20 September 2009

The Role of the Media in Football

By Dr3

Manchester United won the Manchester derby very controversially as the referee added extra minutes to 'extra time' to allow Manchester to squeeze out a dubious victory. 'Watch-checking' Ferguson, for the umpteenth time wasn't checking his watch when the pendulum swung his way; yes I’m saying it, he's a damn hypocrite and I smell politics.
What are the headlines though? No headlines mention the ref....nor are there any articles about the wronged coach's feelings about being cheated and bullied by the 'superpower'.
No, there are no white flags about scandal and no conspiracy theories. Instead the media push the fact that it was 'yet another' scintillating match, which showcased the supposed 'best league in the world' at its best.

America is a developing country as far as football knowledge and fanaticism is concerned. What is the impression that they get of, for instance the Serie A?

Answer: A league where scandal and simply put cheating is ubiquitous. Where coaches complain, players dive and referees again, just CHEAT.

Why do they get this impression?

Is it that the Calcio is really so overrun by corruption and scandal?
As much as I would like to put it squarely on the Italian media, it is them coupled with the English media that leads to this second hand and misguided impression being spread like the plague. Even beyond the ignorance of the 'Americans', there's the ignorance of the casual football fan. All they have to do is put their TV on for one weekend or go to soccernet.com once, and I can guarantee a host of clichéd not to mention archaic and unfounded positions of the EPL being the best, and the Serie A being defensive, and La Liga just being technical with no strength etc etc.

Cristiano Ronaldo left the premiership; he was widely considered tied best with Leo Messi if not the best player in the world for the last 2 or 3 years. He has gone to La Liga and all of a sudden, guess what? ROONEY is the best player in the world; according to English pundits. Now as much as it is delusional and ludicrous, it is also admirable; in that, the English stand behind their players. They hail their performances, and use any opportunity to highlight the progression of their unbalanced league (if you haven't guessed it by now, I STRENUOUSLY disagree with the English league being the best league).
They talk about La Liga being a two horse race, and Calcio being on decline (with Calciopoli and all), and then shovel this 'best league' talk, to anyone who has ears (quick side conspiracy: have you realized the dominance in the Champion's League by the English was coupled with the very same Calciopoli scandal?..nobody noticed?...wonder why?).

My point: The responsibility of the media should be beyond just stirring controversy. They are responsible for advertising and showcasing globally the brand of football in their respective countries. Maybe it’s because I don't speak Spanish that I don’t hear about them, but for some reason Italians speak clear English into my ears; helping spread the same fecal matter by highlighting only negatives (minus Diego who is the only shining light apparently), week in week out. Cultural? Maybe, but more so just bad business sense, and a backward mentality of everyone being an island (I can do the ref's job better than him, I can do the coaches job better than him, I can play better than Zlatan).

Calcio media do not attempt to advertise the high points nor showcase the talent that is ever present on a WEEKLY basis. Instead they keep interviewing Mourinho, and talking about referee bias, and conspiracy theories. Meanwhile mother England shovel this 'best league' moniker with no one stopping them; like stealing candy from a baby.

credit to www.dailymail.co.uk for picture

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