“Experts” Often WrongJuly 2, 2012
Last week provided another opportunity to show that the media (myself included) is often wrong. The “mock” NBA drafts were often wrong but never in doubt. I collected them leading up to the draft and it was amazing how different they were from the reality that unfolded.
I am not an expert. I don’t even play one on TV. I am an old sportscaster who tries to stay on top of things, but I’m an expert on very few things.
ESPN and other networks seemingly have an endless stable of “experts”. Why are Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and countless others experts?
They may be seasoned print journalists who paid their dues and are great at stirring up provocative arguments, but does that make them experts? Their commentary should not be treated as gospel—just opinions. Some are very informative. Former athletes can offer unique insights from their experiences, but some are often reluctant to be honest because of friendships or future employment hopes. There’s a way to be honest without being personal and overly critical. Fans know when a team is struggling. They don’t need the extremes of me waving a pompon or kicking them when they’re down.
As a radio “analyst” on the Bucks Radio Network, when I first took the job I thought I had to do the job the way the former coaches and players would do it. But I didn’t play or coach at a high level so, rather than pretend to be something I wasn’t, I decided to just be myself. I try to offer game observations that are hopefully interesting to listeners. But I also do homework on opposing teams and players so I can try to be informative. Ted Davis and I try to be both entertaining and informative on a broadcast. One without the other doesn’t work. There’s a time to have fun (early in game or if it’s not close) and a time to let the game carry itself (late in a close game). It’s having the instincts and timing of what to say and when.
The Sports32 Roundtable is not a newscast. We have the time and the freedom to offer opinions. It’s fun to go back-and-forth as long as we never take ourselves seriously. We have a responsibility to try to make our opinions educated ones, but I would never pass myself as having an educated opinion on everything. I can have a casual conversation on soccer or hockey but I would never pretend to be an expert. I did not grow up around those sports and I know football, basketball and baseball better. Every sportscaster has some similar bias because of their background.
I am a broadcaster who tries to make the experience a fun one for the listener or viewer. I am not an expert.
Follow Dennis on Twitter @DennisKrause1