Sports Reporting: The Way It Was ... And Is | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Sports Reporting: The Way It Was ... And Is

Play associated audio

When I was a young, cocksure lad in this business, one thing I hated was for anyone in the Old Guard to preface an observation about sports by saying, "It used to be ... "

Invariably, the point was that it used to be better.

I promised myself that I'd never become a "used-to-be" guy. But for the benefit of today's young, cocksure lads in the business, here I go:

It used to be that people always asked me if athletes weren't making too much money. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. The only money issue I hear now is, "Why aren't college athletes paid?"

It used to be that people always complained to me about how television was taking over sports, with TV timeouts and different starting times. All they complain about now is when they can't get a game they want to see on TV.

It used to be that people asked me how many games were really fixed, because they'd heard it was lots. As if I knew. Instead people ask me how many athletes are doping, because they heard, for sure, that its lots more.

It used to be that people would ask me why Americans didn't like soccer. Now people ask me why the American media won't give soccer its proper due.

It used to be people wanted to know if athletes actually cheated on their wives that much on the road. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. Instead, they ask me if I think sports contribute to misogyny, because so many athletes are involved in brutal sexual assaults on women.

It used to be people always asked me who I thought the greatest boxer was, as if I knew. They stopped asking that, and then it used to be they'd ask me if boxing was ever going to come back. Now, nobody ever asks me anything about boxing.

It used to be that people would tell me all the time how sports build character. Now that athletes are regularly arrested for violent crimes, and that so many college athletes are participating in a giant fraud that the academic community supports, people don't tell me that anymore. Instead, they ask me, dubiously, "Do you really think sports build character?"

It used to be that people would always ask me who I thought was going to win the game. As if I knew. Now people always ask me who I think is going to win the game. As if I know.

Well, some things never change.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Two Prominent Museum Directors Encourage 'New Ways Of Thinking'

Host Michel Martin speaks with the directors of the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of the American Indian. Both institutions are celebrating important anniversaries this year.
NPR

The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

Tour de France cyclists need to eat up to 9,000 calories a day to maintain their health and weight during the race. But many teams hire chefs to elevate the meals to gourmet status.
NPR

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

The largest union of nurses in California starts contract negotiations Thursday with Kaiser Permanente's hospitals. Talks went smoothly four years ago, but this round will likely be more contentious.
NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.