Golden Opportunity Missed

BY BRANDON SHRIDER

I’m disappointed. Shaun White lost to a kid…

Sure, this could be my opinion on the Sochi Olympic half pipe results, but instead, it is how ESPN chose to reveal the story.

The news of the day wasn’t Iouri Podladtchikov winning his first Olympic gold medal, at least not in the eyes of ESPN.

However, it is this notion that gives cause for concern.

Shaun White, while having an illustrious and victory-filled career, didn’t do anything on the day of the half pipe event to warrant any media coverage. In fact, he failed to place in the top three, and did not seize the opportunity to set a record for three consecutive Olympics with a gold medal.

Instead, he lost, but this is what the viewers were presented with as it scrolled across the bottom of the screen on ESPN. Mention of Podladtchikov was scarce, and the coverage of the well-anticipated event became nonexistent.

The well-hyped event virtually dissipated into the sports media as a proclamation by LeBron James stole the headlines.

So, LeBron James refers to himself as great and Shaun White loses at the Olympics, but these two stories garner more coverage than the victory by the Heat, or the gold medal for Iouri Podladtchikov.

Quite simply, ESPN plays the name game.

If you have the notorious name, you will receive the repeated attention as opposed to those deserving. A story will then be constructed out of information not worthy of such a story and losing might very well become the new winner.

Certainly, Shaun White failed to capitalize on a great opportunity, but ESPN failed to do the same.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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