(Full disclosure: I graduated from the University of Oklahoma and was very disappointed that OU lost last night. I am no unbiased observer here. The following may be colored by my loyalty to OU…)
Reading a few articles this morning about last night’s College Football National Championship, I had to wonder if the people at ESPN and CBS Sports were watching the same game I was. This morning one of the headlines on the front page story about Florida’s 24-14 win over OU said something to the effect of “Florida dominates OU.” An article on CBS Sports railed on how horrible OU played. The title was “Sooners fail to show up for national title game.”
Before I say anything else, let me acknowledge that Florida was the better team last night. They deserved to win. I do not mean to disparage their victory in any way. Tim Tebow proved once again that in college football one player really can take over a game and will his team to victory.
However, this game was not at all a blowout. OU, coming into the game, was the underdog. Most of the experts said that they would lose. People said the horrible defense of the Big 12 would be revealed. At half time the score was 7-7. This showed that both Florida and OU were playing much better defense than was expected. In the fourth quarter with the score 17-14 Florida, OU was driving the ball down the field, looking like they might take the lead for the first time in the game. Then a Florida defender made the play of the game on an amazing interception. Still, the game wasn’t over until Florida put together a six minute drive to score a touchdown and effectively put the game out of reach. OU had many opportunities to take the lead and take control of the game, but they were not able to take advantage of them.
I will stop there, because my point is not to analyze the game. My point is that many of the articles written by the national sports media seem to me to be excellent only in their ability to exaggerate and sensationalize. At times I feel like people like Gregg Doyel are actually trying to make people angry by their writing. In other words, they sometimes appear to try to become the story.
I hope as I continue to blog and write in other venues I will learn from the sports media how not to do it. I hope I will try to be nuanced and even handed, even as I seek to be bold enough to take a stand when I feel that one needs to be taken. It may mean that what I write is not read by as many people, but I pray it will also mean that what I write is closer to the truth and able to be used by God more readily.
it wasn’t a blowout. a few bad choices & bounces of the ball and it was the other direction. OU didn’t do anything to hang their heads about.
Headline writers — sheesh.
In a way, this game was better and worse for the Sooners than some of the blowouts. On the one hand, they were in the game and had their own chances to win it up until the final minutes, which I would think has to feel better than having half a hundred hung on you. On the other hand, it can’t feel all that great knowing that you could have won this one but it slipped away.
If you want to read some sports journalism that you can learn quite a pit from, check out Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star.