In preparing for an upcoming sport sociology course that I will be teaching this winter, I became especially intrigued recently while reading about all the changes in the sports media since the internet emerged. Specifically, before the internet and smart phones, magazines like Sports Illustrated used to come out weekly and gave us interesting, quality stories to read. This model is not only antiquated today, it’s completely dead — and it has been replaced by a desperate need to publish stories about literally anything. This week I pulled these gems as examples:
Aaron Rodgers is not gay. Not that it matters or that anybody cares, but you should definitely know he is not gay.
Woody Hayes, the late coach of Ohio State, should not be remembered for “the punch” he threw against a Clemson player in 1978. This would be fine and dandy if the picture accompanying the story wasn’t Hayes throwing the actual punch, a picture that seems to fly in the face of the very point the writer was trying to make, I think.
And then there’s this beauty – LeBron James leaves a skid mark on the court. Not much more to say about this one.
As a person who has done a lot of freelance writing, I have witnessed firsthand the need by media outlets to simply get some kind of “news” out there for clicks to their website. The equation is simple – the more clicks, the higher advertising rates. Quality of stories doesn’t seem to matter, it’s just click, click, click.
Just for fun surf the web today and see what kinds of outlandish, silly, trivial, and misleading stories you can find. Who knows, maybe you will learn things like Tom Brady likes to eat apples, or that Kevin Durant doesn’t wear cowboy boots. You just never know what you will come across during your virtual travel, but be assured it will most certainly be important. Oh, and while you’re reading the stories be sure to click on the ads, too.