Friday, August 06, 2010

Selling the Rangers

Mark Cuban's candidness and passion are among the reasons that he makes a great owner for a local sports franchise. For his own take on his unsuccessful effort to buy the Texas Rangers at this week's bankruptcy auction, see here.

Mr. Cuban's remark that the media are "the dumbest guys in the room" is unfortunately more accurate than uncharitable. Indeed, the coverage of the Rangers' bankruptcy by the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram can only be described as terrible -- and that is for reasons that have nothing to do with the persistent cheerleading for Greenberg/Ryan (for the record, I am glad that this group won, but that is beside the point).

The sports reporters covering the bankruptcy over the last few months simply lacked the ability to understand or communicate the legal issues at hand. The low point perhaps came with the real time blogging and tweeting by those reporters on the day of the trial earlier this week, when the writers breathlessly reported that lawyers actually cursed in the hallway outside the courtroom. Lawyers in suits cursing? Who would have thought it! Shocking!

Really, business and legal reporters should have been on this beat, though one supposes that this would have created turf war chaos in the news room. However, the losers were the readers of those papers who were trying to understand what was going on. The sports reporters at these two newspapers simply lacked the capacity to discern what was important or not important, what was substantive and what was not.

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