Meanness Alert: Alert Level 10 (on a scale of 1 to Regina George)
Truthfully, I mean to be only partially as mean as it may appear above. Craig Sager is merely an audaciously dressed version of a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad evolution in sports: the sideline reporter. Craig Sager is often the most flamboyant, but they all need to
be taken behind a shed and put down like Old Yeller go away.
I mean this not as some groundbreaking revelation. Rather, I have reached my breaking point.
At some point, perhaps, sideline reporters offered a unique perspective. In days of yore (maybe not YOUR yore, but someone’s yore), indeed a sideline reporter was in fact in a unique position – on the sideline. This may have at some points offered them opportunities to find out new information, but in today’s technological, all-access world the sideline is relegated to this:
Embarrassing. This grown ass man (in Sager’s case – I did my best to not provide ONLY Sager links) is made a fool of by asking an entirely irrelevant question, getting a terse if not combative answer, trying again, then grinning like an idiot. Sideline reporting today has reached the same level as the ‘four corner ‘ offense. It must go, and it must go now, for our sanity.
Again, I do not mean to pick on Sager. It’s just easy. You can quickly find any number of examples on the Internet of sideline reporters’ failures or lack of importance, just as I did above. It took me all of 4 minutes. I mean, sure, I don’t mind looking at Erin Andrews, but she adds literally nothing of value and should really be an embarrassment to actual, knowledgeable female fans worldwide (this issue of female reporters and commentators in Sports is a larger concern and deserves a longer, better thought out discussion in its own right).
Coaches do not want to talk to someone after a half, quarter or (the most egregious and awful idea ever) inning, and certainly not after a game, win or lose. Players sure as hell don’t want to talk regardless of outcome partly out of convenience, partly for their own sake. Some guys know in the heat of battle they are going to say something they might have to answer for. OK, only a few of them think like that, most players are one opening of the mouth away from a necessary public apology. Forget their concerns, I can’t imagine the public is clamoring for more of this:
This example obviously falls under the category of ‘satire,’ but it is not far from the truth. So maybe that’s what sideline reporting has devolved into – plodding dumbassery, coachspeak and cliches, waiting for that one time where they can catch someone saying something stupid in the heat of a competitive moment. It seems likely to me. Which is very, very sad.
We as sports fans and channels as sports entertainment producers have moved past the need for sideline reporters, nay sideline REPORTING, altogether, the way it is conducted now. The practice is stale, remaining as some foolhardy tradition, an embarrassment of excess and world-class BS. With the amount of pre-game, halftime/break-time, and post-game coverage, analysis and preparation – shouldn’t the men and women covering the games already be capable of reporting the coach was really happy with his team’s choice of pre game snack of Honey Bunches of Oats?
I’m sure there is a place for reporting from the sideline, somehow. I don’t know if I have the answer. I do know that the Craig Sagers of the world need to go away. At least get a new angle and a makeover.
Or does everyone really feel comfortable with this guy posing as a source of ‘information’?