“Homerism” Good; Bad?Published 1:36pm Monday, January 16, 2012
A sports writer for the Star Tribune had an interesting article about “homerism” with our local professional sports team’s play by play announcers. “Homerism” is when the local play by play guys sugarcoat what is actually going on during the game or season of the teams they are covering. They overlook the bad and try to make it look like things are ok and will get better.
For the casual fan it may go unnoticed unless it is particularly bad, but the avid fan can see it and sometimes it can be quite annoyed by it. When a team or particular player is not playing well I know I don’t want anyone sugarcoating it. It may be different if the announcer was doing a high school game but these guys are professional players and get paid quite a lot to do what they are suppose to do, so if they are not performing then don’t tell me they are.
I have done play by play of games for TV now for 22 years. A friend and I have broadcast the West Central Area high school games for our local access channel so it’s not like I haven’t done the job. My friend is always the positive guy and I know it’s because the kids are in high school and I used to be that way too but after awhile I changed a little. I still am not as bad as I could be sometimes because they are in high school, but if the team is playing particularly bad and since the game we are doing is on TV so everyone can see, I will not lie and make it sound better than it is. I don’t want my pro announcers doing the same thing.
I don’t want my announcers to go overboard about being negative either. It seems the media in all phases of life like to live on the negative. I guess being negative and critical is easier and is good for ratings. But I don’t like being blatantly lied to either. If a player is continually making bad plays don’t come up with excuses for the guy, just say what we all see, the guy isn’t playing very well right now and maybe he needs a break or just maybe the guy is in over his head. What’s wrong with that?
I’ll tell you what is wrong with that. The teams that these guys work for don’t want that and in turn the TV network who has paid for the games do not want that. The team doesn’t want to be criticized because not only are they sensitive they want fans to continue to watch the team and they want their announcers to give the fans hope as to keep interest in the team. The Network does not want to tick the teams off because that is where their money is and they too want fans to continue watching so the ratings don’t go down.
The broadcasts are geared for the casual fan and like I said they may not notice the sugarcoating quite so much and that is why they will continue to do what they do.
-Since I am not employed by any professional network or professional team, I will now in all my honesty and so called expert opinion, give you the low down on our four professional teams.
The Timberwolves have been so much more exciting than they have in the past few years but then it wouldn’t take much. It has been a franchise that has continually shot itself in the foot when making any team decisions. Now, finally, there is a glimmer of hope. They have one of the best, most consistent, humble players in the league in Kevin Love. He just goes about his business to where he almost goes unnoticed. They have Ricky Rubio who is playing better than even the hype said he would and I think rookie Derrick Williams will be good. They also have a couple other guys who are ok but they still are missing a few pieces but at least I think they are going in the right direction so there is hope.
The Wild I really thought would be good this year. Since Marion Gaborik left they haven’t had that big time scorer and I hoped Matt Cullen, Devin Setoguchi, and Danny Heatley would be the guys, but they haven’t been. It seems like the Wild is where good scorers go to die or something. I think they are on the right track though too, so again there is hope.
The Vikings were really bad this past season. They played bad and I think some of the coaching was suspect. Then they go and fire the defensive line coach, Dunbar, and the D-line had a pretty good year. They did well against the run and led the league in sacks, so they fire their coach. They have a lot of holes to fill and then Adrian Peterson gets a major knee injury to complicate things. They need a good draft and even if they get one it will be awhile before they will contend in their division.
I left my favorite team, the Twins, till last. The Twins will not contend for the division title this next year. I think they will be a .500 team at best. The only way they remotely contend is if Mauer and Morneau have big years and although I can see Mauer having one, I fear for Morneau. Like going into last year, they don’t seem to have a reasonable backup plan if any key player gets hurt or can’t play like Morneau. Don’t forget Span had a concussion last year too. Terry Ryan has done all that he can do under the budget he has put himself on. The problem the budget he put himself on is 15 million less than they were on last year. Granted it’s not always how much money you spend I feel the 15 million less in budget stifles them a lot. Instead of signing maybe that number 2 or 3 pitcher, the Twins settled on signing a number 4 or 5 pitcher. Instead of signing a proven bullpen pitcher they have had to settle on reclamation projects.
The Twins will not contend this year and even though they may have started building for the future acquiring draft choices, this is not what they promised when they said they wanted a new stadium. I feel I have been conned a little bit and am very disappointed.