If you know me at all, you know that I’m a big fan of the College World Series. It’s a summer highlight for me every year, even when my Georgia Bulldogs aren’t playing. One facet of the CWS that bothers me year after year is ESPN’s coverage of it (I’ve actually written about it before). This year was the same old-same old.
Seven of the teams on the CWS are from the South: South Carolina, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Virginia, Texas, and Texas A&M. The other team was California. Can you guess which team was talked about and favored by ESPN more than the others in their coverage? You guessed it…California. And can you guess what metaphor ESPN’s commentators used to talk about California’s team? Right again…Cinderella.
Don’t get me wrong…I have to give California their due. Faced with their program being cancelled after this season, the Cal baseball team, along with their selfless coach, worked hard to have a successful season and raised enough money to keep the program around for at least seven years. So they have an inspiring story.
However, as usual, ESPN shows favoritism to a team from the West Coast, and they overuse the Cinderella metaphor. After Virginia beat Cal in an 8-1 trouncing more appropriate to the stepsisters than to Cinderella, Mike Patrick predictably said, “Virginia ends Cinderella’s run.” Of course it was more about California losing than about Virginia advancing.
ESPN needs some new metaphors, and they need to drop the favoritism. I really do love ESPN (especially since they’re part of the Disney family), but it can be infuriating at times.