Tiger Woods is an imperfect human being. Of course that is not newsworthy, but either is the fact he recently was charged with DUI in Jupiter, Florida. But, the media frenzy that followed represented the media’s obsession with destroying other’s lives.
Sports fans watched Tiger Woods professional golf career in awe as in his early 20’s took the golfing world by storm. He made golf fun and opened the sport up to many who had never given it notice. A back injury sidelined Tiger in 2009, but his celebrity status was shining brightly. In November 2009, Tiger was plastered all over the news with scandalous accusations that he had extra-marital affairs on his then wife, Elin Nordegren. Several days later, Tiger was involved in a minor traffic accident in his Cadillac Escalade. Speculation began immediately about what had occurred. Wild rumors spread about Elin chasing Tiger down the street with a golf club due to the affairs being revealed. Tiger later admitted to “transgressions” and apologized to harming his place as a role model. Tiger took an absolute beating in the media and lost countless amounts of dollars in endorsements. The media feed its obsession to relentlessly rip apart those in its bulls-eye. Tiger disappeared.
Since the horrific end to 2009, Tiger Woods has been essentially a non-factor in golf or as a celebrity. He would spark curiosity as his private relationships were revealed, but nothing that elevated him to his once high throne of sports celebrity.
In 2017, Tiger Woods was vocal about making a comeback to the PGA and his golfing career. On May 29, Tiger was found asleep at the wheel of his car by a police officer. After an investigation, Woods was arrested for DUI-Drugs. This sparked the media machine’s hunger to feed on Tiger again. The following days was again relentless to Tiger. Nothing was off limits. Every mistake Tiger had ever made was again spotlighted by every major network. Tiger once again was on the menu. Granted he placed himself in a bad spot, but the ultimate newsworthiness of the most recent incident was minor at best. Being a celebrity, the news of unscrupulous behavior always has a tinge of newsworthiness, but not to the extent the media hammers away.
Sports figures and celebrities aren’t the only targets of the news media. Political figures from local jurisdictions to the national political scene are often relentlessly torn apart. The media will also go after their own on occasion. Bill O’Reilly was a recent victim of the same kind of feeding frenzy, but since he had the top political commentary program in the nation, made him fair game. Those who shouldn’t be fair game are the non-celebrity victims.
Police officers, military personnel, teachers, etc, can find themselves in the food chain of the media if not careful. Careers have been destroyed, families split, and lives devastated by reporters looking to sensationalize the circumstances for ratings is an every day occurrence. The media won’t stop until they completely level those in their path. The question has to be raised as to why this tactic continues to used.
The answer may be in the desperate nature of the media business. You have to sell advertising to sell spots during the news that pays the salaries of those who report. The career field has been cut significantly in the past twenty years. The desire to scoop stories and draw attention is a successful tactic. Fox News continuously has “Breaking News” graphics on the screen to lure the viewers in. This attracts viewers, but diminishes the meaning of “breaking” when it comes to news. The public is becoming desensitized to some of the sensational methods of the media. This forces the media to resort to the most outrageous sensational news making cycles. What is more sensational than watching a once successful sports celebrity be torn down bit by bit?
We are deep into the conference play for all of the conferences at the division I level. I wanted to post my most updated prep sheets for broadcasters to use in their show prep.
Here are my stages of show prep:
1: Know the school:
Do research on the schools history, as far as previous mascots, famous alumni, previous championships, previous conferences,and any news worthy event in the past year from the university. Wikipedia can assist in this endeavor.
My hot sheets include, university enrollment, official colors, and the home arena’s name. I have also included the athletic director and university president’s name.
2. Know the history of teams
You should know how long the teams have been participating in the sport. It is a nice talking point if it is a milestone year. I called a game last year for a team who was celebrating their 100 year of basketball.
Know when the last time the team made the post-season tournaments. It is important if they got snubbed by the NCAA, but made a run at the championship in the NIT.
Know any players who numbers are retired by the school or are playing in the NBA or next level of Pro ball.
3. Warren Nolan
Warrennolan.com is a great resource for men and women’s basketball, college baseball and college football (FBS and FCS). Check the teams RPI and schedule. Did they have any signature wins this season? Check the team’s non conference strength of schedule. These are all talking points during a game. Research is important. Know your teams.
4. NCAA Website
NCAA.com is an essential visit for broadcasters who are prepping for a game. I like to compare current stats with the previous seasons stats. I look for any drastic positive or negative change.
5. Team pages
Even Division III teams have improved websites to include updated rosters and statistics. Use these pages to get to know the coaching staff and players. I look for any connections with the two teams. Maybe one of the assistant coaches graduated from the opposing school or had previous coaching experience with the opposing coach. There are a number of things to look for to note for the broadcast.
Below is a link to my prep for Georgia Tech and Wofford:
My baseball call was featured on a Fox Sports segment this week. Thanks to Kristen Balboni for the nice segment.
I get a lot of questions about how to prep for a basketball game at Georgia Tech. I tell those who inquire, I prepare for Georgia Tech the same way I would if it were Kennesaw State, West Georgia, or some high school game. Preparing for the game has got to be a large part of your dedication as a broadcaster. I believe you will find your own niche when preparing for a broadcast, and I have adjusted my prep over the years. Generally, it has become more time consuming, not less. I want to know as much as I can about the teams/players/ coaches for both teams. Even though it is likely I will not use a lot of the information I gather in preparing, it allows me to develop a better understanding of the teams. At the NCAA D-1 level, there are a ton of resources including the game notes provided by the universities. Also Blue-Ribbon Yearbook, NCAA.com, KENPOM.com, WARRENNOLAN.com, and a hundred others. I use these resources and others to generate a “hot sheet” to have in front of me for the game. Attached is my latest version for Duquesne vs Georgia Tech on Tuesday 12/29 at McCamish Pavilion.
My adventure in broadcasting continues to expand as I have added Georgia Tech men’s basketball to my resume. What a thrilling opportunity to sit court side for Yellow Jacket squad that plays in the prestigious ACC. I jumped at the opportunity to work the non-conference games on ESPN3 from Hank McCamish Pavilion. The first game was versus ETSU and it was a great battle. Georgia Tech never could get separation and then this happened…
It was a great game to break into the season with Georgia Tech. Working with the crew at GT is such an amazing experience. I feel quite blessed!
I consider myself extremely blessed to be around great people who love sports and are so dedicated to broadcasting. This weekend I returned to Georgia Tech for ACC Volleyball on ESPN3. Video Director Andy Blanton and his staff at Georgia Tech do a tremendous job in every aspect of the broadcast. I also had a new partner-in-crime this week as former GT standout Kele Eveland provided color commentary and I was blown away by her insight. She brought energy, passion, and in-depth analysis of every play on the court. It also helped that the match was a dramatic come back by GT to win after being down 2 sets and facing match point vs Boston College. The intro was pre-recorded, but we were standing directly in front of the GT band, who were extremely loud. The O’Keefe Gym is a classic arena, so everything echoes. With no IFB, both Kele and I were screaming at each other as we introduced the match. Once the match started it was really smooth sailing. I even got to do a post-game interview with GT Head Coach Michelle Collier for BuzzVision. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience. I will be doing eight other volleyball broadcasts at Georgia Tech this season as their ACC schedule continues. Next broadcast is vs Louisville at GT on October 9th at 7pm on ESPN3.