Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sports Bias

This is for all the sports fans out there, especially those who followed the most recent Cowboys game, Sunday night. Granted I am a Dallas native, I never followed football nor ever rooted for a favored team, therefore this blog will have no slant to it in reference to the article. AOL published an article regarding the recent Cardinals victory/Cowboys loss in Arizona, titled "Cards Block 'Boys Rally in OT."

It is not unusual to pick out the bias in controversial issue or political party stories, but to find biased news in sports coverage is rather different. It's understandable that the majority of the population are fans of at least one sports team, but when reporting on a specific event, or game, one's personal affiliation should be left out of the story. I mean the reporter should in no way insinuate their favored team, especially when the story involves that team!

After reading this article, I was convinced that the writer, Bob Baum, AP, was either a devoted Cardinals fan or simple anti-Cowboys advocate. Baum uses clear, concise coverage of the actual facts from game plays, yet he also makes it obvious that the Cowboys were unsuccessful in their efforts to win.

For instance he says, "almost isn't good enough when you're the Cowboys, who thus far haven't been the dominating team many expected them to be." This was his comment in response to Dallas coach Wade Phillips' statement that "it was almost a miracle finish for the team."
Obviously the team has not been on top like they would have liked to be, but to have placed such a random comment, almost like an emotional outburst in a sports re-cap article is practically unnecessary. It is public knowledge and already understood that Dallas is down right now and thus did not need to be reiterated by Baum in this article.
Then he proceeded to state the expectations, like a slap in the Cowboys' face. Yes, of course the team is held to high expectations, by fans, their coach, and opponents because of their reputation. However, this is not news! Isn't every team held up to some level of high expectations by those of either authority or the public/ fan bases? How is it any different for the Cowboys? I felt like that statement was out of place in the article since most of it discusses the plays and actions of both teams and explains basic facts of what occurred at the game. This is not the only time Baum reveals a slant in his writing.

Next, Baum uses more game-play to favor Arizona: "Folk was in field-goal range only because a 5-yard offside penalty was called against injured Arizona linebacker Travis LaBoy as he tried to limp downfield. The penalty moved the ball from the 40 to the 35."
I think Baum was a bit too detailed about this penalty field-goal made by Dallas. The bold parts show his "discreet" way of implying that it was an unfair advantage to Dallas and rained a pity shower on Arizona's injured player.

Lastly, Baum said "that was just one of the weird moments in Arizona's sixth consecutive home victory." Here, he reveals his pride over Arizona's victory in Sunday night's tense game. "Weird moment?" Is that a unanimous conclusion or just another emotional appeal?

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