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Do kids play certain sports because we cover them more?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    A few times when people have been upset with the way I've covered a particular team or sport (and for some reason it always seems to be swimming people), they've told me that it's important that I pump up that team more so kids in middle school will come out for the team when they get to high school.
    Before we go any further, this is not my problem, nor should it be.
    But is there any truth to this? Are there kids who may decide to try out for basketball or track or swimming or something else and decide to go with whichever sport they see in the paper the most?
    The superstar, committed athletes will play whichever sport they've grown up playing (though I guess media coverage could play a role in their decision to attend the local public school or go to a private school), but are there some rank-and-file athletes, the type that every team in any sport needs for depth, who might be swayed one way or another by what they perceive is most likely to get their names in the paper?
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    No. Kids play a certain sport because their parents push them towards certain sports as a kid, and they find out which one(s) they have an aptitude for.

    I would also add that the coach or program at the public or private school for whatever sport(s) a kid plays is far more likely to get a kid to find the specific course that school offers, or have the parents move into that school's district so he/she can attend it than someone going to Podunk High because they get all the coverage from the Podunk Press.
  3. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Swimming people seem to like to complain a lot.
  4. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I'd also think it could be part of a town's culture. There are those small towns in which HS football is king. I would think some kids might feel a little pressure to go play for those teams, rather than sit at home and feel marginalized.
  6. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    I do think the "glamor" of a particular sport has a lot to do with who and how many play it, but I don't know if glamor owes itself to traditional media coverage. It's more a result of that sports presence in advertising (i.e., it's "coolness" factor).

    Think of all the young black men who might have been baseball stars who would rather be the sixth man on the high school basketball team because it's the cool thing to do in their culture. I'm not picking on one demographic in particular, but that was just the best example I could think of ...
  7. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it's why I played basketball and did NOT go out for cross country. I wasn't good at basketball but eventually grew to have a passion for it -- which still burns today.

    Swimming parents? Another reason I'm glad I'm out of sports. When I was 'in the business', the swimming parents would call me. I'm sure we all went through something like this:

    ME: "well, what time are the final races?"

    MOM: "I don't know. Heats start at 4:30."

    ME: "How long is that going to go for?"

    MOM: "Maybe an hour."

    ME: "That might be kind of hard for me to make."

    MOM: "Well, you seem to cover all of the football games and basketball games."

    ME: "That's because THEY start at 7 pm. Without fail. I'm in and out in a half-hour."

    MOM: "I just think it's unfair."

    ME: "I'm on the news at 6:20. I just can't spend up to an hour trying to figure out who is who. Especially when the coaches never seem to call in the scores."

    MOM: "But they try just as hard..."
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Soccer is one of the most popular sports with kids.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I don't know that newspapers push kids to certain sports. Public perception does.

    Johnny doesn't curl for the popularity, you know.
  10. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    And just exactly which newspapers are middle school kids reading these days?...Anyone care to post a picture of that?
  11. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Swimming parents like to bitch.
  12. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Make that parents, especially those with errands to run while their kids are at soccer, and we're in agreement. Once most are done, they're done. Don't want to watch. I say that because there are no 50,000 seat soccer-only stadiums being built, because they can't begin to fill the seats of the stadiums they have.
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