Monday, July 12, 2010

Was The Decision a Big Deal

Arguably, the big media event last week was the Lebron James announcement of what NBA team he would be following. It all culminated in "The Decision" a program highlighting James and his decision to join The Miami Heat (which many had speculated he would join). ESPN aired The Decision. But apparently The Decision was a somewhat pre-packaged and contrived program originally conceived by Jim Gray. It has been reported that Gray, as interviewer, and Lebron's corporate endorsers, as sponsors of the program, were part of a package deal. In other words, if ESPN wanted exclusive rights to air his announcement, they had to accept his interviewer and sponsors. Many sports critics have commented they were disgusted by the display of corporate driven propaganda which took place on a supposed "sporting news" channel. One such response can be read by clicking here.

Read the article linked above and let me know what you think. Does The Decision make a mockery out of sports? Do you think James will suffer any backlash for it? Does ESPN as an organization employing sports journalists have a responsibility to cover the event impartially or is ESPN just an entertainment channel which we should expect no more from than MTV or VH1?

30 comments:

Dixonville said...

To be upfront and honest, I do not watch sports. I watch some Mississippi State Football,basketball, and some baseball. My son runs track and cross country. I watch the Olympics when they are one and I watched the final of the World's Cup (as in the overtime). I am not a fan of sports, not because I have anything against them at all. I think they benefit, or have the ability to benefit, the organization they represent and it is a beloved past time of millions of people worldwide. I'm just not a big sports fan. That being said, my answer will most likely be skewed and biased, but this is an opinion question. I did not follow "the decision" on TV...I wasn't even aware there was one until updates were posted on Facebook on a couple of my friends statuses. After reading the article, I'm really not shocked in the least. Does it make a mockery out of sports? I honestly (and I'm sure I'm going to have some backlash on this) don't see how making a mockery of professional sports is even an issue. The whole enterprise to me is only a step above a mockery. Yes, these athletes are talented, even gifted, in what they do. But to make the money they do? Sorry...not adding up. We have doctors, nurses, teachers, professors, firemen, policemen, etc. that put their lives on the line daily and/or spend their lives helping others who do not make a fraction of what these athletes make.
LeBron James has evidently suffered at least some backlash from it. I did a quick search on yahoo and saw where he was heckled and "boo'ed" at a recent wedding. I guess what I don't understand, and it may be because I am NOT a sports fan, why the fans take it as a personal slap in the face. Like the article says, these athletes do not know you, most people will never meet a professional athlete, and even if you do, the vast majority of them (the athletes) just see you as "another adoring fan who worships my every play."
ESPN "should" be unbiased, however, in the few sporting events I have watched (MSU football comes to mind) the commentators are anything but unbiased. Yes, they should report, commentate, etc. as an unbiased entity but they never do. College Game Day is a prime example of that when Lee Corso dons the "mask" or "prop" of the team he thinks will win. It is all for fun...sports should be fun...even though it is a rivalry. Were LeBron James, Jim Gray, etc. at fault? Like I said, I didn't watch it...but the one thing in the article that stuck out to me was him not thanking the fans/franchise he was leaving. Prime example of what I stated above. The athletes normally don't truly care about their fans. They are in it for the money and at best, because they love the game. Try cutting their contract salaries...see how many of them decide to stick around...

Dixonville said...
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Dixonville said...
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gwendolyn said...

I dont think the decision makes a mockery out of sports. It's just a decision that Lebron made. I understand how some people can be upset, because there are people who are fans of these guys but honestly it doesnt really affect any of us (the public). They are saying that it was a business decision and if that is the road that he thinks he needs to take then that is what he chooses. Now im sure some may be saying what am I talking about, but Im not a big basketball watcher. Some people watch it religiously, but I dont. I do think that he could have done it in a better way, trying not to hurt the people who admire him so much and his former team and etc. I think the way he did it was kind of disrespectful.

I think that James will suffer some backlash, he is definitely going to lose some fans, which I think will hurt him. I definitely think he will eperiencing some karma sooner or later. As soon as the public was informed about the decision, the tv was showing people burning his pictures and posters and all kinds of stuff of his. ESPN journalists should cover events impartially, its their job. I wouldnt compare ESPN to MTV or
VH1.

Andrew said...

