The Detroit News changed its look at Detnews.com and it struck me how much smarter we are on the web than the actual newspaper.
Amongst the “regular” news of the day on the main page were sports stories about Michigan State losing a key recruit to Ohio State. There was a Lions story and a column about Rip Hamilton and his worth to the Pistons. Sports is a driving force for news organizations. People love sports. They hate sports. But they pay attention to sports.
Sports stories make the front page of the newspaper more often but back in the dark ages of newspapers sports was considered toys and games and editors believed it did not belong with real news. They were wrong.
Here is an exercise for you the next time you go to the airport. If you see a newspaper laying around a gate there is a 90 percent chance the sports section is missing. We read the newspaper. We read the sports section cover to cover.
We carry a newspaper around. We crumple up the sports section in our bag to savor for later.
It is especially true in this town where three of the four professional sports teams are very competitive in their leagues and the fourth — the Detroit Pistons — have won three NBA titles and been to nine Eastern Conference Finals. Michigan and Michigan State are both 10-win football teams. Their basketball teams will have a say in who wins the Big Ten title and Wayne State’s football team is playing for a national title this weekend.
This is one of the best sports towns in America. The Sporting News dubbed it the best sports town twice during its annaual rankings. Detroit will probably make top five again this year when the rankings are released.
Go to the News or Free Press sights and most days three to four stories make top 10 most read. You can write about a Lions’ right pinky and it will make the list.
ESPN is one of the most powerful networks in the nation. My radio show The Valenti and Foster Show has been the number one show in afternoon drive for three years running. It is a testiment that people love sports mixed with the news of the day. Sports pushes every emotion in the book. It relaxes, invigorates, stimulates, infuriates and allows us to celebrate all at the same time.