Why the Media is Turning Me into a Bitter Old Woman at Age 17

Sorry about the long title, I know it's a bit obnoxious, but I like it so it's staying. Also it's a bit cryptic, so without further ado let me explain. I have dual citizenship and make frequent trips back to the motherland (i.e. England), but I live in America and interact predominantly with Americans. Most people I know personally think football is a girls' sport, and the few that I know that actually like football are, to be frank, mostly d-bags who support a Big Four team and know absolutely nothing about any other team. So being basically the only person I know (other than my father) who actually knows something about football and its history means I have to revert to other sources to engage in a good footy conversation. These sources are blogs mostly, I get my news from the BBC website, but one of my favorite things in the world is the BBC radio service.

To me listening to the radio is something sacrosanct, it reminds me of my grandparents, of one of my favorite places in the world, and it is mostly a lost art over here in the States. So of course I download several BBC podcasts, including the 5Live Football Daily. Here's where the bitterness comes in. The podcasts are on average about 20 minutes long, a little longer on Sundays when they do a wrap up of the weekend. Obviously 20 minutes isn't really enough time to discuss what is happening with every club in the league, but really they could talk about more than just four (and I think we all know the specific four I'm referring to).

The BBC pundits will spend 10 minutes talking about a single sentence that Fergie said, however they don't seem to be able to find the time to mention the beauty with which Bolton played on Saturday. Or how Gary Cahill has had a killer season yet Joleon Lescott is still beating him out to the England squad. Or really say anything other than a 15 second sound byte stating the result and scorers. Bolton's not the only club this happens too either, ever club other than the Big Four (and now Manchester City because of their gazillionaire owner) gets snubbed by the BBC pundits.

A specific example of this is how last March, whilst about 8 clubs were in the throes of a relegation battle about 3/4's of the podcasts released that month were dedicated to the two clubs fighting for the top spot. I'm probably exaggerating a little, but not by much. The vast disparity between the finances of the Larger-Than-Average Five (has a ring to it doesn't it?) and every other club in England is being reflected in the media. This only reinforces the trend, as the more media attention a club gets, the more supporters it's likely to recruit (don't believe me? try to count how many Manchester United fans live outside Manchester), and the more supporters a club has the more it can raise in merchandising and ticket sales. The more money the more top footballers the club can buy, the more it dominates in the league, the more media attention it gets. A self enforcing cycle if there ever was one

So what's the point of this rather long, only-slightly-Bolton-related rant you may ask? I want to know if other fans feel my pain. Is the media turning you into a bitter, nobody-loves-me-or-will-cater-to-my-interests fan? Do you lie in bed at night listening to your podcast waiting for the 2 second mention of your club? Do you have any idea of what we can do about this?

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