Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Observer Loves the Panthers

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/04/2008 No comments
I was scanning The Charlotte Observer online this morning as I do each day (please buy the print paper, though--they need it) when I went to the Carolina Panthers section. It suddenly occurred to me that almost every one of the 13 stories that linked from that page were overly positive and overly optimistic about the kind of season the Panthers will have.

Before you think that I'm a big cynic or hater, let me tell you that I'm a Panthers fan. I grew up in South Carolina and I remember when it was announced that "we" were getting an NFL team. I was a fan from the start. My mom bought my brother and I a Panthers T-shirt and hat. I think it was part of my back-to-school clothes.

Now back to the subject. It just seems strange that the Observer would offer so much praise to a team that has been a disappointment the past two years, going 7-9 last year and 8-8 in 2006. Plus, as a journalist, I think the news coverage should be unbiased. Bias and opinion is fine for blogs and columns, but not for articles across the board. I'm sure it helps the hometown paper saleswise when the local team does well, but they don't need to be sycophants.

The Observer adds stories throughout the day so I took a screenshot of what was online this morning. You can see some, but not all, of the headlines. "Powering up the backfield," "Transformation," "Sky's the limit," "5 can't-miss games," and "Time to believe" run amok. The latter is a column from sports columnist Tom Sorensen. He and fellow columnist Scott Fowler wrote columns in which they playfully take shots at each other as to who's done a better job over the years of predicting the kind of season the Panthers will have. Fowler's column is titled "Mediocre again." I agree with him.

The Panthers just haven't done enough in the offseason and preseason to shake up the team that hasn't been successful the last two seasons. Also regarding Fowler's column, someone posted this hilarious comment: " 'Mediocre again.' Curse you, Scott, I thought this article was a copy of your annual performance review. Now, that would have been more entertaining and, probably, more accurate." I sometimes enjoy reading the comments on these articles more than the articles themselves. Anonymity makes people feel as if they can say whatever they want. Everyone's a critic, right? So am I.

Read the Observer's Panthers coverage by clicking here.


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