Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Should Journalists Root for the Home Team? Part II: The Sports Edition.

ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL analyst Kirk Herbstreit, a native Ohioan who was a star quarterback at Ohio State University, moved out of the state recently because he felt loads of negativity from fans.

Apparently, they chastised him whenever he said anything verging on critical of Ohio State University football.

"Nobody loves Ohio State more than me," Herbstreit told the Columbus Dispatch. "But I've got a job to do, and I'm going to continue to be fair and objective. To continue to have to defend myself and my family in regards to my love and devotion to Ohio State is unfair."

Is it wrong for fans to expect their hometown heroes to root for the hometown teams, even if they are journalists?

Should objectivity exist in sports
? It's not like football is the war on terror or the state budget. Shouldn't sideline reporters just own up to their team preferences?

(related story: Should ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews have accepted a high-paying endorsement deal from Reebok, provider of equipment for many of the teams she covers?)


Sarah Mariano said...

When they're not working, they can root for whoever they want.

crystal nyman said...

I feel that Kirk Herbstreit should be applauded for his ability to report about the team in a non-bias way. He said it himself that there is no one who loves Ohio more than him; yet he still has a job to do, and that is to report the truth. If he were to critically analyze and re[port about the opposing team without taking the same critical standpoint for Ohio, he wouldn't be able to give a fair report of both teams.

Tom Sheehan said...

When they are not working journalists are allowed to root for their team. However if they do it on camera then they are biased, and become local sports journalists, and they are confined to that area of sports. If you do not show who your favorite teams are then you can go all the way up a national network like ESPN. Unlike the reporters who show their fandom, which puts a ceiling on them as to how high up in sport journalism you can go.