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Media Criticized For Biased Hometown Sports Reporting

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Entire Broncos Organization Announces Retirement After Super Bowl Win

‘There’s Nothing Better Than Going Out On Top,’ Says Every Denver Player, Coach, Executive, Trainer, Office Administrator, Janitor

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following the team’s 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, every single member of the Denver Broncos organization officially announced their retirement Sunday.

Family, Friends Concerned After Peyton Manning Wanders Away From Pocket

SANTA CLARA, CA—Admitting to being “worried sick” after realizing he had suddenly disappeared in the middle of a play, family and friends of Peyton Manning grew incredibly concerned Sunday after the veteran Denver Broncos quarterback wandered away from the pocket during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50, sources confirmed.

NFL Vows To Fix Bottomless Pit On Levi’s Stadium Field Before Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following persistent safety concerns regarding the playing surface throughout the regular season, the NFL made firm assurances Friday to both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers that the bottomless pit in the middle of the field at Levi’s Stadium will be fully repaired before Super Bowl 50.

Area Man Would Hate Cam Newton Even If He Was Different Minority

MURRAY, KY—Adamantly stressing that his disdain for the 26-year-old quarterback is not based on any racial prejudice toward African Americans, local 49-year-old Michael Willet told reporters Friday that he would hate Cam Newton even if the Carolina Panthers star was a different minority.

Rex, Rob Ryan Finally Get Bunk Beds They Always Wanted

BUFFALO, NY—Howling with excitement after seeing the brand-new furniture set in the corner of the bedroom they now share, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother, recently hired Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan, finally got the bunk beds they always wanted, sources confirmed Monday.

NCAA Investigating God For Giving Gifts To Athletes

INDIANAPOLIS—Amid a new scandal that many are already calling the most damaging in the history of collegiate sports, the NCAA announced Tuesday that it has launched an investigation into God, Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, for allegedly giving gifts to student-athletes.

Defunct 4-Year-Old Sports Blog Still Lurking On Internet

FORT COLLINS, CO—Noting that the site devoted to the Colorado Rockies and their minor league affiliates had long ceased being updated without any explanation, sources confirmed Friday that local man Ben Gutowski’s defunct four-year-old sports blog, “The Rockies Report,” was still quietly lurking on the internet.

BCS Computer Takes Over Every Screen In Country During College Football National Championship Game

‘BCS Will Live Forever,’ Reads Text Suddenly Appearing On All Televisions, Computers, Phones Simultaneously

GLENDALE, AZ—Noting that all television feeds and online streams suddenly cut out simultaneously, sources confirmed that the BCS computer took over every single screen in the United States midway through Monday evening’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson.

Grizzly Bear Catches Spawning Michael Phelps In Jaws

KENAI, AK—Sitting on a rock atop the powerful, churning rapids, a grizzly bear reportedly caught Michael Phelps in its jaws Tuesday as the sexually mature Olympian leaped out of the water while swimming upstream to spawn.

Area Dad Thinks Refs Should Just Let Them Play Football

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Facetiously questioning how the game had suddenly become a non-contact sport, local father Aaron Harper confirmed his belief Thursday that referees officiating a Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions should just let them play football out there.

Punter Just Praying Returner Doesn’t Make It All The Way To Him

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Growing increasingly nervous as he contemplated being the team’s last line of defense, Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was reportedly praying Thursday that Jacksonville Jaguars returner Rashad Greene wouldn’t make it all the way down the field to him.

Defensive Tackle’s Innocence Shattered By Play-Action Pass

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying the eye-opening experience has forever altered his worldview, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus admitted to reporters Friday that a play-action pass play by the New York Jets had totally shattered his youthful innocence.

Royals Prove Doubters Who Were Still Paying Attention Wrong

NEW YORK—Having capped off their championship run with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 Sunday night, members of the Kansas City Royals expressed their delight at silencing the doubters who still happened to be paying any attention to the World Series.

Keys To The Matchup: Mets vs. Royals

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Strongside/Weakside: Chase Utley

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Jadeveon Clowney Succumbs To Battle With Ankle Sprain

HOUSTON—Noting that the 22-year-old was a “wonderful young man who will be immensely missed by all who knew him,” the Houston Texans announced Thursday that linebacker Jadeveon Clowney tragically succumbed to his battle with a right-ankle sprain.

Strongside/Weakside: Odell Beckham Jr.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

WNBA MVP Devastated After Roommate Moves Out Without Any Warning

CHICAGO—Saying she is now desperately searching for any options that will prevent her from being evicted, Chicago Sky forward and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne was reportedly left scrambling Thursday after her roommate moved out of their apartment without any warning whatsoever.

Strongside/Weakside: Chip Kelly

Known as one of the most innovative minds in football, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has implemented an offense that racks up huge numbers in the loss column. Is he any good?

Billy Crystal Tearfully Admits He’s Never Seen, Been To A Yankees Game

‘I Don’t Even Know What The Yankees Are,’ Crystal Says

NEW YORK—Admitting that he could simply no longer continue living a lie, veteran actor, comedian, and self-professed New York Yankees fanatic Billy Crystal tearfully confessed Thursday that he has never seen or attended a single Yankees game in his life, and indeed has absolutely no idea who or what the Yankees even are.

New LSU Stadium Shuttle Transports Tigers Fans Back To Woods

BATON ROUGE, LA—Saying that they hope to make traveling to and from football games more convenient and enjoyable, officials from the LSU athletic department announced Friday that the university will now offer a round-trip stadium shuttle bus to transport Tigers fans back to the woods.

Strongside/Weakside: Marcus Mariota

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

Giants Move Tom Coughlin To Assisted-Coaching Facility

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying that they held off taking such a drastic step for as long as they could, officials from the New York Giants confirmed Wednesday that the team had made the difficult decision to move head coach Tom Coughlin into an assisted-coaching facility.

2015 NFL Season Preview

The 2015 NFL season is poised to be among the most memorable and eventful in league history, with several of the notable moments hopefully occurring on the field. Onion Sports breaks down everything you need to know before the season kicks off.

Jayson Werth Catches Foul Ball Without Spilling Beer

WASHINGTON—In an incredible play that drew cheers from the whole stadium, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth managed to catch a foul ball Tuesday night without spilling the beer he was holding in his other hand.

Strongside/Weakside: Serena Williams

Serena Williams is aiming to clinch a historic calendar Grand Slam at this year’s U.S. Open, forever enshrining her as the last American tennis player worth talking about. Is she any good?

Journeyman Fan Joins Sixth NFL Team In 5 Years

HELENA, MT—Continuing his lengthy trek around the league, sources confirmed Friday that 36-year-old journeyman fan Brian Ferretti has joined the Arizona Cardinals, his sixth team in the past five years.
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Media Criticized For Biased Hometown Sports Reporting

Media Criticized For Biased Hometown Sports Reporting
Media Criticized For Biased Hometown Sports Reporting

ALBANY, NY—Members of the national media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting released a 255-page report Monday criticizing the American media for severely biased local sports coverage.

<i>The Boston Globe</i>'s 2002 Super Bowl coverage barely mentions the opposing team.

"In our extensive study of the nation's sports sections and broadcasts, we documented countless examples of shamelessly one-sided reporting, obvious speculation, and bald editorializing masquerading as journalism," FAIR spokesman Scott Wilborough said. "Coverage was heavily, sometimes brazenly, weighted toward the teams from a media source's own area. To look at the data, you would almost think that sports journalists aren't held to the same standards as other reporters."

FAIR surveyed the sports reporting of more than 400 newspapers, as well as nearly 200 television and radio stations across the country.Wilborough said that, in an average article about a sports event, 87 percent of column space was devoted to coverage of the local team.

"Photos almost always featured the home team, usually in a moment of victory," Wilborough said. "When the players and coaches of the opposing team were discussed, it was usually in the context of how they were 'destroyed' or 'stomped.'"

In addition to granting local teams and athletes disproportionate amounts of column space and airtime, city dailies and newscasts often exaggerated local teams' wins and downplayed their losses.

Wilborough held up two newspapers: a copy of the Detroit Evening News with the headline "Sanders to Join the Immortals" and a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer with the headline "McNabb's Brilliant Last Minute Heroics Destroy Green Bay."

"It's frankly baffling how widespread the bias is," Wilborough said. "Journalists seem to lose their composure altogether when reporting on their local sports teams."

The FAIR report, which characterized the bias as "irresponsible and pervasive," stated that "the blatant slanting of local sports coverage goes against the ethics of balanced journalism and contributes to a public perception that the local team in a particular area is the absolute best. This does a disservice to the very audience that the media claim to serve."

"The fact is, only one team in any given sport will earn the distinction of being the best," Wilborough said. "Nevertheless, local news outlets go on asserting that an area team is number one, often against all logic. When a local team is performing poorly, journalists will often slant coverage to imply that the failure is circumstantial or temporary. They even go so far as to make totally indefensible claims such as 'We'll get 'em next year.'"

According to the report, the bias can be found everywhere from New York and Chicago to smaller media markets like Green Bay, WI and South Bend, IN.

"The bias is everywhere, but the New York and Boston media's coverage of this year's American League playoffs is a classic example," FAIR investigator Clark Hudson said. "And it all starts, as bad journalism so often does, with editorializing through biased word choice."

Hudson said that in both the New York Post and The Boston Globe, home-team batters were referred to as "sluggers," pitchers as "hurlers," and managers as "field generals."

"Hell, if I were the Boston Red Sox, I'd sue the New York Post for slander," Hudson said.

Several reporters agreed that a problem exists, but disagreed about both its nature and its severity.

"In my opinion, the most insidious aspect of unbalanced sports coverage is the bandwagon effect," sports journalist Lori Nickel said. "For example, Chicago news outlets support [coach] Dick Jauron blindly as long as the Bears are winning. But only one team can win the championship every year, so eventually, WGN and the Sun-Times start screaming for the firing of the entire coaching staff. How is that fair?"

"I wholeheartedly agree that standards in the business are slipping," said ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, son of late sports-writing legend Dick Schaap. "I'd like to see a return to the respect and even-handedness not seen since the days of that great man and exemplary American, Howard Cosell."

Wilborough said the problem may be larger than many realize.

"Let's face it, sports news is the only news most people read," Wilborough said. "That's reason enough to clean it up. Otherwise, the media may start seeing bias and sensationalism as a formula for success. I don't think anyone wants to live in a country where that happens."

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