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Friday, January 16, 2009

Frank Dascenzo piece on media bias

Frank talks media bias over at The Big Tailgate

I always enjoy reading pieces from media members that fall into the "ACC Historian" category about the history of ACC basketball. Al Featherston is probably the king of ACC historians...the man could tell you everything about anything that ever happened about this league. His books on ACC basketball are consistent best-sellers.

Caulton Tudor falls into this category, as well. He grew up in the state and has been covering ACC sports for longer than most of you folks out there have been alive (assuming my core demographic is 18-35 year olds).

Then there's Frank Dascenzo. Frank's worked at the Durham Sun (and the Durham Herald-Sun, following the merger in the 90s) from 1969 through August of 2008, covering Duke, Carolina and State for nearly 40 years. As you'll read in the piece linked above, he's seen and heard it all, and he captures it well.


Frank recalls meeting coach Valvano one time in January of 1983...two months before the miracle run in the tourney.

Jim Valvano once sat with me in the back of Amedeo’s Restaurant on Western Blvd., near the N.C. State campus. A somewhat worried look crossed his face, his eyes were thick with wonder, his hands waving one way, and then quickly in another, when he blurted aloud, “What’s it gonna take to beat Carolina?”


The topic of the piece is media bias, and Frank candidly admits that, yes, it does exist. Media members do root for certain teams over others, though he seems to say that it has more to do with personal gain (a team making a deep run into the NCAA tourney means a sweet trip to the Final Four) than sheer fandom. He doesn't deny that that exists, as well.

State fans, coaches and players have beaten the "Media Bias" drum for decades and have been roundly accused of being nutcases for it. This article seems to shed some light to the fact that there is some bias at play in the ACC media. It's likely not to the extent that most State fans would believe, and there's not a conspiracy against the success of State, I don't think. It would be foolish for a local media outlet to purposely sabotage the success of the team with the largest fanbase in Wake County--as we saw when Philip Rivers was at State, the N&O couldn't print papers fast enough to keep up with the demand for more ink on #17. A run to an NCAA title would mean HUGE dollars for a paper desperate for cash.

Nevertheless, if you ever find yourself wondering why Team A made it above the fold and Team B didn't, you may not be crazy after all.

1 comment:

  1. i think i had a few e mail exchanges with Dascenzo when one could read the Herald-Sun on-line without jumping through hoops. the last was right after the ncsu women played unc for the 2007 acc championship and resulted when i felt he was too certain that there was no doubt that unc would win the championship game. during our exchange of e mails, he predicted that state would loose in the second round of the ncaa tournament, and as is known, he was wrong. sbas2