Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Local News Won't Shut Up About The Carolina Panthers.

As if you hadn't already been made aware a million times over, the Carolina Panthers are going to the Super Bowl. Though I may be a resident of North Carolina, I really do not give a damn. The NFL is terrible on all fronts.

If you were to watch the local television news broadcasts in my viewing area, you'd witness a never-ending barrage of Panthers-related fluff and human interest stories. All they seem to report on is the Panthers, day in and day out. Mind you, there are incredibly noteworthy news events happening in our world right now, at this very moment. Instead, the local news has decided to spend a very considerable portion of each telecast on the Panthers and their chances of winning Super Bowl L.

(Scratch that, it's Super Bowl '50'. The NFL decided that the Roman Numeral 'L' was too difficult for its viewers to understand. They might be right.)

Considering the amount of time allocated in a thirty minute newscast to sports and the weather, there's little actual news content at all.

Take last night for instance. My local CBS affiliate, WFMY News 2, loaded their 11 PM telecast with Panthers related segments. One story focused on fans complaining about the team's season-long underdog status. Another segment spoke of the local department, sporting goods and clothing stores in the area selling Panthers merchandise (essentially, all of them) and how it had become extremely popular in recent weeks (no duh). Don't worry though -- store managers are ordering more in case you were in dire need. I must have missed the news about the internet being closed for business. Guess you can't buy team merchandise online, 24-7 any more. Perhaps the dumbest segment of all -- they reported on fans with the most ridiculous 'game-influencing' superstitions. That's right... things that don't even exist made the evening news.

When it comes to being an informed populace, we're so screwed.

I've long been a critic of local news, but the lead up to Super Bowl 50 between the Panthers and Denver Broncos has been woefully depressing. There are people dying in Syria. Children in Flint, Michigan are suffering from lead poisoning. The Zika virus is spreading at unprecedented levels all across the globe. North Korea may have just tested a hydrogen bomb. Artificial intelligence is one step closer to being a reality. A ninth planet might actually exist within our solar system.

But no... ignore all that relevant information. Two groups of overpaid guys throwing a ball up and down a field is way more important.

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