On the show, when you've been proven wrong, you must stand before the public and acknowledge a glaring mistake you've made or a position you've taken in the past that has been proven totally incorrect. Watching the news coverage of Steve Kerr's decision to accept the Golden State job shows I was wrong. There is an East Coast bias.
I have said before that I don't believe in an East Coast bias. I have always thought it was upset West Coast fans that cry for attention. I recant, but only to a certain extent.
I refuse to believe that people back east simply ignore sports in the west. Name one basketball insider that thinks the Eastern Conference is anywhere near the West. Every football analyst unequivocally accepts the NFC West as the top division in the NFL. When it comes to watching games and judging talent, there is no East Coast bias.
If you were born and raised on the West Coast, I think you're more reasonable than people like me born in the east. I take every day of life as if it's game seven of the World Series (30 percent of the time that's a good aspect of my personality), including watching sports.
I laugh at fans that think their team should be at a certain pinnacle with other teams when there's no fan base to support them. You are clearly the one that's being more logical by keeping sports in its proper place, but an East Coast person simply can't do it. We're used to staying up late and watching more sports. We're conditioned to argue about sports history. Every day you're outside in the sun, we're holed up at a sports bar or at home watching sports since we're snowed in. Due to this "sports devotion," I know there's no East Coast bias because bringing no knowledge about Mike Trout to an argument would lead to an embarrassing moment.
West Coast fans, though, don't understand the business aspect. I can't count how many times someone has said to me the SEC is overrated. What an amazingly low-knowledge statement. Fans care more in the SEC which leads to higher ticket prices, sales and ratings. More money in the program means better players, coaches and facilities. Better players, coaches and facilities means better football. If the SEC leads every year in NFL draft picks, doesn't that mean they're the best conference?
The media couldn't care less about who plays the best football. They care about making money. For the same reason, specific games are chosen for national broadcasts. Take baseball for an example. Don't yell at ESPN forcing Yankees/Red Sox down our throat. Those teams get the best ratings because fans care more and, therefore, are raking in the most money.
I stand firm there's no East Coast bias in evaluating players, teams or why certain events are broadcast. I was totally wrong, however, in evaluating how surroundings completely obscure people's view of a sports decision. Steve Kerr is the head coach of the Golden State Warriors and the prevailing media outlook on this is shock. "How could Kerr say no to the Knicks?" "How could Steve Kerr choose San Francisco over New York?" The best accusation I've heard is it's a good thing for the Knicks Kerr didn't take the job because in choosing Golden State, he shows he's not tough enough for New York.
Somehow, the comparison of the cities has blinded East Coast media from seeing simple things. Kerr's daughter plays volleyball for Cal. Obviously, the New York media thought Manhattan was near Berkley. All the talk was centered around Kerr's relationship with Phil Jackson, but the homework wasn't done to understand the friendship and respect shared between Kerr and Warriors President Rick Welts. Steve Kerr tried to trade for Steph Curry and wanted to do a sign-and-trade with New York for David Lee when Amare was on his way out. Now throw in the fact that he coaches in his home state and avoids James Dolan. Everything pointed to Golden State.
I teased Kerr in a text a few weeks ago to hurry up his decision saying, "Let's go, it's only the second biggest decision of your life." He responded knowing I meant the struggle all men go through deciding if they really are going to get married, "No way, this is by far the toughest. Marrying my wife was a no-brainer." For Steve Kerr, family is just as important as winning, and this decision proves it.
The New York media is shocked Steve Kerr is not the head coach of the New York Knicks. They should be more shocked they couldn't see the forest through Central Park.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf