THE EDITOR, Sir
Last week's article in the Friday Gleaner by Orville Higgins ('Everyone can be a sports analyst'), a 'sports' journalist famous for talking about bramble, places bramble journalism into perspective.
In his piece, Higgins goes on an all-out attack on the members of his own profession. Higgins starts out with a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of media managers in referring to them as "self-respecting" and from that platform sarcastically talking about the "experts" they employ and "roll" out.
Listen to Higgins as he continues. He is quietly amused by these sports experts and analysts. They "play God" by predicting outcomes, he says. When their predictions fail, they don't even have the "decency" to tell us they have made a mess of their predictions.
Higgins 'balances' his critique of sports journalists by his own layman's analysis. For example, Kirani James, he says, "played the fool" in coming seventh in the 400m. Wow!
Over the weekend, I listened to the expert World Championships analyses of Nationwide News' Leighton Levy and coach Michael Kerr. I was impressed not necessarily by their predictions but by the depth of thought and application of supporting facts which they brought to bear.
I came away with a better understanding of issues. Their race predictions came a couple of minutes before each event. Neither of them said or implied that his predictions should be taken as gospel. I understood their opinions to be educated guesses only. By comparison, I come away more edified from programmes like this than by listening to the competitive bar talk on Higgins' KLAS show, 'The Sports Desk', where name-calling and male braggadocio abound over endless arguments about who said what, when and where.
Higgins has marketed himself purely as an analyst of logic, although he is weak on that, too. Logic depends on a substratum of fact and a sincere recognition of the truth. He has shown on many occasions that he knows next to nothing about either sports or argumentation.