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The Media and the 49ers

"Report about this man!"
"Report about this man!"

I don't think I have ever been so elated at the end of a 49ers win. At least, not in the last five years. At least. I mean, maybe even longer than that. So clearly, as the universe is wesliocentric, every other sentient being in existence should feel the same way I do. Sunflowers track the sun throughout the day? Boom. Embody my emotions. I don't even care if they are or are not sentient. Philosophers and scientists? Get on it.

This is totally reasonable, right?

Eh, nope. Moreover, just because the greater San Francisco Bay fan base just got their hearts all aflutter Sunday afternoon does not mean that anybody else in the country should care. I would like them to care, specifically those pesky East Coast media types, but frankly who cares if they care?

So in light of some contentious debates over the nature of the media and its reporting (or non-reporting, if you wish) of the 49ers' win on Sunday, I wanted to write an article up on some of my thoughts on the media. Follow me after the jump for the scathing tell-all transcript of my one-on-one interview with the editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated that I had yesterday (in my head).

WH: Mr. Illustrated, I wanted to thank you for your generous decision to meet with me on such short notice.

SI: No worries, Wes. I knew within seconds of the tragic loss the Eagles sustained from that one team in San Fran that you would be my major interview of the week. But could we get through this quickly? I am advising the President later on the state of all of sports in the world later today.

WH: Of course. Of course. So what do you say in response to heavy criticisms levied against your magazine that your team of writers has under-reported the heroic actions by the 49ers on Sunday?

SI: Heavy criticisms? Oh, you must mean the, like, four letters that we have received which are not from the Bay Area about our reporting. The fact of the matter, your Excellency Wesley, is that outside of the Bay, the 49ers have not really been a national story since the ‘90s, except when some crappy writer wants to create a "Top Ten Busts" list without actually doing research. They have Alex Smith for that.

WH: So are you telling me that the national attention has not been upon a losing team, but rather has been on a team that is not only in Philly, but even went to the playoffs last year under the guidance of one of the most scandalous QBs in recent sports history? Amazing!

SI: Well, given your illustrious IQ, you should clearly be able to understand such shallow and pedantic lines of logic.

WH: Yes, shallow and pedantic.

SI: Yes, shallow and pedantic. Anywho, the job of my magazine and its online companion is to present news of national interest as they happen and then pick apart the smaller and more local aspects as appropriate. So, you may notice that initially after the game, the focus was on the Eagles. That is because they have much more national clout and, frankly, their fans scare the poo-poo out of me.

But, as the week and the season goes on, the story will change to be less about the Eagles and more about the 49ers - especially if they keep up this production. It's my job to present items that will appeal to a broad range of people, thus driving up magazine sales. It's your beat-writers' job to take more in-depth looks at the team.

WH: Do you mean to say that even if your writers spent an hour a day researching each team, they would not only be ill-informed in comparison to the local writers but also incredibly sleep deprived? But when I watch NFL Network, I want up to the minute information!

SI: But do you want up to the minute information about the Redskins? For the casual fan of football, news that feels dated to a local fan is more than okay. So what if the reporters seem slightly off? They don't need to have the expertise to inform most fans nationally.

WH: What about this evil East Coast Bias I keep hearing about? Isn't that, like, when Hitler and Satan gave birth to Peter King or something, thus ushering in a new era of depravity and callous remarks about how rainbow-y and puppy-y Brett Favre is?

SI: While it is perfectly reasonable to take umbrage with the opinions King expresses and the disgustingly arrogant tone he can adopt, the fact of the matter is that he has way more contacts and sources than you do in the NFL and he has to process an incredible amount of information weekly. Not even you, Wesley, could do that. He is bound to run into some problems.

And this notion of an East Coast Bias? Well, I won't deny that it is true, but look at where the biggest markets are. New York brings in a lot of money, and we are a business, so... Regardless, most of the writers for East Coast magazines live on the East Coast, and thus, they don't stay up to watch games on the West Coast. It sucks, but hey, why do you think your games start at 10 a.m.?

Yeah, guys, I get it. The East Coast Bias sucks. I would rather that the national media give us our dues. Frankly, on Sunday, we earned it. And, honestly, we are already getting increased attention. But, to be honest again, the last decade we have not earned it. Not at all. We've been pretty pathetic. The media will change when the actual team changes.