Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Updated: August 27, 4:17 PM ET
SportsNation: East/West Bias
The New York Yankees. Boston Red Sox. Joe Namath. Jeremy Shockey. Are they products of an East Coast Bias or just great teams and great players?
All week long, Page 2 is debating the merits of these so-called East and West Coast Biases. So we turned to SportsNation to get the lowdown.
The following is a sampling of your responses.
Bad case of Los Angelitis
Yeah, there's a little bit of an East Coast bias, but it's nothing major. It exists partially because the West is three hours behind the East so we don't read about the games in the morning paper. But mainly it's because we care about our teams a whole lot more. We've all heard of "Los Angelitis", and the biggest symptom is leaving baseball games after the seventh inning. No self-respecting East Coaster would ever do something like that. If the West Coasters want more media coverage, show a little interest!
Highland Mills, NY
Big Apple casts a big shadow
I think that the "East Coast Bias" you're describing resides in New York, not on the entire East Coast. Checking David Schoenfield's column, 7 of the 10 examples involved the Big Apple.
Heroes are made by moments, and where better to capture the moment than in the media capital of the world? Namath, Shockey, Jeter, and the Knicks are all products of the New York media machine. All it takes is one prognostication, lack of media savvy, or pinstripes to give you cult status. Oh, and fur coats or Visa commercials help too.
Rage Against the (Big Red) Machine
The most glaring and consistent bias -- for this Cincinnatian, anyway -- is the treatment of the Big Red Machine. I saw yesterday what must be the 23rd book published about how great the Red Sox run was in 1975, about Fisk's magical home run, etc., etc. Do people on the East Coast remember that the REDS won the series with two outs in the ninth inning of game 7? No, because of their bias.
|Hello? A little light please?|
The 2003 Blackout. The news coverage (particularly the pictures) showed images only of New York. Most people, if they didn't know better, would've never realized that Detroit, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo and parts of Toledo were completely out of power as well. Just because a bunch of New Englanders are dumb enough to pay way too much money to live in an overcrowded city doesn't mean they deserve to be featured in picture after picture on crowded city buses and trains. This country consists of more than New York.
The puck doesn't lie
Just a quick note. I know hockey is generally overlooked for anything sports related. So, no matter how good East coast hockey is, the media will never put it in the same league as the Red Wings and Avalanche of the West Coast. Specific examples can surely be found if needed, but to hockey fans, this should be obvious.
A big example of West Coast bias is the starting time for World Series games. Kids in New York, Boston and Philly have to stay up past midnight to catch all the action, while their California counterparts can watch the whole game and still stay awake to blast the East Coast on the Internet.
Jim Di Liberto
New York City
Don't make mistakes in the middle
Pete Rose sets the all-time hits record, and still means very much to Big Red Machine fans such as my dad. Rose bets on baseball, makes a mistake, and he's banned from the Hall of Fame (which he earned), and from baseball period. However, how many chances did New York Met/Yankee/drug addict Darryl Strawberry get before being given the boot? People make mistakes, but if Rose did what he did in New York, maybe he'd be in the Hall by now.
Look to the youth
|Look what I found!|
My best example of East Coast bias: Jeffrey Maier. If you still recognize that name, then you know what I'm talking about. Why do I still know who this kid is? He made Derek Jeter a hero in Game 1 of the ALCS in 1996, and he was so celebrated that he is still known, even by me (a Midwesterner with no bias towards the Yankees or Orioles). I'm just looking forward to the 10-year anniversary special of "Where is Jeffrey Now?" Exclusively on ESPN Classic!
St. Paul, Minn.
Sehorn says it all
And don't forget about Jason Sehorn. Madison Avenue was determined to turn him into the next Frank Gifford. They didn't care that he was mediocre at his position and that he missed more games than he played in. But at its height, he got more media exposure in one week than the top ten cornerbacks in the NFL got their ENTIRE careers combined (with the possible exception of Deion).
Look at Tuesday's ESPN.com question on who will win the Heisman? It totally ignored the likes of Stephen Jackson from Oregon State (the best RB in the country), Reggie Williams (the best WR in the country), and Cody Pickett (right up there with the other QB's listed).
Biased b.s. in the BCS
Could the BCS be any more biased against the Pac-10? Conferences such as the Big 12 and the ACC are rewarded for having conferences composed of a handful of excellent teams and a slough of nobody's. The Pac-10 on the other hand is frequently stacked top-to-bottom with quality football squads, and thus cannibalizes itself out of National Championship contention. I mean really - Nebraska instead of Oregon for the National Championship two years ago? That's a travesty.
Year in and year out, Duke spends the season at or near the top of the basketball polls, then bows out of the tournament before even a regional final. Year in and year out Duke players get touted as players who will impact the NBA, and year in and year out we see Duke grads failing to live up to their hype. I still have to listen, from time to time, to people who assert, on what can only be the basis of some kind of bias, that Bobby Hurley was good enough to survive in the NBA. If not for the eastern bias -- and a white eastern bias at that -- we would all be spared the glowing evaluations of Duke and its players.
Las Cruces, NM
Screwed up Royally
The Royals have been a "nice" story all year long. Yet, they never seem to lead SportsCenter or other TV sports newscasts. The job that general manager Allard Baird and manager of the year Tony Pena have done never gets any press outside of KC. Baird has pulled off trade after trade trying to keep the pitching staff afloat. Only one of the starting rotation at the beginning of the year is pitching today primarily due to injuries. Yet, he keeps plugging up the holes. And Pena? How about 100 losses to becoming a contender. Enough said.
Lost in the middle
Both coasts' coverage is biased ... you completely wash over the Midwest. Ninety percent of SportsCenter is over before I get coverage of the division leading Houston Astros. Just give equal time to everyone and the whiners will stop whining ... except maybe those Yankee fans.