It started as an innocent call to the Fan 590. A guy called in complaining about the coverage the Toronto Raptors get on the Fan590. The caller alleged that everything the Toronto Maple Leafs do is over-hyped and nothing the Toronto Raptors do is every hyped. His point was that the Leafs play of late has the media in a buzz, while no one talks about the Raptors except in a negative tone.
Taking the call was Eric Smith and Jack Armstrong. Part of Smithís response was that, on a no name basis, there are those in the Toronto Sports Media who arenít as big of fans of the Toronto teams as others.
Smith, in case you donít know, is an active participant on Twitter (you can follow him at @eric_smith). So I, being the curious type, sent him a tweet asking him to, on a no name basis to expand upon his comment. Now, I have said this before but the one area, in my opinion anyway where Twitter is really useful is making guys like Eric Smith, (you can add in many sports media personalities here, especially on the local beat) accessible to us fans. Now I guess, prior to Twitter, I could have emailed Smith if I had his email address and maybe he would get it, and maybe he would have read it. Personal experience has shown that as long as you arenít a total dink and are the least bit insightful most of the sports personalities in this town will indeed respond to you. In this case, what ensued was pretty cool, all things considering. Smith explained that in his opinion there are members of the local media (not on the Raptors beat) who donít want other sports (hockey being the exception) like basketball and baseball to succeed here. He and I then went back and forth several times to the point where he invited his Raptors broadcast partner Paul Jones (@paul_jones) to the conversation.
The three of us discussed the issues for several tweets and the take away I got was that there is a genuine belief by those in the media, that other non-Raptors media types donít respect basketball or the Raptors the same way that they do the Maple Leafs and hockey. Jones said that things are better today as opposed to the past, but still one gets the sense there is some bad blood in the media towards the dinos and those who cover them.
It got me to thinking, and who am I to suggest that these guys are wrong, they are living it, they know who their breathern are and who may have the hate out for what they do better than I. Are those in the media really anti-bball/Raptor or is there more at play? Are the Raptors getting a bad rap from the local media?
So here is what I think, and I am curious to know if I am on or off base.