Monday, August 8, 2011

A Biased Opinion on the East Coast Bias



Growing up I never quite understood the East Coast Bias.  The Niners were busy winning 5 rings. The Giants had my favorite player in Will Clark, and when I reached an appropriate "crushing" age they brought me JT Snow.  The Kings were at least entertaining when they weren't being screwed over by refs paid off by the Lakers (or the league, still can't decide where the monies came from on that one).  Basically, I spent my childhood enjoying the sports around me and focusing on the local outlets, completely unaware of any national media.

With the evolution of the internet, ESPN and other cable sports outlets the bias became more evident, especially during my 6 years on the east coast.  The 2002 World Series received little coverage outside of Yankees fans who just wanted to see the Angels lose (the only time I respected their opinions, sadly, neither of us got our wish, damn Rally Monkey).  If I didn't take basic science in elementary school, I would have thought the earth revolved around NYC, not the sun.

Now back on the best coast, my frustration with the bias only grows, especially in relation to Major League Baseball.  During the Giants World Series run last season, game times were based on what worked best for east coast coverage.  Home games started at 4 PM, the league clearly NOT taking into account the home team fans.  I understand when the Giants play on the east coast, 7 PM works best.  Living in California, we know we're 3 hours behind and accept we might be working during away games.  When our Giants play at home, however, we expect to be able to watch the games.  There's no excuse for the league setting game times based on away team fans.  I don't care if they have to stay up until midnight, or later. I managed just fine.


As for coverage, I do understand the majority of the teams are on the east coast. I also know games are still being played as most sport writers living in the center of the universe want to be catching their Z's. But guess what?  If you're working for a national sports media outlet, your job is to cover NATIONAL sports.  Especially, when the previous year's World Series Champs reside on the west coast.  We are more than just a Freak, The Beard and an injured catcher (tear).  Oh wait, they're playing the Phillies in San Francisco? Now we get to see all the coverage of an east coast team!

I doubt the bias will ever go away, but it doesn't really matter because Flags Fly Forever! No bias can change that.

9 comments:

  1. East Coast bias is for every sport. I'll never understand it. Even when championships are won elsewhere. I don't know if it's demographic related, or just that all the major networks are based on the East Coast, and therefore it's their teams.

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  2. I'm generally not a fan of most East Coast teams. Or the east coast in general. I spent a summer in NYC and was horrified at the people there. They are so small minded and think that nothing exists outside of Manhattan. I think it put an overall bad taste in my mouth for anything related to NY/East Coast.
    I prefer my Midwest roots!

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  3. Oh lordy, dont even get me started on this!!

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  4. East coast bias is alive and well up here too...when the Oilers were in the Stanley Cup finals a few years ago - we were racing to the games right from work (sometime having to leave early) to make the 5pm start.
    Wouldn't want to inconvenience the Toronto fans (even though Toronto fans don't give a crap to watch an Edmonton team).

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  5. I live in the middle of the country, no one gives a crap about us.

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  6. I never noticed this bias... but to be fair I grew up on the East Coast... I wasn't aware there was a west coast either. KIDDING of course! Now that I'm in a Central time zone I feel a bit of your pain, mostly because I can't watch MY East Coast teams on tv here ... unless by chance the games fall when it's not time for TN or GA games - football is a sad time for me for most games. I have to sit and watch online which blows.

    I agree with you 100% we live in a world of 24/7 media coverage ALL areas of the US should have equal time... I guess I'd be OK if I purchased the NFL network but I refuse... I'm too cheap. :)

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  7. Ok, growing up on the East Coast and loving every second of it, I didn't even know there was a bias until Hutch pointed it out to me many years ago. All I knew (and still know) is that I can never ever watch all of my Sox games unless it's a BIG game or it's a weekend, because they end usually after 11 at night. Especially Sunday night baseball on ESPN that don't start until 8 pm. 8 pm peoples!!! That's LATE! That means staying up till 12 or later, just to wake up at 5:30 monday morning for work. Crazy, I know. However, I also get the MLB extra innings package AND the NFL ticket so we can watch whatever we want. I'm very sports spoiled. But at least I know there's more to life than the East Coast... right?? RIGHT?? :)

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  8. How odd that I had never really thought about it before. But then...that's me...living basically on the east coast. I sort of forget that y'all are over there. OK that's not true...I don't forget that you're over there, I just forget that you're not in the same time zone. Because everything is just so darn convenient for me. Thank you for making me aware though...I will definitely be paying more attention now!

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  9. Four of the eight biggest cities (metro regions) in the country are within an 8 hour drive of one another; something like 80 million people between Boston and D.C.
    Or as the Head of Programming at ESPN once said, if you spread coverage evenly between 30 or 32 teams, that's a proven recipe for lowered ratings.

    And BTW, no NBA team gets more attention than the Lakers.

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