Monday, April 07, 2008

Final Foredom

I'm glad this was the Greatest Final Four EVAR, with all four #1 seeds advancing. That certainly made for competitive semifinal games, didn't it?

ESPN's fill-in guy for Doug Gottlieb spent a lot of time talking about how these were the matchups we were rooting for, that there were no stories in Xavier or Davidson or Western Kentucky possibly making it to the Final Four. How no casual fans would tune in to see anyone but the big names, the big teams, the big seeds.

Of course, finding the compelling story is what a sports journalist is supposed to do. Davidson? Stephen Curry, a brutal early season schedule and an undefeated conference schedule - nope, no story there. Xavier adamantly refusing to be called "mid-major" (and incidentally, don't look now but a C-USA team is the favorite in the championship game. Maybe not having a BCS football team doesn't affect your basketball after all.) Western Kentucky moving on when the Wildcats didn't? All of these were great stories, or could have been. But when the people who are responsible for finding and promoting those hooks instead sandbag them, well, it's no wonder that ratings are down. It's not because of the upsets, fellas. It's because you keep on telling the viewers that unless it's the biggest names, it's not worth watching.
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