Boston Media snub UMass
You would think the state’s biggest Public University would get some respect.
If you did the math and checked the statistics you would realize that more kids from the state go to Umass Amherst than any other school in the Bay State. More of those students then stay in the state after graduating or leaving school -85 percent of all Umass students to 55 percent of private schools.
You would think that translates into a decent pool of readers and residents to target. Yet, you have to try really hard to find out any info on Umass sports – even when they do amazing things.
I argue it is on purpose!
See, if you looked at the Boston Globe or the Boston Herald yesterday Tuesday, March 20, 2012, you would never think that any Massachusetts college team was involved in any tournament.
In fact, there were stories about Payton Manning, stories about those teams outside New England still alive in the NCAA and of course our beloved Red Sox and Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. There was not even a brief telling people that their state school, which they support with their taxes was on national television for the second time in four days. That’s paper of record stuff and Umass, well the record shows we have been stomped out of media focus.
You would think that the Umass game on Saturday at Seton Hall which is an instant classic would be heralded for days.
You would think that we would be told that several of these kids have a something special and maybe one day could play in the NBA. Chaz Williams, a 5’9, sophomore has become known as “Chaz-am” for his innate ability to overcome the giant 6-11 obstacles in his way to the basket. He plays with a fire that could power Iran. His play on Saturday was NBA-like. Anyone who watched Saturday’s game could not wait for Tuesday’s match-up.
Finally, after 15 years of dormancy, Umass basketball is back. The fever is back. The “zoomies” are back in the fold. Hurray. But wait.
You kids from the Happy Valley better shut up. You are not Harvard after all, nor BC, nor UConn, and regular working class kids and their followers are nobodies.
Just check the newspapers last week and this week.
There was no Umass NIT blown -out preview like last week’s preview for gasp…Harvard, which played pathetically and lost: one and done. Finished. So how many Harvard graduates remain in the state after graduation? Or does covering elites make you one by osmosis?
So, you say well that is why the Associated Press is around. Well, the AP failed to serve the Umass grads well either. The last picture they have carried was in round one of the NIT, three games ago. What’s up with that? Now you see a local paper has no chance to offer you all the sports news.
Of course, I am a Umass Amherst product and take offense to this brand of secular journalism. They can argue all they want that it was geography or because Umass was in the NIT not in the big tourney as it is called. Maybe it would be easier for Umass to make the big tourney if they were not treated like step children to the elite schools. Let’s face it, Umass is what you make of it and the media makes it out to be unworthy of their attention. The Boston folks will cover any riot, attack or bad thing happening at Umass towards the front of their news sections. But an enormous win over Drexel at their home, a 17 point comeback and one of the most exciting games of the year period, and what do the Boston media elites give it? Yes, Back page of the sports section. No pop on any front page. Nothing to see here!
It reminds me of 1990 when tuition cuts were coming down and 20,000 Umass students from across the system held a rally on the State House. It was not an easy thing to put together and not easy to get going, but it was important to us. Our futures were at stake. We, the working class kids, depended on Umass to give us the knowledge to compete against the elites in life, while knowing that our struggle was always one that would be deemed worthy or unworthy by those very same elites.
The next day, after the rally, in the Boston Herald there was a front page story on how we had crushed all the newly planted flowers at the State House. Howie Carr, a repository of ancient stoked hatred, made fun of us for caring about our futures.
Of course the system by raising tuition by nearly 2/3rds was crushing our dreams and of course, the Boston Herald was only too happy to join in. Feel the pattern?
And so once again, with Tuesday night’s incredible classic game versus Drexel, the people of the state were not given a story to tell them to tune into national tv to watch their tax dollars at work. And after people’s tax dollars supported the unbelievable, the Boston media buried it. But don’t worry , maybe there will be a pick-up game at Harvard tomorrow that they can write about.