RICHMOND – The world of sports is heading for a turn in the wrong direction. The latest example comes from a recent Monday Night Football game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers were the beneficiary of two controversial calls on Lions defensive end Trey Flowers for roughing the passer and hands to the face. Green Bay also benefitted on a non-call of their own defensive back Will Redmond late in the game. The Packers would win 23-22.
This adds the growing list of blatant bias in sports towards and against certain teams and players which infuriates fan bases and leads to frustration that has often made its presence felt on social media. Violence through tweets in the form of anguish and wishing the referees lose their job.
Officials are human but, in this case, you often wonder why are calls going in certain ways despite obvious evidence that a certain call should go. If you are a sports fan, don’t you wish for a well officiated game?
Ask the Dallas Cowboys who in their last few meetings with the Green Bay Packers continue to get the worst of calls if for no other reason but for ESPN to laugh at them, particularly Stephen A. Smith. YouTube videos say it all.
ESPN cannot escape copiability at times. In recent years, the bias towards the Southeastern Conference also known as the SEC has been evident. SEC analyst Paul Finebaum is the leading culprit with evident bias towards the Alabama Crimson Tide and prejudice against anyone else even other SEC teams.
FS1’s Undisputed’s Shannon Sharpe proudly proclaimed that Alabama would beat anyone but all that changed on a fateful night in California.
This past season when Clemson defeated Alabama to win the national championship 44-16, Finebaum went on television the day of the game and proclaimed with the cast of ESPN’s First Take that Clemson and then freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence had no shot.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney responded with a thumping, handing Alabama their worst loss in the Nick Saban era
Both ESPN and FS1 have also taken shots at the New England Patriots for their alleged history and have blatantly disrespected quarterback Tom Brady, going as far as to say he has fallen off a cliff.
CBS’s Dan Fouts has repeatedly begged for calls to make sure the Patriots lose and it has been evident time and time again, yet the networks fail to realize the truth and let the mouths run stronger than usual.
FS1’s Rob Parker has gone a step further in saying out of bounds comments proclaiming Brady as the “LOAT” known as the Luckiest of All Time.
A legitimate argument could be made that Parker himself is so lucky to even be in the reporter business especially after being given the pink slip four times for racial and inappropriate comments.
Football is not the only issue, how about in basketball where the bias towards and against superstars has come out of the woodworks.
The favoritism towards Lakers star Lebron James has reached insanity as Sharpe and fellow colleague Nick Wright continue to sing praises even in failure without recognizing the fact that everyone is flawed. Parker meanwhile has gone so far off with disrespect that is categorized as jealousy.
The message is to be objective and fair, not filled with bias that clouds the judgment of the population today.
The biggest bias in basketball occurred back when the Sacramento Kings played the Los Angeles Lakers in the Tim Donaghy scandal which had fans believing that the series was rigged to make the Lakers beat the upstart Kings. Kobe and Shaq in the finals. That was money compared to Chris Webber who was not what was considered a favorite
The media’s wish was granted and the small market was left to hang out and dry.
What about the bogus call against Scottie Pippen by Hue Hollins? Save the Knicks. Yup, New York over Chicago, except with Michael Jordan.
Don’t forget baseball and by golly there is bias left and right and it was never more evident than the 1990’s while the New York Yankees were dominating left and right. In 2001, the media was distraught over the Arizona Diamondbacks winning in the 9th inning over ace Mariano Rivera
2003 brought the media more disgust when the then Florida Marlins upset the Bronx in Yankee Stadium to win it all. But the biggest bias was yet to show, a year later. In 2004, the Yankees were up 3-0 in the ALCS against the rival Boston Red Sox. Rivera looked to close it out in game 4 but the magic of the Red Sox and the underdogs took over. The Yankees blew the large 3-0 lead and the media lost itself proclaiming the title of “The Choke’s On Us”
Boston continued its dominance of the 21st century with a win in the 2004 World Series against the St.Louis Cardinals and future World Series wins coming in 2007. 2013, and 2018. The Yankees……one in 2009 by several questionable calls against Philly.
The Yankees continued to get favorable treatment over the Red Sox and others by many networks afterward but there were clearly smarter and more respected teams that didn’t get the same level of national credibility that the Yankees or the west coast teams like the Dodgers got. Networks continued to favor larger markets over smaller ones.
This season in baseball, the bias against the NLCS Champion Washington Nationals was evident in Game 3 on TBS when the announcing crew was believed to have been hoping that the Cardinals pull a Red Sox and come back from 3-0. The Nationals quickly erased that with a 7-4 win in Game 4 that sent DC to the fall classic. There would be no proven bias but early comments seemed to point in that direction.
Finally, the ice-cold truth comes to life and the puck is fired. Hockey has its favorites and the announcing crew is exposed. The NHL on NBC has explaining to do.
Can there be any more Pittsburgh Penguin bias from the crew? I get it, a former Penguins coach and yet no ounce of objectivity? Especially when it was evident in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs?
The Washington Capitals, led by Alexander Ovechkin will be the first to tell you that the media was waiting for another epic collapse after repeated years of failure.
They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets despite being 0-2 to start the series. They won 4-2. Next up was a date with the nemesis Penguins and their leader Sidney Crosby. As if that was not bad enough, the media was already proclaiming the Penguins to the next round.
The Capitals sought to change history and in Game 6, it was Evgeny Kustnetsov who gave the “middle finger” to the blind lovers and ended the Pittsburgh run.
Experts once again expected the Capitals to fail against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the men in red, white, and blue fought back to clinch it in 7. Finally, was the Vegas Golden Knights. After game 1, the Knights fans celebrated with the cup believing the cup was theirs, but ultimately it backfired as the Capitals rallied back to win 4 straight and the cup. The NBC crew was visibly disappointed.
The media is all fun and entertainment, but it seems more and more obvious about how focused they are on who actually wins the game and makes news for them rather than sticking to objective facts.
So, watch a sports game and formulate your own opinion. Don’t be a sheep and follow the pack if they lead you in the wrong direction.