Thursday, August 16, 2007

Are Minnesota reporters really overly positive?

Patrick Reusse makes the assertion in his column "We're the home of Big Love in the sports department" that Minnesota sports reporters are much too positive about the local teams leading up to their seasons (and he includes a footnote that suggests he includes himself).

But is this really the case? Are all the sportswriters in Minnesota too glowingly optimistic about the local sports teams?

I don't think so. If you want criticism of the Vikings at the Star Tribune, you know you can count on Jim Souhan, and despite his footnote, you can usually rely on Reusse himself to criticize the Vikings and you for liking them. At the Pioneer Press, Tom Powers will definitely provide you with negativity about the team and yourself. On the radio, you can find the cynicism and negativity at KFAN with Dan Cole and Dan Barreiro. Certainly Viking bloggers (including myself) are optimistic, but if you want negativity you can go to Vikes Geek.

And that's fine. I'm not saying that reporters and commentators shouldn't be critical or negative. I'm not saying the local sports teams don't often justify criticism and negativity. What bothers me is the frequent assertion that the overall sports coverage in Minnesota is too positive. Too many commentators justify their own negativity by citing the myth that they're lone crusaders for truth in a sea of hopeful homers and pro-organization sycophants. Thus the negative commentators believe and will tell you that they are just being more honest, that they are just being realistic.

But do we really have to accept this myth of a Twin Cities sports commentariat awash in homerism and optimism? It's just not true. There are some local sports reporters and commentators that give glowing positive optimism. There are some local sports reporters that try to give balanced objectivity. And there are some local sports reporters that revel in cynical pessimism. There's a little something for whatever a local fan might be looking for.


  1. You're right. Some Minnesota reporters aren't positive at all. Most articles focus on the bad things, rather than the positive things.

  2. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Now that would be a POSITIVE!!


  3. Anonymous6:04 PM

    I have lived in many places and have never seen more negative sports writers than in MN. Sid is the only decent one in their ranks.

  4. My take is that the reporters are overly positive, especially those that cover the Twins. On the other hand, I think you're right about Souhan and Reusse and other columnists being on the negative side more times than not.

  5. Anonymous2:12 PM


  6. Anonymous7:10 PM

    its on tonight! i think you'll be able to run right down highway 67 when he's in. but we'll control early game with short passing.

  7. Anonymous11:45 PM

    I find that pessimists are only trying to keep their own optimism down because when expectations run high the fall is that much more disappointing. Seeing as only one team, and therefore one group of fans, achieve what they set out to accomplish in the beginning of the season(a championship) there is enough disappointment from week to week without expecting more than can reasonably be expected. The operative word here being 'reasonably'. The homers are not reasonable. As a matter of fact they are quite unreasonable. Optimism for a perrenial non-championship team, more times than not, will lead to frustration and anger.

  8. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Two things:

    1. Sid is the only decent one in their ranks.

    I hope that was a joke. Sid has been writing unfounded statements for years without the slightest reference to the source of his "news".

    2. Please don't call Souhan a reporter. Column after column appear infested with his attempts at puns and humor. He should state the facts, and keep his awful personality out of it.

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