Pick up any newspaper this time of year, and I'll bet 80 percent of the articles in the sports section are football-related, covering every aspect of the sport from the NFL to high school. At home in Tennessee, reading the local paper, I can always expect to find a splash of Volunteer orange among the black and white: a photo accompanying a detailed article, the latest on the Vols, much to the delight of Rocky Top's football fanatics. Football season hasn't started yet, but the anticipation of America's most watched sport has journalists penning stories including scouting reports and updates on injured players.
Saturday morning while in Raleigh, NC, I grabbed a copy of The News & Observer and wasn't shocked to find that a substantial amount of ink had been dedicated to stories about the Carolina Panthers, the UNC Tar Heels and the NC State Wolfpack's football programs on the sports section's front page. Other than a couple of high school soccer write-ups and brief articles on the NHL and NASCAR, most of the space was devoted to football. It seems that football has a sports media monopoly right now.
I'm not necessarily troubled that football receives more attention than any other fall sport. I enjoyed the articles I read in The News & Observer Saturday. An article on a former factory worker turned starter for the Tar Heels and a column about how high school football, in its amateurism and pureness, best embodies the true spirit of the game, were both well-written and inspiring. But what about the other fall sports? Don't they deserve an equal amount of press?
Fall sports at Richmond include soccer, cross country and field hockey. They may not be 6 feet 5 inches tall or weigh 250 pounds, but these athletes are working just as hard during the preseason, training long before other students arrive on campus and preparing to compete and win. The soccer teams just finished up two-a-days and have already begun season play. Both the men and women's cross country teams won Atlantic 10 titles last year and are looking for a repeat this year. With all the attention football garners from the media it's easy to forget about other sports. Yes, you should go out to Robins Stadium and support your Spider footballers, or watch your favorite team defeat their rival on ESPN. (Even I am about to go watch a high school football opener as I write this.) But don't forget about the other athletes, especially those who have helped make our school an athletic powerhouse. It may be that 80 percent of the paper is about football, but 100 percent of our loyalty should go towards every Richmond sport.