By Daniel Rocchi
“I don’t know why you’re wasting yourself on sports.”
Every day for the past four years, the words of my first instructor at Ryerson have echoed in my ears. She wasn’t the first person to question my path and certainly not the last, but she was definitely the most direct about it.
There’s a stigma attached to sports reporting. Many professionals within other branches of the media see it as a lesser form of journalism—a childish glorification of petty pastimes, an afterthought living in the shadow of truly meaningful contributions to contemporary culture.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t encountered that attitude time and again at the school of journalism.
Much of the public (sport-loving and not) sees sport media as a sycophantic industry, populated by a posse of sensationalist puppets that embody everything wrong about the multi-billion dollar world of athletics.
There is plenty wrong with the sporting world, and the media that reports on it. It’s the same in that regard as almost every other facet of society.
Sports are supposed to stand for something noble. The athletic world is supposed to be one where anyone can do anything if they put their mind, body and soul into it. Sports are supposed to be a level playing field, a space of equal opportunity. If you have half a brain, you know things aren’t how they’re supposed to be.
Over the past few weeks, the American women’s national hockey team has been entrenched in a wage dispute with USA Hockey, which recently released a statement indicating that the players’ demands, if met, would cost a total of $8 million in an Olympic year.
At first, $8 million seems like a hefty price tag. Until you realize that NHL superstar Sidney Crosby will make more than $10 million dollars just for the 2016-2017 season.
The playing field isn’t level. Not in the big leagues, and not at Ryerson.
I have seen Rams teams accomplish some truly incredible things in my time here. What I didn’t realize until this year was how many Ryerson athletes are accomplishing great things without anyone taking notice.
Ryerson’s athletics department is diligent, to say the least, when it comes to promoting its U Sports teams—its fully-funded teams that compete for national championships— and well it should. The students on those teams are hard-working athletes that have accomplished great things.
You won’t find any of their stories in here.
With all due respect to the members of those teams, we have spent the entire school year covering those stories, and so have other campus publications, and so has Ryerson Athletics.
But what about the athletes and teams that don’t get the exposure? That don’t get the fans? The ones that pay to play, or don’t play at all?
It’s time for some new stories. That’s why I’m wasting myself on sports.
Here are the stories from the issue!