A rant about media coverage of the Super Bowl

January 30th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

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Earlier today they made available some white Russell Wilson jersey’s (Seattle will play in white on Sunday) with the Super Bowl patch on the correct side.

They’ll probably sell out quite quickly so hurry if you want one.

Time to end media madness

For those who don’t know, I am a journalist by trade. I work for the BBC in England as a radio host and spend a lot of my time going to press conferences and conducting interviews.

Usually, the idea of daily access to players and coaches plus a specially organised ‘media day’ would be music to my ears.

At the end of the day, journalists have a job to do. They have a boss like everyone else, and they have to deliver results.

Putting all of the players and coaches in a giant arena or on a podium just makes life easy.

When you get access every day, you barely even have to try.

So I approached the idea of media day with some relish.

But as I watched it unfold, I couldn’t quite believe what was happening.

This week — a week that is supposed to be filled with excitement, anticipation, nerves and even more excitement — has actually been…

ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLY BORING TO THE POINT OF ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH

SOMEBODY KILL ME NOW….

I usually wait with great anticipation to hear what Pete Carroll has to say.

For the first time today, I was bored.

In fact not even bored. I wanted to put my hands over my ears and run around the room screaming for this to end.

Right now I will listen to anything else. “Music” by Pitbull. Janice from ‘Friends’ laughing over and over again on repeat. Perhaps even a Colin Kaepernick interview.

I cannot cope with any more half baked press conferences involving the Seattle Seahawks.

You can only hear so many questions about a defense, Percy Harvin or Marshawn Lynch’s interview technique.

And none of this is the players or coaches fault.

I’m absolutely stunned by how much they have to do in this — the most important week of the season.

Surely they’d be better served concentrating on the game?

After all, even as a member of the press, I just want to see a great contest.

I want the players to be completely prepared, relaxed and concentrating on what could happen on Sunday.

I want them going about their usual routines — so they are ready to perform as they have in the previous 18 games.

If they can spare 10-15 minutes once or twice along the way — excellent. That access should be granted.

But what we’ve seen this week is needless overkill.

Death by boredom.

What on earth is anyone getting out of these endless press conferences?

If the fans are anything like me, they’re bored stiff. If there are journalists out there who still need access after media day — what on earth were they doing?

We’ve had two more press conferences since Tuesday’s press bonanza.

I had to turn today’s interviews off. Enough is enough. Let’s play some football already.

We simply do not need all of this coverage.

Not in an age where press conferences are streamed live into our homes. Not in an age where everything is on Twitter, usually repeated by multiple journalists.

And not in an age where players themselves can directly give us an insight into their personalities via their own social media accounts.

We don’t need to hear Carroll answer a question about whether he looks like Owen Wilson. We don’t need to hear Russell Wilson talking about his hair.

Absolutely nothing interesting has come out of all this over the last few days. No fresh or interesting angles what so ever.

All of the players are on best behaviour. All are speaking in cliche’s just trying to survive the chaos.

What a completely pointless waste of time for all involved.

The NFL needs to review the schedule leading into its show-piece event for next year.

The whole thing turned into a shambles this week. Too much talk about what Marshawn Lynch didn’t say, too much talk about what Richard Sherman did say and too many questions about Justin Bieber.

(One is too many)

Either have media day and nothing else, or just have a couple of press conferences involving the coaches and key players who are used to speaking for the team.

That’s enough.

The NFL Network can fill its time talking to Jesse from Breaking Bad (who is picking the Broncos, because his wife is a Giants fan. Yeah.)

ESPN can have Stephen A. Smith repeat over and over again that he hasn’t made his pick yet but here’s 100 reasons why Denver will win.

Fox can have Jay Glazer flogging designer watches or whatever he does on Twitter these days.

It’s what they’ve done anyway this year, even with all the access.

Time for a rethink, before we’re all bored into submission and start watching the NBA again.

Now — less of the serious stuff.

Enjoy.

23 Responses to “A rant about media coverage of the Super Bowl”

  1. Aaron says:

    Remember when the Superbowl was about football? Me neither.

  2. kevin mullen says:

    effing hilarious…

  3. kevin mullen says:

    Are you gonna post a “prediction post” for the Superbowl? It needs to require a prediction play and score. And let the subscribers post in comments of their own. Thanks again Rob for a great site, Go Hawks!

  4. dave crockett says:

    As I’ve said in some other venues, the two week format really helps expose who has some insight and who doesn’t.

    There is enough football in this matchup to write about football — if you can. I’m talking about the featured columnist types.

