Sunday, August 8, 2010

Area media slight new hall of famer Russ Grimm

Even though he went to four Super Bowls (winning three) and even though he played for the Washington Redskins, who were shown on TV in the Triangle area every week during his playing days from 1981-91, Russ Grimm got little play in the area media after being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame yesterday.

At WRAL-TV, veteran sportscaster Ken Medlin, who grew up in North Carolina and should realize the high volume of Redskins fans in the area, devoted exactly four seconds to Grimm while almost all of the long report was spent on Dallas’ Emmitt Smith and San Francisco’s Jerry Rice.

Smith and Rice are certainly higher profile nationally and deserve all the accolades they get but area sports reporters should realize that the Redskins were North Carolina’s home team for 50 years including the time Grimm spent with the Skins. Therefore, more effort should have been made to report on Grimm.

The News & Observer’s headline reads, “Rice and Smith enter Hall of Fame.” The Associated Press national writer, who wrote the piece, got around to giving information about Grimm in the 33rd paragraph of his article. Perhaps that’s understandable from a nationwide slant but, again, area media should be more in touch with their audience.

WTVD, at least during its 11 p.m. sports report, did not even mention the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at all. Interestingly, on WTVD’s website, the exact AP article ran but under the headline “Rice, LeBeau, Grimm inducted into Hall of Fame.” Maybe the web poster hates Dallas, not sure, but the article still didn’t get around to Grimm until the 33rd graph.

The exact same national story ran on the NBC17 website (if you have the patience to find it). In years gone by, each media outlet would have a different story, and at least a little different take. But there are fewer and fewer traditional journalists these days and we’ll probably be seeing more identical reports from a national perspective.

It’s a shame. Grimm was a hero to many a youngster in this neck of the woods. He was a member of the famous “Hogs” offensive line and is the first one to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This class is arguably the strongest in the history of the Hall of Fame with Grimm, Rice, Smith, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, John Randle and Floyd Little being inducted. To read more about Grimm, go to the Washington Post’s story here.

(As a reminder, the Triangle area of North Carolina, as proven by a DirecTV study, has the biggest contingent of Redskins fans outside the D.C. area.)


  1. I am willing to guess that Ark Monk, who had to wait 10 years to get into the Hall, got just as much Triangle coverage when he was inducted. Maybe they all suffer from Panthermania!

  2. Art Monk got more coverage. Plus, there is no such thing as Panthermania. lol.

  3. Here is an interesting article about John Riggins not attending the Russ Grimm induction into the Hall of Fame.