It's irony that this was called, "The Decision," when in all actuality it had nothing to do with James' decision about where he would sign his next contract. Everything about this was a slick method of marketing and branding, something ESPN excels at. Of course, the LeBron machine has been preparing for this sort of Brand debut.

This was about entertainment. And with the production of this show, we should shed the notion that ESPN retains any legitimate "news" aspect, and it is purely about entertainment, branding and corporatism.

Of course, "the decision" to help produce and create this program speaks loudly about James and his character.

I loved Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's comments about the LeBron circus. Then again, I don't feel too sorry for him. He was one of the owners who voted "yes" to allow Clay Bennett and David Stern to steal the Sonics from Seattle.

Dan LeBatard, who covers the Heat for the Miami Herald, and Jason Whitlock, who writes for the KC Star, have done great work covering this side of the story.

-Andrew

JoycieW. said...

NO, the decision does not make a mockery out of sports. Being the sports fan I am, I have no problem with the decision James made, or how he made it. We’re talking about a business deal. If you have a chance to get a better job with the possibilities of a bonus at the end of the year, how many of us would pass on it?? That’s exactually what he did. James stayed with Cleveland 7 years. If you watch sports, you’ll know that there have been plenty of players traded during the season and some right before the start of the game. If the owner cared so much about keeping him, he would have brought in other players to help him with the quest of a championship. He owes the owner and the people of Cleveland, NOTHING, because we all know they have made LOTS of money off him. Take Eli Manning, when he was drafted by San Diego, he refused to play with the team and demanded a trade. There was no backlash, it was considered a “business” move. When Alex Rodriguez signed the richest contract in baseball with the Rangers, he played with them 3 years and wanted a trade because the team finished last 3 years in a row. Yes, these are athletes, but it’s also a business for them. Who cares about backlash, if he would have stayed, he would have been criticized. As far as ESPN, ratings….. When Sosa and McGuire were in the running for the home run records, I remember CBS interrupting the nightly news when the each one hit a homerun. What many seem to forget is that the network donated the time and the ad revenues went to various charities, I know the Boys and Girls Clubs of America was one of those charities. After all is said and done, I just want them to beat the Lakers……..

H. Michelle Awtry said...

The fact that this person (author of the article) thinks that LeBron's desicion and those involved could change the way everyone looks at sports is ludicrous. This is one man - very popular man, indeed, but just one person out of hundreds of loved sports stars.
ESPN may very well be a sports news channel, but the last time I checked, sporting events are also entertainment. People pay lots of money to attend these events, some even pay more monthly to have the channel to watch the "news". There are people on ESPN giving their opinion all the time about who is good and who is bad, etc. Charles Barkley can be pretty honest about how he feels!
I don't think that this even will change anything - maybe some temporary loss of love for LeBron, but certainly not a change of the whole industry. I also don't think that LeBron will suffer much - he's a good player and the Cavs new he was a free agent, they new he wanted to explore his options, so why this is such s "slap in the face", I don't know.

Gabe Browning said...

Hmm...a New York reporter mad because of "LeBron's hr long special" NOT announcing that he was going to the Knicks? WOuld the tone of the report been different if he'd have said New York at the end of the broadcast? Did this guy really have a problem with the Boys and Girls Club of America getting some air time?!? Some of the other institutions I could see questionable, but come on?!?!

One decision does not define an entire sport, nor does one player. A player may define a specific time within the sport, but rarely an entire sport. how many people recall that once basketball great Jerry West is STILL the silhouette for the NBA trademark? Exactly! I agree that we overhype our sports figures, but it is what it is. An escape and a chance to cheer for a force/person/challenge. The article was as harsh on sports fans as it was LeBron. A bit much in my humble opinion. BOO KNICKS! One thing I've learned with the various black eyes basketball and other sports have had int he past... they will recover with proper leadership and management.

Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) just entertainment or respected journalists? I'd say predominantly entertainment journalists. I think ESPN has worked to improve their image as a more respected organization by incorporating legitament sports journalists from newspapers across the country, but they are ultimately there for our entertainment. As for the specific announcement, I didn't get to see it because of the time difference here in the UK. And once I heard the decision I really didn't care enoug about the other 59 minutes of the special to watch online. LeBron goes to Miami... life goes on. And I am a huge sports fan, but my life does not hang in the balance of this "momentous" occasion, regardless of what New York reporter says.