    The one thing the NFL does VERY poorly, relative to the other major US sports is media coverage. To be clear, the NFL creates unrivaled buzz and hype. But if you’re looking for insight, you basically have to go to the blogs. NFL media is way too centralized. At a time the local people who cover the teams should be driving the storylines, we end up with the people who know the least about the teams driving the storylines and getting the most exposure.

    It’s not surprising that we end up with stupidity and faux controversy. You don’t see this kind of nonsense in the World Series, Final Four or NBA Championship. (Shamefully, I don’t follow hockey. So I don’t know.) In those sports the national guys are BASICALLY getting their storylines from the local beat writers.

  5. rrsquid says:

    There are two problems with Super Bowl media coverage.

    1. The NFL makes a lot of money. As the saying goes: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” It doesn’t matter what talk is about as long as there is talking.

    2. The circus draws out many non-sports ‘reporters’. This is best demonstrated by the fact that for $28.50 any schmoe can attend the media day. Plenty of non sports news outlets are trying to have content from the Super Bowl to boost their own readership.

  6. Ben2 says:

    Can’t agree with more with your post, Boss.

  7. bigDhawk says:

    Amen!

    What did it for me was the whole Marshawn snafu led to hours of radio segments where you had media members interviewing other media members about…wait for it…THE MEDIA!!! Yeah, that’s what we all care about, listening talking heads hiss and moan amongst themselves about how Marshawn’s behavior made it hard for them to do their jobs. If they can’t do any better at their jobs then talk about their jobs to each other on the air, then there is no way they could handle anything Marshawn might say with any kind of competence.

  8. Stuart says:

    Rob, interesting link on WR’s. Landry has amazing hands. His teammate has impressive numbers on the long ball.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/46136/349/peshek-wr-metrics-20

  9. Stuart says:

    Side note on WR Benjamin. He has a drop rate of 9%! That’s not on any catch-able ball, that’s on balls that are in his hands and he drops. He is 23 now and did not develop until just this season. Based on what I just read and have seen with my own eyes, 2nd round at 64 ok, 1st round at 32 NO!

    • Ross says:

      Agree about Benjamin. His size is ideal, but he’s just so raw that I wouldn’t take him R1. I don’t think he’s going to do much in the NFL, at least for several years.

      I’d give the farm up for Mike Evans, tho.

      Go Hawks!!!

      • AlaskaHawk says:

        For all you doubters Benjamin had 1300+ yards and 15 touchdown catches last season. That is more than any other receiver being rated ahead of him. He won’t make it past high second round.

        For late second round wide receivers I would look at LSU Jarvis Landry, Rutgers Coleman, or Fresno St Adams (Did he declare or not??).

  10. Michael M. says:

    This post perfectly expresses my thoughts on this circus. 90% of the people in the media are a joke, which is why I love SDB so much. Good job keeping it real Rob!

    Also – “Music” by Pitbull. Janice from ‘Friends’ laughing over and over again on repeat. – Awesome.

  11. AlaskaHawk says:

    Last night they were showing the best of old superbowl commercials. Usually I don’t watch commercials but they hooked me.

  12. JW says:

    Marshwan’s comment about the media not really being a ‘ bridge’ was spot on, and most of the sports media hates that fact.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Generally the media are a bridge IMO. We find out a lot thanks to the press… and we do get a chance to learn more about the players and the coaches.

      But being a bridge doesn’t mean we have to hear from every player ad nauseum the week of a big game.

      • JW says:

        Most of the sports media- especially at the super bowl- is more like a wall than a bridge to any kind of worthwhile knowledge. Now days if a player wants to bridge to fans, the player needs the media less than ever before. And a significant segment of so called sports journalist hate that reality. They also happen to largely be the ones who contribute to their own irrelevance by being lazy, self interested, and insisting more often than not that they should be part of the story.

  13. Kyle says:

    Rob,

    You’re a radio host? Is there a site where we can take a listen? I mean, I don’t care about what we in the US call Soccer, but if you’re doing a radio show about English soccer leagues, I’ll give it a listen even if I don’t get it. On that point, I hope that as the NFL gets more popular in the UK, someone will come to you and ask you do do some NFL commentary. You were the one who called Christine Michael to the Hawks the day before, and any UK show that talks NFL would be a damn fool to not hire you. Rob, you are one of the best.

    Getting back on point, I read a bunch of articles about Marshawn and his refusal to talk to the media. In those articles, a lot of the writers were suggesting that he has some kind of social disorder. What a bunch of garbage. There is not only a sense of entitlement to popular media, but also a sense of maliciousness. “Cooperate or else we write bad things about you.” When I read the comments from those articles, most people seem to be sympathetic to Marshawn and agree that he should be left alone. It’s not a disorder, it’s a mindset.