So, recently, I have been debating which is better: sports on radio or television. Either way, you can’t go wrong if you are a die hard sports fan: you get all of the facts, commentary, and shows with variety. For the casual sports fan, those of you who just tune in to see major championships or sporting events, it’s easier to get your fix from ESPN and an hour a day of Sportscenter, and be done with it. Me, I wake up and fall asleep with ESPN, and watch it all day long if it is applicable.
The sports journalist that I want to be loves both mediums, and would LOVE to be apart of both, but let me give you a few reasons why I think sports radio is better for the sports fan, no matter their degree of sports intellect:
1. Sports Radio is more real: By more “real” I mean genuine. The production of sports on television can either bore you or inundate with the same stories over and over again (much like ESPN is doing with this Brett Favre story, or even recently, “The Decision” from LeBron James). In sports radio, you are getting, for example with ESPN Radio, the actual anchors with their actual, unabridged opinions along with what the facts are. I can definitely appreciate when someone is speaking with their broadcaster hat on (via t.v.) and when they have their baseball, or their cap with their sports team on it. At least it’s honest and real. Currently, I am listening to The Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio, and I appreciate (and love) the fact that they can call out ESPN on this Brett Favre saga. It’s like Days of Our Lives, stay tuned in and by the weekend, we are left hanging because someone has to stay on the ledge. GIVE US ANSWERS! And that’s what sports radio does better than sports television: facts, alongside opinions that are honest. The key here is authenticity. Sometimes with television, it’s hit or miss. (I know this and still want to be a television sports analyst!)
2. Visualizing plays is better than watching it without ads impeding the game. It’s kind of like when you are trying to watch Family Guy on FOX and they are showing you huge advertisements for a show that doesn’t start for another two weeks. Listening to sports on the radio may not be as good as watching it, but for the sports fanatic (self proclaimed on right here) it’s exciting to go retro for a little bit and try to envision the game, instead of it being given to you via television. I love listening to baseball, for example, on the radio because it permits me to learn and understand the rules better (with things being spoken, you have to understand what you are listening to to know what’s actually happening!) and permits me to understand that the commentators on the radio is perhaps the smartest guy or gal in the ballpark. Having to be able to describe exactly what you are seeing as you see it is a perfect way to be taught the game, and that goes for any sport. Yes, there are commercials, but no delays like in live television broadcasts, so you get the real time play-by-play and scores first before your television counterparts. Also, what makes radio better than t.v. in this aspect is that like in sports radio shows, you get a more colorful, delightful, not made for t.v. commentary from the analysts, which is something I enjoy immensely.
3. Sports Radio is FREE! As long as you have a radio it’s all set. No one wants to settle for just the five minutes a nightly news cast for their local sports, and for all of my broke college student friends who can’t afford a dish, sports radio is at your disposal. In Athens, we have an ESPN Radio affiliate (shout out to AM 960 THE REF!) and two great sports radio stations broadcasting from Atlanta (AM 680 THE FAN, who is the flagship station for the Atlanta Braves Radio Network, and also carries ESPN Radio shows and AM 790 The Zone) that you can listen to. ESPN and it’s channels pretty much have the sports programming game down packed, with all of its channels, radio broadcasting, and their excellent site, espn.com. But, when in doubt, always check out the sports radio channels in your area. If they aren’t affiliates of ESPN, odds are they have excellent home shows that commentate the sports teams in your area.
That’s just my opinion. I love and am obsessed with both forums, and find pros and cons with each. I love television, and think sports programming is limiting itself to AM radio (although, the majority of the population aren’t sports freaks like I am, I would appreciate a stronger signal from time to time. No such thing as AM or FM cable…just basic and premium, haha!)
What do you guys think?? Let me know, leave your comments and opinions.