The offseason during the NFL year doesn’t mean much for the media; reporters and journalists never get a rest as there are always stories developing, even when the players themselves are months away from taking the field. Stories about training, injuries and recovery, personal lives, and trade and free agency rumors are all building up during the offseason, and the media is the way that you hear about them.
There are many purposes behind this. The media entertains us, they provide us with valuable information toward our betting and fantasy league drafts, and they inform us so that we can be better fans of our favorite teams. In reality, the media is a supplement for the things that we already would be doing anyway. Good media outlets help us to enjoy things even more. This is especially true within the NFL since there is so much action every weekend. Think about it: how many times have you been watching one game on your television, while checking the scores around the league on a computer or your phone? How many interviews of retired players have you ever read, just to see what they thought about a big event, or an upcoming Super Bowl matchup? The average fan does this on a regular basis; big fans spend hours each week doing it.
Here’s the problem, though: there is much ore information out there than you could ever want or need. Some people are emotionally involved in things like the NFL’s settlement for former player head injuries, others care about which players are involved with which charities, but most people just want to learn more about the games. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy sports, you just will want to make sure that you are getting your information from helpful sources, and not from some site or newspaper that doesn’t focus on your particular interests.
With these things in mind, here are three quick tips when evaluating the worth of a website, newspaper, or magazine in regards to your favorite sport or team.
Is it factual? Some journalists have a tendency to elaborate upon the facts in a way that skews the truth. NFL trade rumors see this happen all the time. What ends up happening is that much of the story is true, but not all of it. The impact is usually small, but not always. You can avoid this by staying away from sensationalist stories and those just looking to boost the numbers reading their articles.
Is it timely? Anyone can write an article about a news event that happened last year’s Super Bowl. It’s not really news anymore, though. Sites with reporters close to their sources are best here. The web has an advantage over print media because it can reach you much more quickly, so if you need breaking info, this is the way to go. Print media, like magazines and newspapers, are better for in depth analysis. Books that look at stats and projections are also great in print.
Is it helpful? There are thousands of websites out there dedicated to football–maybe more. Some will be timely and accurate, but not at all related to what you are looking for. When it comes down it, there are many more sites that will be a waste of time for you than those that will be helpful. You need to define what you need, then try not to stray too far from it as you go.