As for LeBron and possible backlash... definite backlash for the decision. Could have been done WAY BETTER!! But what do you expect from a high school graduate living in the grand world of professional sports. He's destined for screw ups. Unfortunately this one was during prime time.

Gabe Browning said...
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Kevin M Romero said...

I do not think that "The Decision" made a mockery out of sports. I think it made a mockery out of Lebron. I am a sports fan, and I am in the field of Sports Medicine as a career so I am around sports sometimes more than I want to be. When I heard about "The Decision" broadcast on ESPN, I was courious, but only curious enough to check yahoo after the broadcast.
The only backlash Lebron will suffer is not having fans in Cleveland. he will have just as many fans in Miami. He will sell more shirts and jerseys to a whole new set of fans, and make more money than anyone should for playing a game.
I think ESPN should cover news events impartially. Saying that, the problem with this is we are all fans of different teams and so are the broadcasters. It is nearly impossible when talking sports to be impartial. Sports, by nature, are competative and fource us to take sides. How interesting would a game be if we had no one to cheer for.
Kevin M Romero

Devonte Gardner said...

I don't think The Decision makes a mockery out of sports. The industry has seen several high profile athletes suffer from overexposure. Namely Michael Jordan and the attention he received in the 90s. Everything Jordan did was important back then. Whether it was his movie Space Jam, or his lucrative gym shoe business, or his numerous endorsement deals. Lebron is just following along the same stream as Jordan. He's one of the sports industry's top talents and the NBA would be foolish to not advertise its biggest brand. Everything Lebron does and says now has potential to make the national and even international news. His decision to join the Miami Heat and the weeks of speculation prior to announcing the decision are easily the most discussed NBA story in ten years, not including scandals. Everyone, even nonsports fans, are familiar with the basics of the story because news outlets ate it up. And maybe that's because of the money involved. The Cavs will lose a reported 48 million dollars in the long run over Lebron's decision to leave them for The Heat. Cleveland is probably not the richest city and it seems like I always hear something about Ohio having unemployment issues, even more-so than the rest of the country, so Lebron leaving may hit them hard.

As far as the actual decision and where I would have wanted Lebron to go, I think if someone is that good, having spent hours training and preparing to go pro and compete at an international level, than he, Lebron, should be able to choose whichever team he wants. He shouldn't be limited to his home team. But in saying that, Lebron could have thanked his fans back home because right now half of them are burning his jerseys and feeling jilted. A great suggestion I heard was for Lebron to bring in his former coach or representatives from his former team and have them sit beside him while he announced his decision. That's something Obama would have done, have his critics as well as his supporters in the backdrop while he make an important announcement. Also, Lebron could have at least told everyone on the Cavs about his decision instead of making them learn about it on the news. There are several things Lebron could have done to soften the blow.

Lebron has millions of dollars in endorsement deals. If I was in his position, I wouldn't pick the contract that offered the most money, I would just focus on going to the best team. I wouldn't let money be the main factor in my decision, because I'd already be rich. I'm not saying Lebron went to Miami because of money either. I'm not really sure on his reasons, but I do wish him the best of luck with his endeavors.

trinam24 said...

"The Decision" was truly a broadcast on ESPN that I hope will be the last of its kind! I am a sports fan and Lebron James happens to be player of choice these days. However, "The Decision" was over the top!

I wouldnt say that "The Deicision" made a mockery out of sports, but I do not think it was necessay. Lebron James is arguably one of the top two players in the NBA and I think anyonoe who likes or watches basketball was eager to find out if he would stay in Cleveland or leave Cleveland. The media, as usual, started making a big hype of what decision Lebron would make as soon as it was evident that the Cavaliers were not likely to win the series against the Celtics. The media was successful in arousing basketball fans and I think the media is to blame for "The Decision". The media gave Lebron and his team of consultants the ammunition to put togehter such an extravagant idea. And guess what? Scores and soores of people tuned in to watch it!

