Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ESPN' s website gives some coverage to the little guys too

If you go to ESPN.com, the "Headlines" you’ll see will probably be the most prominent stories in sports.  Tonight, some of the top stories are about the NFL having its first regular season game on a Wednesday night this year, and Kobe Bryant having sustained a concussion in the NBA All-Star Game this past weekend. 

But just because ESPN.com usually leads with news about the more salient figures in the sports universe doesn’t mean it’s above covering the lesser-known corners of that realm too.  For instance, though ESPN regularly covers some of the professional sports teams local to Boston, its website also includes some of the lesser-known college squads in Massachusetts.

To give a more precise example, men’s hockey teams from Harvard, Boston University, Boston College, UMass-Lowell, Northeastern, UMass, and Merrimack are all included on ESPN.com.  One spot where they’re all mentioned is in a recent blog post on ESPN Boston that wraps up the Massachusetts-area men’s hockey games from the weekend of February 24-26.

A shot of Merrimack goalie Andrew Braithwaite from an October 26, 2007 game.  This image was taken from Wikimedia Commons, and its author was Michael Salvucci.  

And if I’m going to talk about the “little guys” of Massachusetts college sports, I might be amiss not to mention the BU women’s basketball team.  They’re currently 14th in Charlie Creme’s NCAA tournament field, and I think they’re the only team from the Commonwealth included on that particular web page.  They also have their own page on ESPN.com, as every Division I men’s and women’s basketball team seems to.  And of course, who knows where else the Terriers are mentioned on the vast galaxy that is ESPN’s website.

A screen shot of part of the BU women's basketball team's page on ESPN.com.
Now I don’t think the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is by any means unique.  A February 27 blog post on ESPN New York talked about a trio of relatively obscure New York-area basketball teams (Wagner, LIU Brooklyn, and St. Francis of Brooklyn) that are “vying for a championship and an NCAA tournament bid” (the "championship" mentioned is of the Northeast Conference tournament, and I think it would secure for its recipient a ticket to the Big Dance as well).

And yes, I know…it’s not like the BC Eagles, or even the Boston Terriers, are the most obscure team on the planet.  But the BU women’s basketball team and the men’s hockey teams from BU and BC aren’t leading ESPN.com every day either, so I wouldn’t say they’re ultra high-profile from an ESPN standpoint. 

And I can’t recall ever having heard of Merrimack or UMass-Lowell before I got to BU. 

So ESPN.com does have some info on at least some smaller teams.  I think that’s pretty cool, and I’m curious to see if other bloggers and sports fans agree.

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