Its the Medias Fault


Its an interesting way of life ' this media career. We follow the stories, we cover the news and then we either put words to print or thoughts to air. Then we rush to take cover!
In the time Ive written this column Ive seen more responses from enthusiastic folks like you finding fault with the media than Id believed was possible. Never did I think Id escape the comments all together, but WOW.
When Michelle Wie made headlines for playing the Sony Open in Hawaii you screamed that the medias over-hyping this story, and ruining this young girls teenage years.
Just cover the men, you said. Shes not even competitive. Let her win something first!
Not So Recently
When Annika Sorenstam played at the Bank of America Colonial two years ago you fired away with high pitched frequency saying that its a mans tour ' let her play where she belongs.
This is nothing but a publicity stunt, you declared.
When John Daly made all of his personal news off the course, we needed to let him alone.
Its none of your business, you moaned.
When Tiger Woods plays and we talk about it, we talk about it too much. When he doesnt play and we talk about him, we slight the rest of the PGA Tour. If he hits a jaw-dropper of a shot worth praising, we cant help ourselves. If he plays poorly and leaves us questioning him, we hold him to an unfair level.
You guys go on and on about Tiger so much it makes me sick, youve cried. Enough already with Tiger ' hes not the only player out there.
No player causes more of a stir with fans of the game than Tiger Woods. And by my mailbag theres a distinct love him or hate him feeling toward this guy. You folks always have something to say - which is great.
But a strong faction (cmon... you know who you are) seems to feel that Tiger gets too much of everything.
Too much hype. Too much coverage. Too much conversation. Too much criticism. Too much money.
WellHeres what Id like people to realize ' or at least consider when talking about the golf media. Were not in the business of creating the story. But we are in the business of delivering the facts behind what you watch on television or witness in person at a tournament.
And many times what fans of sport (golf in this case) dont realize is how often they steer the ship when it comes to continual storytelling. Give yourself the credit. What we do is react.
And I hope youre sitting down when I tell you that this media type believes our collective group is not positioned on a pedestal unfairly shouting down about the triumphs of Tiger Woods. In my opinion (and isnt it great that we can all have them), we dont dictate policy as much as we follow it.
Yes, everybody who covers golf has their designated rooting interests. But when Brian Hewitt and I talk on the Sprint Post Game about us rooting for the story, we mean it. I have never said Tiger Woods is my favoritebut tell me he isnt golfs biggest ongoing story and Ill beg to differ.
Tigers story started with numbers. Low rounds shot at a very low age. Large numbers of tournaments won growing up. An historic number of amateur wins. A crazy number of wins early in his PGA Tour career. A mind-boggling number of consecutive cuts made. And an impressive number of majors to date.
Heres where youre to blame. Forget the wins for a second. If Tiger plays ' ratings go up. If ratings go up that means youre watching in bigger numbers. Numbers signal interest. Interest shows need. And your need triggers our conversation. Are we at fault for talking too much Tiger? Apparently youthats rightyouare asking for it.
In fact, lately Im beginning to wonder if were actuallydare I say partners in all of this Tiger Woods coverage.
Sure, our mission is to provide fair and balanced commentary. However, our business is also about serving the publics intrigue.
Tiger in the field provides intrigue. Tiger dominating provides intrigue. Players beating Tiger at his best provides intrigue. Tiger struggling provides intrigue. Players stepping on Tigers neck while he is down provides intrigue. Tiger re-tooling provides intrigue. Tiger regaining dominance provides intrigue.
Trust me when I say the rest of the PGA Tours members also follow his every move. Ive witnessed the chit-chat in locker rooms on Tour.
So all I ask is that the next time you see a dip in the ratings or a spike in the ratings. check to see if Woods is competing. The next time youre at an event stuck amidst galleries 6-deep just to get a peek, check to see if its Tiger on the tee. The next time purses go up on the PGA Tour, check to see who gets credit from the rest of the field.
Excess coverage is in the eye of the beholder. At least thats my take as I ponder thoughts of the PGA Tour this weekend without ol whats his name.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann