Of course, I am not shocked, sports fans always whine about the coverage of their favorite teams. I bet somewhere there are even Yankee fans complaining about their own network, YES, which covers them the same way Radio Havana covers Cuba. (All hail our Líder Máximo Derek Jeter!)
But at the urging of peeved Nats fans, Dan Steinberg over at the Sports Bog has investigated the matter of local teams (Part I, Part II) under served by the media and found that the Nats have nothing to complain about other than the team on the field.
But despite the facts not supporting their claims of Nats undercoverage, I feel their pain. When you turn on a sportsradio show in July and hear talk of the Redskins on one station and the USFL on the other station, you know that something is wrong. It’s not that there is much to talk about the Nats, but to already be inundated with football talk in early July is a bit much.
The problem is that with the exception of John Thompson’s show, all the local hosts talk only about what they want to talk about and are interested in – not what is going on currently. And for various reasons, all those hosts want to talk about is football and specifically the Redskins. That means that for the fans of nearly everybody else in the area, feel under served. Compared to the interest out there, I think all local college basketball and football fans are left out. There’s so much good local basketball going on and at least until football season ends, no one talks about it.
Caps fans have the best reason to be aggrieved, but with last season’s run proving that the fanbase is there, coverage next year might surprise people. That said, don’t expect anything good from the two sportstalk radio stations, both owned by the Redskins, and thus incentivised to ignore everything else.
So it might not be that too many teams are actually under covered, it just always feels that way because the Redskins are so ubiquitous starting in August. I think folks just want to feel like the media actutally cares about other teams during the short window in summer when there is minimal football news. It also unfortunately feels like that window is getting smaller and smaller.
What can fans do? Simply, create their own media community. Capitals and United fans have done this really well. (Is there an active Wiz blogging community? I don’t follow the NBA, so this isn’t a slam to Wiz fans. I just don’t know) Go out and make podcasts, write about the team, and get involved. Smarter owners might even get you credentialed. If you want to hear Wiz talk on the drive home, go get some podcasts. If they aren’t there, go make them.
In the old days, if your team was undercovered by the media, there wasn’t much you could do other than write aggrieved letters. Now, if something isn’t being covered, you can go fill that gap yourself. So if Nats fans want more talk of the team, how about you all start a blog, get writing, and build that community.