Something that interests me of late is how people seem to miss a story because they are wanting a different story to emerge. Whether it is due to a prediction or a preference, they shape the proceedings to allow their preferred story to emerge. Then, they can lay claim to breaking the story, or something along those lines. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the preferred story because they don’t face criticism.

I’ve been thinking about this since Omaha World Herald sports columnist, Tom Shatel, wrote a few months ago about how he missed the story of the 2008 College World Series. While he lead the vocal opposition to what was happening with the new baseball stadium in Omaha, during the 2008 CWS, he completely missed the great story of Cal-State Fullerton winning the championship. Cal-State Fullerton was the lowest seed to ever win an NCAA Championship.

Credit to Shatel who admitted he missed the story because hardly anyone nowadays acknowledges a mistake.

What are other stories that get missed as other people try and push a different story? Some examples from this past year alone in sports:

  • People pushing a LeBron-Kobe match-up in the NBA Finals when it was apparent beforehand the Orlando Magic created all sorts of match-up problems for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, most everyone overlooked that, including me, because we wanted to see LeBron take on Kobe.
  • When Phil Mickelson’s wife got cancer, everyone wanted him to finally breakthrough and win the U.S. Open at Bethpage. While people were writing about how great it would be for Phil to win, little known Lucas Glover won the tournament by two strokes.
  • This past British Open, people were almost upset that the fairytale story of Tom Watson winning didn’t happen when Stewart Cink beat him in a playoff. The story everyone wanted didn’t happen. Cink, to a certain degree, has to be apologetic for not allowing Watson to win.

Other examples:

  • Remember how after Hurricane Katrina hurricane experts predicted there would be a plethora of catastrophic hurricanes that hit the United States? Has that happened? No. Do the experts admit they were wrong? No, they just predict the hurricanes will hit the following year.
  • In the face of people proclaiming global warming, there is a growing preponderance of data showing the Earth has been cooling consistently since 1998. (Or since 2001, depending on which expert you listen to.) While there has been a burgeoning movement to be more objective of global warming, there are still many who do not acknowledge the data and loudly proclaim global warming is fact. Or, they make excuses for the recent cooling trend, but hardly any of them want to dialog on the matter.

There are plenty of other examples, but no need to list them all here.

Are there stories you miss out on because you are yearning for another story to happen? Is it really worse if what we didn’t want to happen happens in a situation, like Stewart Cink winning the British Open?

Perhaps I could find a link with the ever growing reality tv genre and how that shows its audience doesn’t want to deal with reality. That could be me looking for a story that isn’t there. Who knows.

Some food for thought…

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