N.Y., L.A. not center of universe
One little comment on TV just set me off the other day.
Fortunately, I’ve learned not to let the moment pass; instead, I grab a piece of scratch paper and write down my thoughts, preserving them to retell to you on a fine weekend morning.
New Sports Nation host Max Kellerman, who I constantly confuse with another ESPN afternoon personality, Tony Reali, made the comment, surprise surprise, early this past week.
Those two guys look alike, sound alike, and both say similar outrageous things on more than just rare occasions.
This time, Kellerman’s comment wasn’t so outrageous – that anything that happens in New York or Los Angeles is more important just because it happens there – as was the dismissive way he thought it was so obvious his assumption is correct.
The topic was NBA star Dwight Howard’s move from the Lakers to Houston, with Kellerman making a point that what Howard does there won’t matter much because he already failed in L.A.
When it was mentioned Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. by population, Kellerman just dismissed the city as unimportant when compared to the two media capitals of the country.
I can’t really blame the guy, though, since it always seems to be such a pervasive view in the national entertainment media in general, and the national sports media in particular.
If something happens involving a player or team from New York, even if it’s the Knicks, the hapless Jets, or once in a great while, the downright moribund Islanders, these guys are all over it, whether it’s a story that’s positive, negative or somewhere in between.
That’s great for the New York market, which includes parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, too.
But for those of us in the other 47 states, like, say, Michigan, it’s a local story just the same as if it involved the Portland Trailblazers, the St. Louis Rams or the Miami Marlins.
National media, those whose reports are seen everywhere in the country, should be treating stories equally based on their merit no matter where they originate.
That doesn’t happen. It’s made me a fan who hopes that every New York-based team loses. I don’t have anything against the teams themselves, their players or fans.
I do have something against all the fawning that goes on with the more successful teams, especially the Yankees.
Yes, they’ve won more World Series titles than any other ballclub, but most of those came in the 1940s and ’50s, and none in a decade.
You don’t see all the attention in the NHL placed on the Montreal Canadiens, even though they blow away any other franchise with all their titles, particularly in the 1970s.
Back to Kellerman’s assertion that New York and Los Angeles are more important, I’ll ask in what way exactly?
I don’t think Houston deserves lofty status more than most any other city, but since it’s part of this discussion, let’s compare it to their counterparts.
Houston is at the center of oil refining and production for the entire country. Cut that industry out, and oops, we don’t have enough energy to light, heat, air condition or power our transportation.
Create massive shortages and we’d all be thrilled to pay $15 for a gallon of gas – it beats leaving your car sitting on cement blocks with nothing to power it.
If we got involved in a war approaching the level of World War II, that’s a little more important than L.A.’s major contribution – whether any new movies get made or TV shows are produced. Gosh, I guess I’ll spend the next six months watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch – if I can figure out how to make a TV work with a battery.
And don’t get me started on New York – let’s see what really happens when the banks that are “too big to fail” do just that.
In the world of the media, yes, New York and Los Angeles are the most important places on the planet. And it disappoints me that my esteemed brethren are so short-sighted to think the world revolves around those places just because of that fact.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is email@example.com.