Lebron James has suffered backlash from this whole orderal-as expected. I don't think the state of Ohio will back off with the insults and negative attitude about the whole ordeal any time in the near future. But, ultimately, the NBA is a business and the Cavs would have gotten rid of Lebron if they felt he was not capapble of helping the city win a championship. Lebron didn't think the team was capable of winning it all in the immediate future, so he did what he thought was in his best interest. I only disagree with the fashion in which he left.
ESPN should cover all sports news impartially, but we know that doesn't happen. The Tiger Woods scandal had nothing to do with sports, but we all saw how his personal business was extinsively reported. Therefore, we should expect ESPN to act as an entertainment channel and not be surprised at their actions.

glenda kees said...
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glenda kees said...

I watches sport and the decision did not make a mockery out of sports just the player, it didn’t take an hour special for the world to know what team LeBron James had decided to go to. He should have just told everyone, but he decided to drag it out instead. It just put focus on him as being selfish. The other teams were upset that he did not play for them. The fans said bad things and burned jersey and other stuff because of his decision. Cleveland is really done with him.

Yes I think he will suffer some backlash for the way he announced the team he was going to even though I think he had already decided where he was going and he didn’t decide overnight. He did have the right to go wherever he wanted to and that was fine. Like he said this is his job and a business. I just think he went about it the wrong way in telling the public. One good thing was that the money from the sponsors went to support the Boys and Girls Club.

I think ESPN should have covered the event impartially, but they were in it for the ratings, publicity and the money. They made way to big of a deal out of LeBron decision. They knew if they did it that way it ESPN ratings would shoot through the roof for that hour. Websites of other teams were crashing trying to find out what team he was going to and I think ESPN already knew. I like ESPN and I don’t think it is just an entertainment channel. I just think they could have made a better decision in the way it was presented.

Angela Williams said...

I don't think LeBron James' decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers made a mockery out of sports. If anything, it made a mockery out of him. Ofcourse LeBron is going to suffer backlash and he's going to get flack for his actions, as is expected, and I'm sure he was well aware that he was going to get a lot of flack and criticism from his decision. I'm sure his fans are very disappointed in the decision he made; especially how he announced it at the last minute. It shows arrogance on his part. This is not the first time something like this has happened, and it probably won't be the last time. These things just happen in the world of sports. The bottom line is that it was LeBron's decision, and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Now I think he should have done things a little more tactfully, and he should have been more considerate to his coaches, teammates, and fans. Sometimes athletes just don't care about how their actions affect their fans, coaches, teammates, etc. Then, there are some athletes who do care and try to uphold a good image. I agree with some of
the other comments that ESPN should have covered the event impartially, but these sports networks are in competition for obtaining the highest ratings, and they will do whatever they feel is necessary to boost their ratings, such as airing this 1-hour long special of LeBron James' decision. Yes, we should consider ESPN as a sports entertainment channel because it keeps us informed and updated about pretty much anything in the world of sports. I have gotten so accustomed to when I want to find out something about a sport's figure or if I want game highlights, I automatically, without thinking, turn to ESPN. It keeps me entertained, and I really enjoy the network. I think they do a great job in their sports coverage. Channels like MTV or VH1 have a job to cover music videos, etc., which is what we expect to see just like we expect to find out anything that we want to know about sports from ESPN.

Priscilla Davis said...

I am a huge fan of the NBA and a huge fan of Lebron James. He has my maiden name, so I am a bit partial to him all in all. However, I think "The Decision" was a BIG TIME MARKETING move by somebody. It was a bit much and totally unncessary. All it took was for him to notify the proper sources about his decision and then share it with the media, like everyone else did. I don't think he Decision made a mockery out of sport. The media made more out of a than Lebron did. It was all about marketing and money. But I think Lebron has received some backlash for it and will receive more. He has shown great character, after the fact. In my opinion, I don't think he owes anyone explanations about how he handled this. It was done, wrong as it may have been, and move on. ESPN is no entertainment channel, but it surely acted as such on The Decision night.

pmm46 McDaniel said...

I don't know much about sports because I wasn't "raised" on them. My Dad was always more of a gadget freak - Star Trek, Star Wars, computers, and the like are the elements that raised this kid. That being said, I don't really understand the whole sports gig. I do, however, understand that underneath the sportsmanship, the athletisism, and game, it is just a business. What happened with LeBron and ESPN should be no surprise to anyone - it's a career, not a passion (I don't care what the commercials tell you)! I bet if LeBron James could only make $30,000 a year playing basketball, he would pick a different career. The guy is trying to make money...he will do whatever it takes to lock in the highest bid.

