Sports analysts = Sound bite glory hounds

Posted by By at 5 June, at 22 : 29 PM Print

Sports analysts = Sound bite glory hounds

ESPN & TNT analysts have become enamored with the quick sound bite or memorable line which can be replayed over and over and over in sports documentaries, Championship DVD’s and news pre and post game year in review pieces. So much so that analysts themselves try to develop storylines for the media even before the game has finished. Fans are able to recognize it when the same phrases are used over and over and over again such as:

  • “This team is growing right in front of our very eyes”
  • “We are seeing a changing of the guard here”
  • “They (team here) will only go as far as (player) can take them…”
  • “He (player) makes everyone around him better”
  • “Does this team (older) have anything left to give?”
  • Other players need to step up to give (star player) help on offense

What it might be attributed to is the famous line by noted sports play-by-play man Al Michaels in the 1980 Men’s Hockey semifinal between the U.S. and U.S.S.R of “Do you believe in miracles? YEHHESSS!!!” That small moment has been replayed so many times on sports newscasts and documentaries and it is regarded as the greatest moment in sports history. So now every analyst (in-game or studio) salivates at the chance to utter a phrase such as that one on the air after a sports event. What results is all the little moments in between get passed over and not given the scrutiny and weight it deserves.

It is obvious that analysts, who are former athletes and coaches, are used more for ‘shock value’ by their name and status then for any journalism skills. Pre-game studio broadcasts, weekly analysis and in-game analysis are more like ‘coffee-talk’ or a sit-down conversation instead. But before this current batch of analysts, there were former players like Tom Jackson, Ahmad Rashad, Harold Reynolds, Greg Anthony, Dan Marino, Nick Buoniconti, Dick Vitale and others who had to work hard to make the transition to be productive in the studio. They used their work ethic and not their past accomplishments to garner respect.

 

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