Friday, June 29, 2007

Indianapolis Star Sends Purdue Packing with Style

It has always been observed though never overtly stated, the Indianapolis Star doesn't really give a shit about Purdue University athletics.

The Star has always given Purdue short shrift, more often focusing on Indiana University, a fact most Purdue fans understand and accept. IU is closer geographically to Indianapolis (by 10 miles!), there are more IU graduates in Indianapolis, and there are definitely more IU fans in Indianapolis (mainly because so many non-matriculating citizens fall in step with Bobby Knight U). The IU bias is a fact of life in central Indiana.

The Star has recently decided to no longer pay a beat writer to cover Purdue sports, instead pulling stories from the Lafayette Journal & Courier, a paper right on top of Purdue's campus and owned by the same parent company, Gannett. This makes solid business sense and most Purdue fans welcomed the better/hometown coverage we're supposed to get.

Until that coverage change takes over, the Star will go on treating Purdue as if it's some bastard step-child and get this, IU isn't even involved in the story. Take a look at today's front page.
Obviously, no story is bigger than two guys who have played together their entire lives being drafted 1st and 4th. Oden and Conley deserve the publicity. The third picture is of Duke's Josh McRoberts who somehow is now on par with Oden and Conley because he was born in an Indianapolis suburb.

Oh yeah, there's that tiny photo of Purdue's Carl Landry who was also drafted...six picks ahead of McRoberts. Talk about a slap in the face. "We'll run your photo, but only if it's one quarter the size of the other guys. You want respect, go get it from your own newspaper."

Sure, they're doing a story about Indianapolis owning this draft, right? Too bad McRoberts only gets mentioned once in the article and only to point out he played on the same travel team and in the same conference as Oden and Conley in high school.

Then we come to the two articles buried on page D-7 of the sports section.

Landry and McRoberts get equal ink when it comes to words, but McRoberts gets a huge Associated Press photo as well. Never mind that Landry was listed as the top power forward at the pre-draft camp. His presence in this edition must have been such a burden. He's an afterthought, who just happened to play in the state of Indiana. "I guess we've got to cover him till that damn new contract kicks in."

I know that ultimately this whining is just that, petty whining at its best. But do you have to run the miniature picture on the front page? Why even go through the trouble? He was drafted in the second round. That makes him irrelevant, right?

I just think Landry deserves better considering most of this season's coverage of Purdue centered around his All Big Ten play and leadership helping resurrect the team back into the NCAA tournament. Landry shouldn't feel too bad. Imagine going through life with the name Stanko Barac like the Pacers draftee.

This was just the Indianapolis Star's way of telling Purdue, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out."


Anonymous said...

Cry me a river you fucking redneck Puke!!!

Anonymous said...

There's that Purdue inferiority complex we all know and loathe...

Ross McLochness said...

Was it my inerrant spelling or use of the word 'non-matriculating' that got you so riled up?

Sign your name, pussy.

Gene Keady said...

Purdue sucks, that's why the Star doesn't give a shit! 2 national championships in Purdue's entire athletics history makes the university dead last in the Big Ten.

Eric said...

I'm an IU fan, but I don't really hate Purdue like most. I recognize the fact that the Star doesn't do as good a job with Purdue and IU but you're missing the point.

I was a sports editor at a daily for 5 1/2 years and I would have handled this exactly the same way. Conley, Oden and McRoberts are all from Indianapolis (and yes, Carmel counts as part of the Indy Metropolitan Area). Landry is from Milwaukee. That's the whole reasoning behind it. If Landry were from Plainfield or Greenwood or Fishers he would have been right up there the same way.

Local stories have to get top priority and while Landry was part of the story, he wasn't the big story. It has nothing to do with Purdue.