By McKenzie Whiteman
While I must say that I was impressed by the showing that the Kansas City Royals gave in the American League Championship Series this past week, I was somewhat disappointed in the broadcasts that were given during the series, in which Kansas City swept the Baltimore Orioles. As in every professional sport, there are teams that are known to be stronger than others. Until this season, Kansas City tended to be on the weaker end of the spectrum. While other teams spend big bucks to attain high quality players, the Royals seemed to be a team that tries to acquire young athletes in order to build skills and technique. In other words, they’re often viewed as the underdogs in the regular season, much less the playoffs. While I feel it’s important that broadcasters mention the underdog element, I feel like it’s not something to be the main emphasis, especially during the hunt for a World Series title.
These types of comments were commonly heard during the Royal’s first series against the Los Angeles Angels…until they swept them. As the Royals quickly acquired W’s against the Orioles, it was evident that broadcasters had changed their opinions of the once lowly regarded team. I realize that the Royals haven’t seen the playoffs since 1985 and that an undefeated playoff run is an amazing feat, but broadcasters tended to show little interest in the team until they made this run. While it’s hard to not favor the team after the adversity they have overcome, I feel as if reporters should strictly report their view of the game to help fans further understand, rather than show what seems like a secret fascination towards the Royals organization.
I realize that this opinion may seem strict, but I’m afraid this same type of reporting will carry on to the World Series, where it will not be appreciated by National League fans. I respect the Royals for performing so well in the post-season, but I feel like broadcasters should have shown interest even before their extra-inning fight for the wild card with the Oakland Athletics, instead of giving the spotlight to big name organizations. It almost seems as if broadcasters are becoming bandwagon fans of the Royals.
The moral of this is that broadcasters should show the same interest in teams whether they are undefeated or have a losing record. This way it doesn’t seem as if broadcasters are only taking notice to teams that pull off the unexpected, whether it be an unexpected win or loss.