So I don't get to see/hear/read media coverage about UAA usually until late at night. Such is the case tonight as I just listened to this USCHO interview. Their last guest in this podcast is Doyle Woody. There are some things which must be addressed. Now that I've finished listening and had a nice ham and cheese sammich ...
Begin listening at 41:50.
I categorically think that Doyle has a right to his opinions. I just don't think he understands the context of college sports. Context is important even in the world of journalism. The context here is that UAA Hockey is a public institutional asset of the local community (UAA college sports belong to all of us). The community can and does derive pride from the accomplishments. It is valued by the members of the public.
Newspapers are a private institutional asset of the local community. Community newspapers are self-mandated to act as good stewards of the happenings, public information, news, entertainment and sports. Purposeful negativity does not serve that righteous ethical standard. It is also valued by the public.
These facts deserve consideration.
A natural synergy exists between these two institutions but it's being needlessly poked and prodded and derided by one of it's components.
I'd add that the UAA Seawolves hockey team is made up of amateur players. The same standard that one applies to a professional player (someone getting a paycheck in their pocket) categorically does not apply to a college player.
Is that enough context?
Now onto my specific beefs ... When asked about the recruiting dynamic for UAA, Doyle completely left out the one actual advantage that UAA has over 57 other Division 1 programs. You're in Alaska. Hey prospect ... you like hunting? Fishing? Hiking? Outdoors anything? Um ... well we have the best outdoors anywhere. Instead, we got some droning about how nobody but a bender would come to UAA.
My other main beef ... When asked about the UAA/UAF rivalry. Doyle explains how in the last ten years UAF has "certainly had the upper-hand." Reality? Well, in the last 10 years ... (since January 1st, 2006) ... the Seawolves are 16-11-2 versus UAF. End of story.
I started this blog a decade ago in large part because Doyle's default style is negative. I'd happily return to private fandom if we had someone at ADN whose default style wasn't negative. I'm not hoping for a cheerleader like me. Just someone that understands context and allows such to moderate their writing process.