By: Chad Wilson - Editor - GridironStuds Blog
In this day and age more than ever, the public as well as the media loves athletes with big personalities. Big personalities get big coverage and with that we all often get lied to.
Display a big personality in these days and you are ratings gold for media outlets. The public at large has an insatiable appetite for entertainment. At every turn we must be cured of our boredom. This is the reason why smart phones have taken off over the last decade. We must be entertained at all times.
So where do the lies come in? The media will always gravitate to the big personalities. Big personalities make their jobs easier. Big personalities provide stories that get clicks, views and shares. More viewers, more advertisers. More advertisers, more money.
Once the media finds a personality, they will cover up their short comings on the field of play. They will also give them awards and accolades because it adds to the narrative. In essence, the media will create a star for their own use. I have watched this at almost every level of sport especially in football.
Unfortunately what comes next is the downfall. At some point, the hype won't meet the height. The public consumes all the good stories and the only thing left is to drag the personality back down the ladder the media accelerated him up.
In the process, strong performers get overlooked, get less coverage and get underserved. What we are creating in sports media is a diva syndrome. If you aren't outlandish, you don't get covered. Perhaps this has always existed but with the advent of social media, this whole scenario is on steroids.
I first observed this in college football recruiting g coverage and now I am noticing it in the NFL draft coverage. Athletes on the high school level will be given awards, MVPs and superlatives for things that have little to do with their on field play. Since the public at large does little to research nor do they know enough to decipher what they are seeing, they take these media opinions and run with them.
Unfortunately it doesn't just stop in high school. This phenomenon grows in college and balloons in the NFL draft. I have been spending quite a bit of time watching draft hopefuls on tape and as someone who has both played and coached the game, I have one thought. What in the hell are people looking at? I am left to think one thing, these networks providing draft coverage and mock drafts must have only one objective and that is to entertain. Clearly they are not here to inform.
So time and time again, the media will create the stories for us and go out of their way to help us think what they want us to think. With our society becoming less and less willing to work to get knowledge, we become victims of the media puppets