ESPN, populated with so many ACC grads (of course, particularly UNC persona with a few Duke puds thrown in), has ALWAYS played the "angel and devil" game concerning college basketball. UNC, Duke, the ACC, Dean Smith, Roy Williams (who never contributed to a team's probation, right?), Michael Jordan (who never exhibited any of Tiger Woods' character flaws), Jim Valvano, Coach K, Indiana (of course, the beacon of all that is good in heaven and on Earth), Bobby Knight (warts and all, the beloved curmudgeon as "house mascot"), Kansas (to a lesser degree), Bill Self (once he got to KU), Big East (UConn gets a ton of pub there), UCLA, John Wooden (aka "Jesus" who never ever met "Satan" aka Sam Gilbert), Arizona, Lute Olsen and Olsen's wife, and any kid tabbed by Vitale as a "diaper dandy", etc. are examples of the "angels" of the sport.
Kentucky, Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, John Calipari, UK fans, UK players, UK history, then waaaaay down the list after the aforementioned, probably Cincinnati (and Huggins to some degree), the SEC in general, fill in the blank with any obvious actual program that has had recent marks on it's record NOT included in the "angels" list above and there you have your "devils".
That is just how they "do business". The bias is so extraordinary that I am NEVER surprised by it. The conjured controversy fueled by these "angels" vs. "devils" depictions would not hold water if it weren't UK fans against the FREAKING WORLD, but they never have a dissenting viewpoint in such matters.
Wouldn't it be nice if, once some ESPN (or CBS, let's not forget Duke grad Seth "Rupp is a racist and it's a fact" Davis after all) mouthpiece actually had someone next to him to challenge with a simple "Really? Can you prove that claim? Did you know that the facts, in reality, are that there is not one shred of evidence that Rupp was a racist, that Calipari did anything wrong as a coach at any program, that UK was the first school to challenge the SEC's segregation policies, that most UK fans really liked Coach Smith, that most Kentucky people are the nicest you would ever meet including most UK fans, that most UK fans would be the first to forgive any of these imbeciles if they would just have the 'nads to confess that they stir the pot more than they state the facts?"
This will never happen. They love the fact that UK is ALWAYS the most evil AND always the GREATEST program of all time. That gets non-UK fans to get on the hate parade, tune in to root against UK and increase what is already a predictably consistent and reliably high viewership, completely due to UK fans as a base of course, and perpetuate this "angel" and "devil" mythology. In creating the "angel" myth, on it's own, the network(s) also benefit from what I call "the cattle mentality", i.e., loving UNC because MJ played there, loving Duke because they won the 1992 Regional Final over the ultimate devil, UK (no matter that Laettner was a thug and UK was the obvious underdog in that game), loving UCLA because John Wooden speaks quietly over soft music about "hard work", loving the ACC because of Dean Smith and the EXTREME over promotion of the Duke/UNC rivalry (always a great rivalry, but it has gone into rocket space since Vitale opened his motor mouth and screamed it to the heavens), etc., etc., etc.
Things they will never talk about include: anything extremely bad that Bobby Knight did because he, apparently, is the only coach in NCAA history to graduate his players (LOL), Indiana being the perfect basketball state because of the film "Hoosiers", which incorrectly depicts Hackman's team as coming from nowhere despite being ranked in the Top 5 that season, Indiana being the seat of the KKK for the most of the 20th Century, former IU coach Branch McCracken (you know, the guy who won IU's first two titles) being an OUTSPOKEN racist, Adolph Rupp being Dean Smith's boyhood idol, Michael Jordan being a gambling womanizer to an extreme degree and being a behind the scenes fascist with his teammates from the Bulls, Roy Williams paying players with cash and gifts while at Kansas, Coach K knowingly playing the ineligible Corey Maggette, Jim Valvano having less than perfect policies while coaching NC St., Dick Vitale openly attempting to influence the outcome of games that he later broadcasts via "pep talks" to one team's players and not the other's, broadcasting ANY story that referenced Roy Williams yelling at, then getting security to toss a fan of whipping boy Presbyterian in the late stages of a blowout for said fan yelling "don't miss it, Deon" while defending the action as "I don't think ANYONE should say negative things about my players", John Calipari having no investigation of, nor sanctions from, the NCAA because of no evidence available for such investigations or theoretical charges WHATSOEVER, Dick Vitale admitting that he always hated UK LOOOOOOONG before choosing to categorically label UK fans as ALL haters of Coach Smith once Smith left the program by his own choice, and the list could go on all night, the next day, through the week, and into years of writing I am afraid.
That's just how it is. I wish I had a better explanation and surely there will be those (mostly rival trolls that do not realize that their inevitable baseless attacks that they want to bring to this issue SOOOOOO badly merely reinforces all points made above) who either do not believe it, LOVE drinking the ESPN rat poison, or simply hate our stinking guts (a reason that I support more than any other, ironically). That is their problem. They choose to believe the lies that are promoted over and over and over again with no counterpoint that includes facts available is what they prefer.
It is NO different, and arguably worse, than tabloid journalism at it's lowest. Guys like Knight getting trusted for anything they say with extreme bias is like Rush Limbaugh getting the same treatment from some folks. It doesn't matter how often such "preachers of lies and hate" can be proven categorically incorrect or intensely and clearly biased, folks just love to listen to bulls hit that promotes "extremes of good and evil" with nothing in between and with no response welcomed. That is the way things are now. (The way they've always been, and always will be)
The media's portrayal of angels vs. devils
Posted on: February 9, 2010 9:49 am
Edited on: February 25, 2010 7:40 pm