When I took this job, the immediate feedback that I got from friends in the endurance community, was "finally, all of the major media outlets in town have sucked at covering endurance sports."
In defense I understand our place in the pecking order of things, endurance sports aren't sexy, don't bring in big crowds or big dollars. While I get that triathlon, biking, kayak racing and other endurance type sports are considered fringe, it is beyond ridiculous to know that yet again, two of the biggest sporting events in the world, are getting the Heisman from the Tribune, Sun Times and the Daily Herald.
The Chicago Triathlon and the Chicago Shoreline Kayak Marathon are both this weekend. Both events bring world class athletes in to compete on our shores and streets, but don't look for any real coverage in the three local papers. I called to check, the best response was from Dan at the Sun Times, which was "We will give it(the triathlon) the same coverage we always do." When I Googled that coverage, the first hit was an article from 1996! Still there's hope.
The Daily Herald, Tom sort of stammered an answer that they are relying on AP to cover the events for them and they don't have the man power to cover everything. AP is covering the largest triathlon in the world for a local paper, that thousands of it's readers are racing in. What?
How many fat, ass kissing, hot dog sucking reporters do you need to cover the fact that the Cubs suck, Ozzie is upset and Cutler is playing his old team in Denver this weekend. There I did it for them, now how about a little something, something for the kids in spandex. I know it's important to be able to hangout in the locker room, tell jokes with the boys in the hopes that they will invite you to their golf tournament, but come on, AP covering the races for you. Man that's just lazy.
The Tribune, the same company that supplies the fuel for Chicagonow.com. Despite the fact that I have personally been rallying for something, anything!!! All I got was a shrug and the promise to possibly do something, maybe, kind of, don't count on it.
Forget the fact that the average yearly income of an Ironman is 150k plus, they are men and women between the ages of 30-50 and have plenty of disposable income. Who would want to appeal to that tasty demographic? I need to read more about Nascar in Nashville and how Milton Bradleys "feelings are hurt because the fans boo him."
Man up Milton! Lets throw your butt into Lake Michigan against Andy Potts, have you get kicked in the head a few times and see how your feelings are then.
There are future Olympians and World Champions in Chicago right now, being completely ignored by the media, despite years of sacrifice and training, you don't hear them boo hooing about those mean old fans. They have something a lot of our pro athletes lost a long time ago, integrity, guts and passion for their sport.
In a town where you can't swing a flat tire without hitting a sign that says "I Back The Bid," you would think our local media would be chasing these Olympians down, lobbing sound bites and quotes at them. Asking them about how great Chicago is and why it would make a great Olympic venue, helping to build the Olympic buzz and show the world that we care.
Nope. It's more important that we read about Bears lineman Anthony Adams and his legal troubles with a Gurnee cleaning company.
So, there it is. If you want your sport covered by these papers you have to let them know how you feel, otherwise it's more fun times with Uncle Lou and the Cubbies. Maybe I am wrong, maybe you feel the same, I would love to hear your thoughts, and more to the point, I am sure the folks at the Tribune, Sun Times and Daily Herald would as well, here are their e-mails, just in case you want to drop them a note.
Tom Quinlan- The Daily Herald - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim bannon- The Tribune- email@example.com
Dan Cahill- The Sun Times- firstname.lastname@example.org