As contributors to a sports-centered website, the writers of Skyboxjocks.net know that media coverage plays a large role in crafting the identities of teams and players alike. This week we’ve decided to step away from our focus on football coverage and tackle athletic profiles that deal with how various teams, players, and sports are viewed in the public eye. Why do we criticize certain athletes despite their proven excellence? Where do negative and/or positive perceptions originate? What makes one method of training more effective than others? What are the contributing factors in defining identity? These are just some of the questions we discuss in this week’s editorials.
Normally, when a player or sporting culture achieves success, praise follows. Naturally, when someone is a standout player the champion identity or success narrative applies itself to that individual’s persona, but even so, certain exceptions exist. Whether it is one controversial incident, a reputation that clouds performance, unrealistic expectations, or the pursuit of goals as a player other than stardom, one’s identity depends on much more than just success due to its subjective nature. In this issue, Maggie Sheetz discusses the merits of American Soccer and how its focus on team dynamic rather than churning out individual stars simultaneously hurts its integrity in comparison to the rest of the world but also creates a culture unique to the US. Steve Cameron addresses the recent controversy surrounding LA Dodgers’ player Chase Utley by profiling his career and explaining how he became such a villain in the scope of the media. Sarah Brennan-Athas investigates the rejection of Djokovic’s personality and style of play despite his clear dominance over other tennis competitors. And finally, Victoria Kanaris explores the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of Eli Manning’s career and how that keeps him in the shadows of other football greats regardless of his success as the New York Giant’s franchise QB.