Thursday, December 01, 2005

ESPN Loves Tyler Hansborough's "Mom"

Good Hope Orange has a nice post below about the UNC game. You really should read it. He provides some good analysis.

We here at Illinitalk like being opinionated and providing interesting and sometimes entertaining commentary. We think it's what keeps us different from most reporters and even other Illini bloggers.

In that spirit, I wanted to add one additional thought about Tuesday night before we look ahead to Xavier: Who was sitting in the ESPN satellite truck during the Illini's game with UNC Tuesday night?

The reason for my question is simple. It seemed like the network had one camera trained on Tyler Hansborough's family the entire night. Every single time the guy dribbled the ball without losing it, made a pass or got a rebound, there was Tyler's mom and younger brother screaming and going crazy on ESPN.

There are a few things wrong with this.

First, and perhaps most obvious: Was this really necessary? As my brother-in-law said, "I watch games to see the competition, not the crowd." I couldn't agree more.

And if ESPN feels the necessity to show specific members of the crowd, especially more than once, they should balance it out with folks cheering the other team. I'm sure Coach Weber's wife was probably cheering just as hard and I think Dee Brown's mom was sitting behind the Illinois bench. Both good opportunities to show our fans.

This whole thing raises the question Skinny Sweetcheeks (for those of you new to our blog, that's my wife) raised with me during the 200th shot of Tyler's mom and brother Tuesday night: "Do you think the guy from ESPN calling the shots to the cameras has a crush on that woman?"

Skinny Sweetcheeks is one smart woman. Very perceptive.

Lest you think that is all, there is more! It wasn't Tyler's mom or younger brother as ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and Dukie Vitale said. A quick peak at Tyler Hansborough's website will confirm this fact here. (I'm sure I'll come up with a tangent later on the over-the-top fact that a college basketball player has his own website.)

Come on ESPN! If the producer in your satellite truck who is running the cameras is going to keep showing a woman because he has a crush on her, don't identify her as a prominent player's mom who she ain't. Journalistic integrity at its best!

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