in the mix…………..nothing on Roy Halladay, the World Cup in South Africa, Butler’s amazing run in the NCAA Final Four, Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, or Caster Semenya……….we’re force-fed much of this drek on a daily basis by print and broadcast media and it suffocates hundreds of great stories about superb athletes and teams, coaches and events, moments of glory and unselfish accomplishment because that’s what the media moguls and those in charge of ratings and circulation deem necessary……….don’t hold your breath in anticipation of change, either, because it just won’t happen……….where I live, Christmas celebrations are on hold, pets unfed and presents unwrapped until we see if Tim Tebow plays Sunday against the Raiders…………but in the Spirit of Christmas and the Holidays, here are my gifts and wishes for our some local sports entities and leaders:
Air Force Athletic Director Hans Mueh- He got his present already when Troy Calhoun rejected any notion of going to the Broncos and reaffirmed his commitment to the Academy and the amazing men who make up its football program. Now, a big win over Georgia Tech at the Independence Bowl.
Chris Carmichael- A huge success with the first stage of the Quizno’s Pro Challenge Race next summer and the national spotlight on Colorado Springs.
Doug Habgood- Ditto, for success and all that goes with it for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor, and for the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of fans who will be here.
Bob Gillis- Another smash hit with the 89th running of the storied Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26, and the return of Monster Tajima and the Ford Fiesta crew, along with Rhys Millen, and a real go at the 10-minute mark.
Scott Owens and Frank Serratore- Great second half runs by their young, improving ice hockey teams at Colorado College and Air Force, with the reward of NCAA Tourney berths and packed arenas.
Scott Blackmun and the USOC- Another year of good news, peace and harmony, and reward for the aggressive efforts they are making every day to show our city why they love it here and support the decision to keep the USOC headquarters here for the next thirty years, at least. It’s the gem of our sports family.
Tony Ensor and the Sky Sox- Another banner year at the gate after setting a franchise attendance record of 328,003 and welcoming the team’s five millionth fan since the team opened here in 1988. Oh, and a team that will finally make the PCL playoffs after a long drought.
Mike Moran was the chief spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee for a quarter century, through thirteen Games from Lake Placid to Salt Lake City. The Omaha, Nebraska native was the Sports Information Director at the University of Colorado for a decade before joining the USOC in 1978 as it left New York City for Colorado Springs. He was the Senior Communications Counselor for NYC2012, New York City’s Olympic bid group from 2003-2005 and is now a media consultant. Reach him at: email@example.com and read more of his columns at www.coloradospringssports.org .Print This Post