Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

As a Phillies’ fan and WCU student, this week has been a series of extreme moments and encounters, the first of which took place on FOX. Watching the Phils vs. Giants series has surely given me some minor form of heart trauma, and a minor case of heartbreak after last night’s loss. However, I’m hoping this extra week of post-season rest will give the team a better recovery than last year . Think about it: constantly going to the post-season (and World Series) cuts the amount of off-time drastically, and the boys need a chance to rest up in order to come back stronger in the spring.

Even though the Phillies ended their post-season involvement Saturday night, most of my distress came from all the distractions surrounding the game, namely the announcers. As a student journalist, I understand that most news is only as unbiased as its writers/reporters, but I also understand that those individuals are supposed to at least TRY to remain unbiased, particularly on a nationwide news network.

I am used to watching games on PHL-17, a channel devoted to the team and miscellaneous TV shows such as “Entourage” and “Family Guy.” In my mind, this is an appropriate forum for team spirit and biased announcers – most of the viewers are in fact Philly fans, and the network caters to that audience. However, FOX is a nationally-viewed network, with no foundation in a particular city (or for that matter, a sports team). Therefore, I expected fair, balanced announcing – but this was apparently a foreign concept for Joe Buck.

Perhaps this is a bit of my defensive-Philly-fan side coming to the surface, but Buck’s announcing became increasingly annoying and anti-Philadelphia over the course of the series, enough so that I’m ranting about him in my weekly editorial instead of focusing on the fact that both teams played a great series. Over the course of the week, I saw a direct correlation between the number of pro-Giants/anti-Phillies exclamations made by Buck, and the number of Facebook groups dedicated to hating him (many of which were not based in Philadelphia).

Point is, clean announcing is expected from an unbiased source. While everyone knows the general political sway on their various news networks, sports announcing becomes a different entity entirely. If FOX paid for the rights to air the series, they should provide coverage that doesn’t detract from the sport itself.

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My other “extreme” this week involved the event taking over the rest of this week’s Op-Ed section: the “Repent America” rally/protest that occupies the front of Main Hall every year. I’m not going to reveal my political opinion on the content matter of the protest, but I’d rather like to address my complaints about the event itself.

Every year, Repent America comes to our campus with posters, sermons and overly-inquisitive and assuming cronies. Every year, WCU students revolt and bring the same three things in opposition. Every year, the day ends and no one’s minds have been changed.

I really noticed this stagnant revolt this year – after being let out of class early due to class disruption (from the protesters, four stories below and several thick walls away). I made my way out of Main Hall towards Anderson, and I was stopped by several people who asked me my opinion on “the matter at hand.” Each time, I said that my opinion was that everyone should just go home. I received several less-than-eloquent responses, many of which decided I’d be burning for eternity.

This is exactly my point. Yes, I do have a political opinion on the content of the protest, but I did not want to show it in that context. As an individual trying to make her way through the crowd, taking no position, I was still judged and made into part of the protest. I truly believe that there is no benefit to this protest happening on our campus every year; no minds will be changed, no opinions will be swayed and no good will come of it.

So I plead to Repent America: please stay off our campus. You know the ridicule you face every year, and by bringing yourselves onto our campus, you put yourself in WCU student “territory.” Putting yourself in our place of study and residence does not help your cause, and only disrupts classes, campus maneuverability and student minds. And students – though I fully understand the defensive need we feel as members of the WCU community, wouldn’t it be wiser if we investigated a way to keep protests like this off of our campus?

peace to you,
TjT

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