Scott, Amber, and Landon said...

As a sports talk radio listener, I had heard about Lebron's decision for months beforehand, listened to all of the different rumors, and was more than ready to put that talk behind me. When talk of his special 1-hour decision was discussed, I thought it was a little silly, but if he can get away with it, more power to him.

Unfortuanatly, I did watch the first half of the special, until after he announced which team he will be joining. I thought it was a ridiculous and that was 30 minutes that I will never get back of my life. I think it is evident that Lebron is going to continue to suffer backlash from his decision to go ahead with this special. People like myself, who were not crazy Lebron fans before, but just enjoyed watching him play, now have a new opinion of him after this whole fiasco. All of the third person talk did not help much either.

As far as ESPN goes, I can't stand Jim Gray and think that he is the worst interviewer at the station. The first word of the acronym of ESPN is entertainment, so I don't think that it was too far out of line for them. As you can tell by the ratings, wich were over 7.8 or something like that, were VERY high for this type of thing. Was it right by Lebron to do it like this? Probably not. Did he make new fans? No (other than the Miami fans). ESPN took advantage of a slow sports period and made a killing in the rating.

-Scott Stewart

Cornela357 said...

I do not believe that "The Decision" made a mockery of the sports news industry. I am not a sports fan but I did watch it due to a sports fan in my home. I did feel that the choice he was going to make did not warrant an hour long discussion. So, without the posted information about Jim Gray and the circus behind the interview, I did think that the whole was overplayed and a little fake. In regards to the backlash about Lebron's decision, I believe he didn't think that it was going to get so much negative attention. As an avid news watcher, I was so tired of all of the comments about Lebron's business choice. We heard the Cav. fans had to say, the Cav. owner had to say, the rejected teams had to say, I surprised that President Obama didn't hold a press conference about the decision.
I do understand that sports is a major source of entertainment, but we as a nation take this too far. Lebron reminded everyone that basketball is now considered a business not a sport. A lot of fans don't look at choices of the player like we look at career opportunities. He went for the money, plain and simple and everyone needs to get over it. Sports players are human. They make mistakes and have bad judgements. As for Lebron, he forgot about his fan base. Now he must build a new foundation instead of converting his previous followers. I guess with the endorsers and the advertisers, he can afford to buy new fans.

Corey Wheeler said...

Well, I'm pretty apathetic towards this story. I'm not anti sports or anything. I just don't think it deserves the pedestal everyone gives it. That's just my opinion though. As far as the story goes, I don't think it makes a mockery out of sports. I mean, sports is just one big specticle anyway. Like anything with access to that may people, there will be a lot of money tied into it. Perhaps if I were a fan I would feel different.

James will probably suffer some backlash for this, especialy from hard core fans. Some of my friends are huge football fans, so I know how pasionate people can get about it. That passion is one reason why I think that ESPN has a responsiblily to cover this kind of stuff seriously. They have a resposibility to their consumer and if they want to keep their jobs it's in their best interest to take it seriously.

Joy said...

I don't think that "The Decision" made a mockery out of sports. Professional sports are a business and ESPN is in the business of selling professional sports. I did not watch "The Decision" but I saw more post on my face book page than I could even keep up with. I heard that the show was ridiculously long and drawn out, but guess what? Everyone continued to watch it. People were sucked in! It accomplished what it was trying to accomplish...viewership. This viewership generated revenue for all of the show’s sponsors and even ESPN. Everyone wanted to know if Lebron James was going to stay in Cleveland or go to Miami. The sports fan in all of us was hoping he would stay with the little guy and that is why we were so captivated with the show. ESPN aired something that many viewers were interested in as seen by the viewership. That’s not making a mockery of sports; that giving people what they want to see.
I don't think this show will have any backlash for Lebron James. Like him or not, he is an amazing athlete and should be successful in Miami. The show was such a small piece of his history that I don't think there will be any backlash.
ESPN is sports entertainment to me. I think they report facts and figures about games and keep us up to speed on highlights, but I have watched enough football on ESPN to know they have their favorite teams. There is no way they are unbiased. I have never really seen ESPN as a "news" channel. I have always viewed it as a sports entertainment channel.

