Linsanity has exploded across the country. These days everyone knows who Jeremy Lin is even those that aren’t die hard NBA fans. The guy is everywhere and he deserves it. Lin’s story is a remarkable one. In my eyes Linsanity coincides perfectly with Tebow mania which occurred during this past NFL season. Tebow much like Lin was a backup on his team and came out of nowhere to steal the spotlight from everyone else in the league. Both athletes exploded on to the American sports scene and no matter what city you live in you can’t hide from their presence.
Both stories are impressive and exciting but also disappointing in some way because it makes you realize just how much the national sports media obsesses with stories like this about athletes from other cities but never someone from a Philadelphia team. By national sports media I’m referring to the likes of ESPN. In my opinion they’ve gone overboard with Linsanity, Tebow, and other non Philadelphia athletes over the years. I’m in no way discrediting what Lin and Tebow have done because it’s remarkable but we’ve had our fair share of top notch athletes come through our town over the years and not even get close to the type of coverage these guys and others have gotten. Think about it when was the last time a Philadelphia athlete blew up the media the way guys like Tebow, Lin, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Albert Pujoles, Lebron James, etc, etc have?
This past season LeSean McCoy had a break out year on the field. He finished 4th in league in rushing and number 1 in the league in touchdowns with 20 which also set an Eagles single season record. McCoy even finished ahead of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski who finished with 18 total touchdowns on the season. Yet it was Gronkowski that seemed to have more buzz in the national media than McCoy in 2011. This is most likely because he plays in New England with Tom Brady. McCoy went under the radar and finished a spectacular season without much of any hype by the ESPN’s of America.
In 2008 Cole Hamels had one of the most incredible post seasons ever by a pitcher. In 5 postseason starts he went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and also captured World Series MVP. Hamels easily could have won all 5 postseason starts but rain caused game 5 of the series to be postponed. By the time the game restarted 2 nights later the Phillies had no choice but to replace Hamels with a fresh arm. Regardless Hamels had a fantastic post season one that should have made him the darling of the national media for years to come. Instead he hasn’t been mentioned as a major story on the national sports scene since 2008.
Those are just two examples of the lack of credit the national sports media gives to the top notch Philadelphia athlete. Plenty of love seems to be given to star athletes in other cities but for some reason Philadelphia is over looked. For those of us who frequently visit ESPN.com you’ve probably noticed they have a subset of websites aimed to serve particular cities. ESPN currently has a website for New York, Boston, Dallas, LA, and Chicago. Where’s the site for Philadelphia? I’ve read that it’s in the works but bottom line is it should have been launched already and it’s quite disrespectful that our city isn’t thought of in the same breath as New York, Boston, LA, Chicago, and Dallas.
I’m not sure why ESPN and other national sports outlets have regarded the Philadelphia sports scene as a second string sports town. Maybe more outstanding seasons from LeSean McCoy or World Series rings for Cole Hamels will help or maybe we just haven’t won enough championships to get on the radar. I’ve attended games in many other cities and Philadelphia is without a doubt a first class sports town. ESPN how about a little recognition?