Longing for Sports Sunday

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Jason had a post the other day lamenting the decline of long-form journalism. But there’s something else that’s disappearing, and that’s the local sportscast. Not only is it shrinking in the amount of time it’s given during the newscast, but at one Green Bay station, it’s disappearing completely and being outsourced to a sister station in Milwaukee.

I read that story and got to thinking about our local sportscast here. And I’ll admit, I don’t much watch the local sportscast, and that’s primarily because I don’t much watch the local news. But it seems to me that Channel 26, where Mark Berman runs supreme, is the only local station with that in-depth look at local sports I grew up watching.

Oh sure, Giff and Bob and Tim are still around, but they’re given about three minutes, and they often have to cut their time short because they need to cutaway to Letterman or Leno or SNL or Nightline. I can remember when the best thing about Channel 2 News was the Craig Roberts sportscast because Roberts was doing a SportsCenter sportscast before Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick teamed up at ESPN in the early-90s.

Do any of guys/ladies remember how much fun his Sports Sunday was? It was hip. It was fun. And it gave sports info on the local and national level.

I know why the local stations have cut back on sports, and it’s because of ESPN. Because SportsCenter covers the ins and outs of every sport, of every team. Because the network overloads us with info…or does it?

How often does Stu Scott go on about the Rice Owls or my Houston Cougars? And when’s the last time TSU got a shout-out from the World Wide Leader? But with the shortened local sportscasts, how much attention do they get? During football season, we get a bunch of stuff on the Longhorns and the Aggies, and if they’ve got time, they’ll give the scores (and maybe some video) of the Houston, Rice, and TSU games. But not until we’ve gotten the Longhorn/Aggie overload.

And what about high school sports? I remember the local stations having all kinds coverage. During football season, back when I was kid, I seem to recall most of the stations having a late-night Friday/early-morning Saturday highlight and scores program. I think Craig Roberts still does the High School Sports Weekly over at Channel 55, but are there any other shows out there still like it?

Sure, I don’t watch local stuff as much as I used to. So maybe this is all still out there and I’m just missing it. But it’s still not like the good old days, back when sports got more time than weather.

Sports aren’t going to disappear from the local Houston newscasts. There’s just no way anyone is stupid enough to outsource our local sports to Dallas (though the Fox Sports Houston studio shows are all currently done in Dallas), but if Green Bay sports can be outsourced to Milwaukee, who’s to say that the Brian/College Station sports can’t be outsourced to Houston?

Meanwhile, I just want a little Sports Sunday. And is that so bad? – John Royal

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