Random Thoughts: on Media Coverage of NU

The Question has been raised; Why does <b>Northwestern</b> always seem to considered a weak choice for a bowl? -- Is it our media coverage? <p>Well, maybe. Coach Roy has a few Theories. <p>Here they are....<br>

As I wander the web looking for NU stories for the Sports News Digest, and usually finding most of them, >
I have to say that I am resonably satistifed with the coverage of our Wildcats provided by our "local" print media.
Lets face it, the Chicago media has Four [Bears/Bull/Cubs/White Socks] professional teams and or course, their coverage must be driven by those teams.

First off, Northwestern also doesn't have the number of "local" boys playing that some other teams in the area have.

In Football it's getting a little better, but in Basketball, until the last recruiting class, Jitim Young was the only Chicago kid in how many years? The presence of Brandon Lee and Sterling Williams, both area kids, should do a lot to get Chicago coverage for NU, but we also have to start winning. Overcoming that Illinois BKB machine is going to be tough.

Now, I'm not suggesting NU lower any standards to get local kids, but if some kid goes to Illinois and scores a TD, he's going to get the local coverage.

Anyway, the Sun-Times covers NU about as well as the Tribune [even with the Trib's rumored "pipeline"].

And yes at times they seem to go out of their way to slam our Cats. Telander's continued ranting about how we've lost our innocence [if we ever had it] drives me nuts. We'll leave the Jaybird out of all this - he's moved on to bigger things anyway.

In any case, local kids' parents want to see their kid's name in the paper, and the local newspapers want to provide that coverage to get circulation. Its why you always see stories about our local players in the Trib, and not the kids from, say, Texas or New Jersey.

And you also have to remember that for many years, the Big 10 only sent #1 to the Rose Bowl. Everyone else stayed home.

That was an era when N**** D***, went to a bowl every year and garnered those 6-8 weeks of media coverage in a town that has more ND alums than ever went to the school. To many people in Chicago, Northwestern is still that little elite, Methodist college up on the north shore, somewhere past Loyola.

Yeah, they have that big medical school downtown, but all that does is mess up the parking off Michigan Avenue.

Chicago, as a major business hub, also has a lot of other Big 10 Alums, from schools with much better records than NU in football. I know the largest alumni club of my fraternity's Wisconsin chapter is in Chicago. I'm sure other's can say the same.

On the other hand, Northwestern's 3 largest NU alumni clubs are in Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles. Those guys might follow the Wildcats, but they don't go out and buy the Trib or the Sun-Times every day.

The past few years has seen an expansion of NU coverage in the other papers around Chicago - The Daily Herald regularly sends a reporter to practices and conferences. Tim Cronin at the Southtown tries to get to both NU and Illinois events. Larry Watts fought a great fight to get NU coverage back in the Evanston paper [you almost with they were a daily]. NU now gets coverage down in Peoria, and over in Gary.

On the Broadcast side, Randy Walker regularly appears on the WGN Sports Talk show - Wednesday night about 7:40 PM according to Dave Eanet. They're working out a time to get Bill Carmody on too. Our coaches turn up fairly regularly on WSCR's Boers and Bernstein show too.

As the Cats start to win regularly on the roundball court, and continue our improvement in Football, and we start to appear in the post season more, we can expect to get more media coverage.

Until then, we're fighting the "who cares" syndrome, and while we Wildcat Fans do, most people in the Windy City don't
-- da Coach

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