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Final Four Brings Out The Complainers
April 05, 2014
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Your Humble Correspondent has been at 25 Final Fours and 15 national championship games as a member of the media. YHC is in his sixth season as the Big 12 Correspondent and considers himself a “recovering journalist.”

One talent that journalists and sportswriters in particular has more than any profession is complaining (there’s another word that starts with a “b” and ends with an “ing”). Especially at the Final Four (where the NCAA can be a bit controlling) YHC’s former colleagues are typically in rare form.

Social media and Twitter in particular allows writers to spread their displeasure as far as the Internet allows. Saturday YHC heard about a “media uprising” because the bus from downtown Dallas was 45 minutes late, about how no Final Four should be held where “you can’t walk to the arena from your hotel,” about how the trip from downtown Dallas to AT&T Stadium isn’t bad “if you’ve got $80 to spend” and how parking was “fan friendly” at $75.

This is an example of why people dislike and distrust the media. These are people (adults, for the most part) who are on expense accounts, have an entire day to invest to do their job and are covering one of the top five sports events that is made possible because 80,000 fans are willing to invest a couple thousand bucks of their own money to come support their team.

And those fans don’t get fed for free two hours before the game; they’re shelling out $15 for a burger, $10 for popcorn and $5 for a 12-ounze bottle of water (prices are estimates and no reflective of the prices at AT&T Stadium).

YHC has put up with hour-long shuttle bus trips, with spotty Internet access, with stupid rules restricting movement and interview access. It’s part of the job description.

The Final Four - and other events like it - are not for or about the people tasked to report on it.

What’s not on the job description is whining and complaining about a profession that is far different from what a majority of people engage in. Those who believe that anybody cares about the griping need to realize there’s a long list of folks who would be happy replacements to be wearing a media credential.

YHC declares his rant finished and climbs down from his virtual soap box.

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