On Oct. 26 I was in New York City, preparing for the bodacious bus ride back to Washington, D.C. I know, I know, the rats/pizza/bagels are so much better in New York City.
But you know what isn’t? The NFL coverage. A day after the New York Giants’ Monday night victory over the Cowboys (you know, the game where Romo got his nuts salted) I purchased the New York Times, an extra treat considering I was getting the New York edition, in New York. Even the New York Times is so much better in New York City.
Never one to champion their sports coverage, I was shocked to see just one story on the big game. Recently, the Giants have been more successful than the Jets, over 20 million people live in the media market, everyone loves the NFL, etc. This game was a big deal, but for the Times, it wasn’t.
In contrast, the Nov. 1 Washington Post — which followed the Skins’ awful loss to the Lions — contained five bylined stories, a notebook and a full page of stats. The game was also in Detroit. That’s a lot of airfare.
The Post is a huge newspaper, but they have lesser resources than the New York Times, which still keeps bureaus across the U.S. and is distributed nationally. The Post has only foreign bureaus (still impressive) and is available in the dead-tree edition only in the DMV plus maybe some parts of Del., Pa. and W.Va.
What’s the conclusion? Only more questions. Is the Times just that much more of a serious (and regal) newspaper that it pares down its Giants’ coverage for editorial reasons? Or is the D.C. area just so incredibly Skins-crazy that we put New York to shame?
The answer is a bit of both. Times readers might be more highbrow, and with the sheer multitude of teams in the New York area, perhaps their readers aren’t as universally focused on the success of one team. D.C. is still a football town, and will be for the foreseeable future; there is too much going on in New York to pin it to one sport or team.
Time and time again Post editors are questioned on why they cover the Redskins so much, often at the extent of other sports and teams. The answer? That’s what the people want, and that’s what makes the most money.
The Post is a business, so that makes sense. Even better, it gives us at least ONE thing we can brag about. The pathetic sports obsession is so much better in D.C.