I see a lot of posts on AP relaying things being said about the Chiefs in the national sports media. We are relieved when somebody from ESPN or wherever says something encouraging about the team. We are outraged when somebody else from similar outlets says something bad. And more than anything else, sports fans in Kansas City (and other small market cities for that matter) get really irate when the national media pays them no attention at all.
At this time I would call on all Chiefs fans to just pay them no regard. Ignore them. Don't worry about them. What they think about the Chiefs, the city or the Midwest have absolutely no bearing on anything. Do not let what any of these geeks says (or doesn't say) upset you at all.
The national sports media is filled with people who simply have no idea what they're talking about. ESPN and their counterparts at Fox Sports and elsewhere view sports simply as an extension of American pop culture. There is no difference to them between sports and movie and TV. If you don't believe me, just look at the ridiculous ESPY awards show ESPN just perpetrated. Is there anything more absurd than having a Hollywood-style awards show giving out trophies to athletes who have already proven who's best on the field of competition? ESPN is to sports what the E! channel is to the arts. Watching these media drones hover around athletes is simply sad. Remember a few years ago when Andy Reid sent TO home from Eagles training camp? And TO was doing pushups in his driveway. And those sad, bloated middle aged men hovered around him like moths to a flame? How embarrassing. The more obnoxious the behavior of an athlete, the more the national media stoops to lick their boots. I couldn't be the only person out there that was embarrassed for Jim Grey in that drooling "interview" he did of LaBron James a couple of weeks ago. Look at ESPN's commercials for SportsCenter, which usually depict A list athletes hanging out with the dorks in Bristol.
While some have competitive backgrounds, the vast majority of people in the sports media are not athletes themselves -- those who can do, those who can't go to ESPN. While many former players do commentary, the lion's share of sports journalists have never competed at anything a day in their lives. And yet they are allowed to sit in judgement on people who have worked their asses off the excel at something, who take a risk at being the hero or the goat every time they set foot in the arena. I really don't think most guys (and girls) in the sports media gets it. I think they believe that pro athletes are simply people with superhuman physical gifts, not people with gigantic wills to succeed and work ethics to match. The worst offender for me has always been Jim Rome. I wonder why a guy like Rome follows sports since he seems to hate it so much and have such a disdain for athletes in general. How easy it is for a guy like Rome to ooze snark from the safety of the broadcast both while actual athletes risk public failure. Jim Everett was right to throttle the guy. But Rome has so many imitators. ESPN's mocking tone has filtered down to the local sports news guys. Talk radio douchebags deal in ripping on people who take the risk to fail in public while the radio guys sit in anonymity behind a microphone. (I love the guys like Joe Posnanski who seem to really "get it," to celebrate what sports can do and how hard athletes word.)
The national media guys are also beholden to reporting things based on geography and market size. No matter how bad certain NY area teams are, they are simply always going to get more coverage from Connecticut-based ESPN. It's just a business to them.
I really enjoy this site. As a Chiefs fan relocated to the West Coast it's an invaluable source of information. I can't imagine being an out of town fan in the age before the internet. How could people follow their teams from such great distance?
I honestly believe that the information and analysis provided on AP both from the site administrators and the fans who post articles is above and beyond anything ESPN could possibly give us. People who post on AP are fans, yes. Hell, they're total homers. But nobody contributing to APis trying to curry the favor of the flavor of the month.
Like most Chiefs fans, I am very excited about the direction of the team. I don't think this is a playoff team this year (2011 will be the breakout year, I think) but it's definitely vastly improved. As fans, we don't need the media to affirm our affections for the Chiefs. Pay no attention to what they say or don't say. They simply don't matter. If Pioli has the success in KC that he had in Boston, if the Chiefs win three titles this decade it won't matter what ESPN has to say about it. I'd rather win the Lombardi trophy than a fucking ESPY any day.