Written by John Giffin Tuesday, 16 March 2010 18:56
Some reporters wouldn’t know the story of the year if it hit them in the face.
During the Class 3A state tournament, a couple news sources in the hub of media in Kansas (Wichita) dropped the ball again on providing interesting insight into Cinderella runs of rural Kansas teams.
In fact, from what I saw, they saw it more fit to insult the communities that so often fall off their radar.
“For as many outstanding plays as the Marion girls’ basketball team made in the Class 3A championship on Saturday, there is still a fine line of the caliber of play it takes to win a title,” Wichita Eagle correspondent Taylor Eldridge wrote.
Call me a homer, but that’s not the way I saw that game at all. What I saw was a hard-fought basketball game in which Thomas More Prep caught fire while Marion went cold in the final minutes.
But according to KWCH Channel 12 sports reporter Bryan Holmgren, Saturday wasn’t even the 3A state championship game.
“No disrespect to the bottom half of the bracket, but the sense I’m getting from the people here in Hutchinson tonight was that the 3A championships were played tonight,” Holmgren said on the “Catch It Kansas” show following the semifinal games Friday night.
What gave you that sense, Bryan? Was it that two sixth-seeded rural teams advanced to the finals of the tournament to face private schools from larger towns? I guess you think people from the country can’t play basketball.
Never mind the fact Saturday was the first time Marion had ever reached the state finals. Never mind the Friday semifinal game against Jefferson County North was the best game of the tournament. Never mind that Marion had reached the state final game playing as the lower seed in all but one sub-state and state playoff game.
This is the “better than thou” attitude that has driven me crazy about Kansas’s “big time” media for years.
Having followed 3A basketball for the majority of my life, my frustration with Kansas’s major media’s coverage, (especially television) of the class has grown.
Note to the big boys: Wichita Collegiate is not the only team in 3A. Yet, that’s the only 3A highlights you’ll see on the 10 p.m. news. That might explain why, during the Trojan Classic in Hillsboro in January, I didn’t see one major Kansas media outlet at the premiere mid-season girls’ 3A tournament in the state.
Maybe their GPS doesn’t have Hillsboro or Marion programmed in them. That must be why they failed to make the trip Tuesday and Friday nights.
That’s probably for the best for the area athletes. It’s far better not being covered by the “elite Kansas media” than being insulted by them.