If you readers don’t know, I’m very big on joining chats at TBN website. After Sunday’s game, I was walking (more like stumbling) home from a nearest bar establishment. After getting home, I pulled out my laptop and went to TBN website, where Mike Harrington was hosting a chat about the Bills game.
The comments that really stuck with me during his chat wasn’t about the Bills inability to get the ball into Owens hands or if Jauron should of went for it on 4th and 1. It was about how fans were complaining that the press core doesn’t do enough to ask the tough questions to both sports teams. The fans were acting as if the media isn’t doing enough to get people fired in other words.
This wasn’t the first time I read that line of questioning during the chats. But it got me thinking. Do the fans have a legit gripe against the media? Lets break it down by media branches.
I’ve written before how Buffalo is the only two sport city that doesn’t have a regional sports network. So the only way a Bills fan can really get extensive coverage of the Bills by their television sets is by tuning into ESPN. This is where I can see fans frustration boil over. Whether the team is good or bad, ESPN gives no coverage to the Bills. Yes, I know T.O. is on there a lot, but if you went to a random fan and asked them what they thought about the Bills they wouldn’t have a clue how dysfunctional the team is. But I’m sure they could tell you about the Raiders and Lions.
Take the Raiders for example, how many times have you heard ESPN panelists bad mouth the Raiders organization? 100’s. Hell, CBS Broadcaster, Rich Gannon said they should blow up the dam building. The Raiders get more Pub for being bad than any team in the history of the NFL. Same with the Lions and 49ers.
You could easily make the case the Bills are far worse off than the teams I’ve mentioned. In fact both the Raiders and Bills are run the same way. Old ass owners who don’t want to pay coaches, who have eliminated the GM position for their team to make more money.
But have you ever heard ESPN panelists say that the Bills organization should be blown up? Have you even heard a peep from ESPN asking if the Bills are in danger of moving to Toronto? Has anyone ever said Dick Jauron should be fired? They sure did for Matt Millen and the Detroit Lions coaching staff over the years. In other words, don’t count on ESPN launching ESPNBuffalo.com, because they don’t give a rats ass about the team. That’s where fans venom at the press core has the most legit beef.
You know I’ve been a fan of the News for a long time. In my opinion they are the most unbiased press core in Buffalo. But the problem is they’re a newspaper, and their business is dying a slow death. TV, Radio, and the Internet in that order is where people get their sporting news from. So even though TBN staff is tough on the Buffalo teams, I use the old analogy about them: If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it fall, does it make a sound?
Look, I may not be the best person to judge this because I don’t live in Buffalo and obviously don’t have access to watching a 3 minute sports cast. I do know that the local TV market across the country is cutting down on Sports casts. So really what the hell am I missing? With that being said, I judge the stations by the columns they post on their websites.
Take WGRZ (whose on-line site has been lacking), Ed Kilgore seems to be the only person who posts anything noteworthy on the site. His postings are as pro Bills as you can get. The first two weeks of the season Kilgore wrote about how Smart Jauron and Edwards are. Seriously? He’s acting as if this was the first time Jauron and Edwards have been a part of the Bills organization. Then this week after the Bills dismal performance, he criticised Dick Jauron for not going for it on 4th down, but then wrote that he understood why he didn’t. Um hello?! You kind of can’t have it both ways Ed. If I’m a Bills fan that makes my blood boil. It also makes me think the Ed is in bed with the Bills front office.
What about WIVB? How can you take them serious when their lead sports guy works for the Bills as the play-by-play announcer? Not to mention if anyone has taken away sports casts it’s WIVB who has news reporters fill-in for the anchors sometimes. Pathetic.
WKBW? Do they even still air programming?
I throw in 97 rock because they are the station who broadcast all the Bills games, and just like WGR (Sabres) they have a tendency to give favorable opinions about the team because they have to work with them. I think the majority of fans can see this. They know that WGR or 97 Rock have agendas when it comes to pushing or dethroning the local teams. So how can you take what WGR says about the Bills serious, when they bad mouth Ralph Wilson, yet put Larry Quinn and the Sabres in such high esteem.
At the end of the day, do fans have a legit case? I have to lean towards yes. But I think a lot of it has to do with the resources provided to the fan. Having no regional TV station is a blow to a team’s coverage. And considering what TV we have left is non-existent, the fans should blame the Buffalo TV Market.