Joy said...

I don't think that "The Decision" made a mockery out of sports. Professional sports are a business and ESPN is in the business of selling professional sports. I did not watch "The Decision" but I saw more post on my face book page than I could even keep up with. I heard that the show was ridiculously long and drawn out, but guess what? Everyone continued to watch it. People were sucked in! It accomplished what it was trying to accomplish...viewership. This viewership generated revenue for all of the show’s sponsors and even ESPN. Everyone wanted to know if Lebron James was going to stay in Cleveland or go to Miami. The sports fan in all of us was hoping he would stay with the little guy and that is why we were so captivated with the show. ESPN aired something that many viewers were interested in as seen by the viewership. That’s not making a mockery of sports; that giving people what they want to see.
I don't think this show will have any backlash for Lebron James. Like him or not, he is an amazing athlete and should be successful in Miami. The show was such a small piece of his history that I don't think there will be any backlash.
ESPN is sports entertainment to me. I think they report facts and figures about games and keep us up to speed on highlights, but I have watched enough football on ESPN to know they have their favorite teams. There is no way they are unbiased. I have never really seen ESPN as a "news" channel. I have always viewed it as a sports entertainment channel.

Neal Squires (nds79) said...

ESPN is a sports and entertainment network. In fact the name ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It could also be said that sports exist to entertain us and that they are a subcategory of entertainment in general. So when I heard about the Lebron James “Decision” show, I rolled my eyes and moved on. Sports exist to entertain and the flashier, louder and brighter the lights the more we tune in. ESPN knows this and that’s why they went ahead with this “decision.”

Yes, ESPN employs sports journalists and as such they have a responsibility that goes above just entertaining. But we don’t watch to be informed anymore, we watch to be entertained. “The Decision” played us for this reason: we wanted to be entertained even at the expense of journalism and professionalism by both ESPN executives and Mr. James. ESPN wanted the brightest lights on the NBA’s biggest star and they did it for exposure and publicity of their brand. Money, after all, is what sports, or should I say entertainment is all about, right?

Kate said...

I did not watch the program. I only read about what was going on via the Internet, and then I only skimmed over everything. I thought the idea of this hour long sports show about where a player was going next was a little ludicrous. I understand that he is a really great basketball player, but I still don't understand why he needed an hour. People get traded and move teams all the time - I think it was a little over the top.

As for LeBron, die hard Cleveland fans will never forgive him, but I think Miami and the team will welcome him. They want a championship, and he went there hoping for one.

ESPN has always been an entertainment channel to me. I think they do a fairly good job broadcasting games, but in between games, even their halftime programs, it seems painstakingly obvious they are trying to keep people watching long enough to see the next set of commercials/sponsors. I do not watch ESPN on a regular basis, but I am not familiar with them doing any hard-hitting journalistic pieces, and I really would expect them to do something like this.

Chintan Desai said...

Does The Decision make a mockery out of sports?

The Decision did not make a mockery out of sports. If it did make a mockery out of sports, 10 million plus individuals would have not watched the event. True sports fans have been anticipating the 2010 free agency for almost two years. It has been said that we will never see another class of free agents of this caliber in any of the three major sports leagues.

Do you think James will suffer any backlash for it?

A backlash on Lebron James was inevitable if he signed on a team other than the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will now suffer a bigger backlash because he signed with a team that has one megastar in Dwayne Wade and a top 15 NBA star in Chris Bosh. I feel he is the same situation that Alex Rodriguez was when he signed with the New York Yankees.

Does ESPN as an organization employing sports journalists have a responsibility to cover the event impartially or is ESPN just an entertainment channel which we should expect no more from than MTV or VH1?

In regards to ESPN, The Decision did not make a mockery out of the network. It was a event that ESPN would have been crazy not to broadcast. They are a sports entertainment company, and this event gave the network a opportunity to capitalize on a NBA event in a month where NBA stories are limited.

Ageyer said...

This is a very interesting question. I’m a huge sports fan, I watch ESPN all the time. Every year ESPN becomes more of an entertainment channel then a sports network. “The Decision,” is a perfect example of this fact. Throughout history when a free agent signed a big new contract they would have a news conference. “The Decision,” has changed this tradition. ESPN will have to come up with something bigger and better the next time they are speculating on where a big star will sign. The last two summers ESPN has had reporters that have camped out on Brett Favre’s lawn to try to glean any information on if he was going to play in the NFL or retire. In our 24 hour news cycle, people expect real time entertainment. ESPN is just giving its viewers what they want.

