Chicken and egg?
We have a running debate between the paper and the "niche'' teams in our market: They say more coverage would mean more interest. We suggest more interest would mean more coverage. It's an unanswerable question. But I will say this:
Last Friday night, the 'Clones drew 2500 for a Game 7 playoff tilt. For this this past Friday, I wrote a Cyclones column, touting the experience of attending a game and asking people to give that night's Game 1 of the conference finals a look. I talked it up on radio, too, having the coach Chuck Weber on twice. (Guy's a sheer delight, by the way.) Plus, Marc Hardin did a story advancing the game.
Attendance doubled Friday night.
Maybe it was the perfect, um, cyclone: Reds out of town, weather lousy, a local pro team actually winning more than it loses. And, oh yeah, dollar beers.
Or maybe it was, partly, the pub. I've never been one to believe I had that much influence on anything around here. I've been telling the Bengals how to run their business for 20 years, made nary a dent. But I don't think the 'Clones attendance bump was coincidental.
Which prompts a question: If we covered the Bengals/Reds less, if we shoved their news to the inside pages, would their attendance suffer and force changes?
I'm not saying that would ever happen, or even that it should. I'm not suggesting that's my call. It's not. But would it have an impact?