Is Media Hype a Team Killer?
During the off season of any professional sport you have people in the media (ourselves included) hyping the teams that they think will go the distance. The problem with hype is that there is no proof, it's just speculation, and the proof is in the pudding.
We see it all the time. A team gets all sorts of praise before they even take the field. They make some big off season moves and then everyone and their brother starts to make their picks for the championship game before the first game of the season is even played.
Finally the season comes around the big team isn't performing, so then you get the guys who were talking them up starting make excuses about how it's just a slow start and they haven't had time to "gel" yet. Pretty soon the over hyped team is flat out struggling and now you have these guys who were praising them, trashing them. So is media hype a teams kryptonite?
The answer is obviously yes. Has a team ever lived up to the off season hype that you can remember? The Philadelphia Eagles went out and made some big moves at the end of the summer and the media dubbed them "the dream team". Did they want to be called that? Not at all, but now that you have a name like that you have a lot to live up too. After week 3 in the NFL the Eagles are 1-2 and are coming off a tough home loss to the rival Giants, 29-16. The Eagles were heavily favored in this game, but they just couldn't seem to get things going.
The Giants on the other hand were totally bashed by much of the media during the off season for not resigning their big name players. They were riddled with injury, but used some unexpected people to win big yesterday and the week before. Now the G-Men are 2-1.
Baseball is one of the most unpredictable sports of them all, but people still seem to think that they can go out and pick a winner in April. Unfortunately the Boston Red Sox fell victim to the hype this year.
Much like the Eagles, the Red Sox signed some big names in the off season. Some have worked out, and some have not. The result? They are desperately clinging to a 1 game wild card lead and keeping their fingers crossed that Tampa Bay cools down before they burn out.
Another victim of the hype. Hitters get into slumps, and even though Carl Crawford had a few great years in Tampa Bay, he has had one of his worst in Boston this year. You can argue if he is worth the money, but in the end I think he has collapsed under the pressure of the Boston fans and the media playing him up to be more than he actually is.
Let us not forget the Miami Heat in the NBA. People thought these guys were a shoe in for the NBA title this year, but got upset by an un-talked about Dallas Maverick team. Miami may even be a victim of their own hype, especially with their ridiculous introduction to the people of Miami.
Basically, if your team is being hyped early just be ready for a fairly disappointing season. Teams that receive high praise early tend to fail completely or fail late. So just hope that your team isn't being talked about before the season starts.