-Aaron Geyer

S.Webb said...

I do not believe that Lebron James’s decision to move to Miami makes a mockery out of sports. It was simply a career move on Lebron’s part. Lebron was an employee of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He made the personal decision that it would be a better career move for him to transfer to the Miami Heat. Any of us working in the real world would do the same if we thought a move from one company to another would be a step in the right direction in climbing the ladder of professional success. It is the name of the game. Players are transferred and traded all the time. Lebron’s case is no exception.

I believe the backlash Lebron will suffer will be in Cleveland from upset loyal fans who hated to see him go. Obviously they are angry and hurt right now and will be striking out in an attempt to make themselves feel better. However, Lebron will gain new devout fans in Miami and will be none the worse for the wear. I do not think his decision will have a serious negative impact on the totality of his career.

I view ESPN as being an entertainment network, which ultimately has no greater authority and no call to higher standards than MTV or VH1. Sure ESPN is to convey information about current sporting events, but sports are essentially entertainment, just as the music industry is an entertainment industry. While sports journalists should at least try to be remotely impartial, it is not nearly as crucial for them to present information in an unbiased manner as it is for news broadcasters because they are not reporting on life and death events. Basket ball is just a game. If a broadcaster wants to put a small plug in for his favored team, what harm is really being done? It is not affecting the actual outcome of the event.

Lebron’s decision may be big news for now, but in a few short weeks, the story will be history, and we will all be concerned with other things again. This is centered on a personal decision of one player – it does not mark the end of basket ball as we know and love it.

ChandraWalker said...

I don't feel that The Decision made a mockery out of sports. The show was about exactly what it's title says. ESPN obviously knew what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to the terms. I personally think it is a smart move on Lebron's publicist team. He had information that everyone in the nation wanted to know. What better way to start a media frenzie about yourself than on your own terms.
I honestly feel like the fans should not take it personally. Lebron is just a player like anyone else is in the league. Moving teams and signing contracts is just a part of the business. I feel it was immature of the Cav's coach to respond the way he did by taking it personal. He of all people should know that business is business. At the end of the day Lebron might suffer minor backlash from fans and over-opinionated sportscasters. However, like he said what matters is his happiness. He can't live his life and career for anyone else but himself.It's easy to watch public figures and judge them on what they should and shouldn't do. At the end of the day he's a regular human being just like any one of us and he deserves the right to make his own decisions.

TiffanyS said...

I dont think that this decision made a mockery out of sports, because I think it happens more than we all know. Just because it is not always televised, or made known, doesn't mean that it never happens. I love sports, and there are not many things that could make me so upset that I would be "disgusted" with them. Athletes are going to go to teams that usually give them the most money, or the most publicity. I was just excited when he made the move to Miami. I don't think the decision was as big of deal as everyone made it. It should have been a huge deal that Jarvis got drafted to the Heat!!! GO DAWGS!!!

Priscilla Davis said...

I think everything will go electronic soon. The computer took over several years ago. I believe this was one of the greatest things to happen. I am an avid reader and have been since I was a little girl. Although we have kindle now, I would still rather read a paper book. Although everything under the sun can be electronically handled, I am still a bit uneasy about a lot of this stuff. I am technologically literate, but I am hesitant about some things. I think newspapers will become extinct by 2050. We will have everything at our fingertips on the internet. Cell phones will continue to be in great demand. The market won’t rest when it comes to cell phones. Everyone has to have one now. The world is so wrapped up in cell phones that producers must continue to make them BIG in order for us to keeping buying them. We can’t leave home without them. We must be connected to everyone at all times. I don’t think the radio will have a major change. But I do think we will lean more toward satellite radio. This will probably be the biggest change in radio. TV’s are like a major purchase now. They are all so different with the changes in viewing and everything else. Buying a TV is like buying computer. The things shown on the TV now are more explicit. No matter what station you watch, you can guarantee there will be some rawness in there somewhere. Nothing is like it was 10 years ago and nothing will be like it is now 10 years from now.