While most athletes in 2012 won’t admit to reading, digesting, or caring about what the media has to say, some still take the opinions personally. Count a member of the Cincinnati Bearcats offensive live among them.
Offensive lineman Austen Bujnoch revealed that the team has Athlon Sports list of the top players in the conference hanging up in the locker room. Not surprisingly, Cincinnati isn’t well represented on the list — three total players, all on the defensive side of the ball. The locker room wall also features Athlon’s rankings of the conference offensive line units. Cincy ranks in the bottom half of that feature.
“Some people use that as motivation; some people use fear as motivation,” Bujnoch said.” So everybody has their own type of motivation.”
Motivation or not, the idea is interesting in 2012. As media coverage moves from print to online media, how will the “press clippings” aspect of the locker room change? It’s hard to believe that college age players still read the daily newspaper, but don’t discount the notion of them searching their own names online.
As coaches and athletic directors search for ways to keep their players out of trouble on the internet, it’s the players themselves looking for motivation. If Bujnoch found Athlon’s rankings, there’s a good chance that he’ll find anything written about him or his teammates.
Time will tell if the “slight” was perceived, true, or preseason chatter that will disappear over the course of a long season. After all, the fate of Cincy’s offensive line will ultimately be written by Bujnoch and four other starters, not anyone at a national publication or Laces Out.
That being said, this writer doesn’t disagree with the ranking. Cincinnati does have much to prove up front in 2012.
Joe is also the host of Charm City Sports Talk on WNST.net in Baltimore and member of the Society of American Baseball Research.