Everyone in Tampa needs a reality check. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not made it to the Super Bowl. They might, after Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they haven’t yet.
However, after reading The Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times for the past week, people in Tampa may think the Bucs are already the Super Bowl Champions. They’re not, and the media should be doing a better job of putting the Bucs’ Super Bowl chances in perspective.
Tuesday’s headlines read: “In Brad we Trust,” and “Bettin’ on the Bucs.” While the first had a great shot of hero quarterback Brad Johnson, the second showed a woman making reservations to fly to San Diego should the Bucs make the Super Bowl.
Do these stories really take precedence over the events in North Korea? Or the continued deployment of U.S. troops to the Middle East? According to the Times and the Tribune they do.
The game-day comparison of San Francisco and Tampa was cute. The day-after coverage of the win and the next step was well deserved. But the consistent coverage, day after day is sending a warped message to Bay residents over what is really important in the grand scheme of the world.
Is the coverage deserved? More than likely, but in the proper place on the front page of the Sports section. Other world issues, such as the Ricin scare in England and the ever-growing list of Democratic presidential candidates are being severely overshadowed by red and pewter.
If the Bucs make it past Philly Sunday, the media circus will be even bigger. The media would do a great service to itself and the Bucs by laying off coverage now and making a win Sunday that much more special.