Friday, February 01, 2008

Missing the Hype

You know, its weird-since Brett Farve pulled his annual playoff chokejob, I haven't really given any thought to the Super Bowl matchup. I haven't even decide who I'm going to root for. In fact, I've spent more time wishing that Tarvaris got to throw to Plaxico Burress then I have reading about the game on Sunday.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that its a lot easier to avoid the "annoying" media in this day and age. If I want to read about football, I don't have to read the paper, or even go to or I'm sure that if I did, I'd be annoyed, and would probably have decided that I hate the Patriots and their fans (because of Bill Simmons, a writer I like reading occassionally, but try to avoid when he goes into Bahstain fan mode). Instead, I can go to Kissing Suzy Kolber, read the analysis of Cold, Hard Football Facts, and Football Outsiders, or dive into the numerous Vikings blogs that I've linked to on the sidebar. I don't have to go through the mainstream media for my news and analysis (though I still need them to actually report the news first). It's the reversal of a trend that started with radio and went into overdrive with the spread of television-we are starting to regain the ability to narrowcast, something that was lost in the 1960s, and which last played a role in the Presidential election of 1960, which I studied in college.

In that race, the last to be won by a Democrat that was not from the South, JFK was able to make a connection with the African American community in a way that Richard Nixon could not, despite Nixon's leadership on Civil Rights issues throughout his career through narrowcasting. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was jailed, Nixon did nothing because he was worried that it would alienate White Southerners. JFK, however, trusted that a small gesture would not break into the national conversation, but would break into the conversation of the African American community, thus avoiding any backlash by White Southerners. He was right, and thus won enough support amongst African Americans to win the election.

Now, I'm not saying that we'll be returning to the days without a national media. However, I think its clear that we are bringing back narrowcasting. I don't spend enough time studying or thinking about the future of the media, so I won't speculate on what it means, except to say thatthe change has allowed me to avoid the relentless, soul crushing hype of the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl, and thus I'm excited about the game. And there's a lot to be excited about: Plaxico v. Asante Samuels, Randy Moss, Brandon Jacobs running over the Patriots linebackers, etc. And, no matter the outcome, I'll be able to view it through the narrow lense of my choice and avoid the Patriots, Giants and National Media's takes on it, unless I choose to take a peek (What? You don't think I'll be reading Simmons' column if the Patriots lose? That sucker will be PRICELESS. Unless of course, he doesn't write one, which will be almost as amusing.)

No comments: