Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Giving the Devil His Due

Basketball raises a lot of passions and my guess is that our local newspaper, The Roanoke Times, is about to get a dose of March Madness over its coverage of the state high school tournaments this past weekend.

I've listened to two pretty smart people rant about the perceived lack of coverage and respect for the Cave Spring High team that won the state title in its division while The Times gave--again, what they perceive to be--more prominent coverage to a city high school, William Fleming, which finished second. This a.m., there was joint coverage of the schools' accomplishments and, sure enough, Fleming's photos dominated. I can hear the howling now.

I covered high sports many years ago and I know just how wrought people can become when they think their little darlings are getting the short end of the column inch (I have--honest to God--been threatened with death over coverage). Frankly, I believe all these high school sports are overcovered, overemphasized and catered to in a most unwise manner. This is recreation for kids and it is not worthy of the kind of drooling prose it gets day after day. I don't think it's good for the kids, the coaches, the fans or the schools--whose job is education. But, hey, that's off point.

The point is that a storm's a-brewin'.


  1. You're absolutely right. All of the budget problems the schools are facing today would probably go away if we didn't spend so much on sports programs.

  2. Do you realize how much money the sports programs bring in Mr. Berry?

    Also, to say that high school sports are "OVERCOVERED" by the Times is laughable. If you take football out of the equation, the Times does an inadequate job of covering any of the other sports in the Valley. The sports section of the local paper is filled with stories about Virginia Tech (45 mins away), UVa (1 hr 45 mins away)and they take up the front page of sports on a near daily basis.

    I applaud the fact that the Times is finding the time to cover both Cave and Fleming, (and the other teams in the basketball tournament for that matter)it must be their last hurrah before their vacation that seems to last from Mid-march until whenever one of the local baseball, soccer or track teams (the three least covered sports) make it into the state tournament, then they come out of hiding like they've been there all along.

  3. Sports Fan: Sports in the Roanoke Valley does not bring in enough money to pay for itself. It must be subsidized and therein lies the problem: two new football stadiums in Roanoke, two new basketball arenas at a cost of several million dollars. Who pays that, the few hundred people who show up for games? Hardly. I do, you do, Chris Berry does.