Yes folks, media corporations in America are indeed THAT dumb.
This goes back to SB Nation's excellent Small Market Roundtable series, where several SB Nation writers (including your's truly) wrote articles expressing a fan's POV on many small market topics, including the media and small market teams. Emphasizing large markets over small markets has doomed the MLB, and it will soon doom the NBA. The World Series will feature Colorado, a small market in the MLB, and perhaps Cleveland, another small market. This will kill MLB's post-season ratings, which are already in the toilet, and make Bud Selig and cigar chomping TV executives sweet. Rather than promote the event itself (it's the friggin' World Series for godsakes), FOX and the MLB promote these silly big market franchises like the Yankees (yawn), Red Sox (boring), Cubs (I'm asleep), and the Giants (I'm now brain dead). That not to disrespect the fans of those clubs, but for someone like me in the Midwest I could give a crap about the dumb Red Sox v. Yankees rivalry. I know it means a lot to people on the East Coast, where the corporate headquarters for the MLB is located.
NEWSFLASH: Not everyone lives over there. I, and about 25 million other people, could give a crap about the damn Red Sox and Yankees.
Small markets winning championships, like St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Tampa Bay, have been the lifeblood of the modern NFL. Teams like Carolina and Tennessee have been to Super Bowls in the last 8 years, and teams like Indy (knocking off Chicago) and Tampa Bay (knocking out Oakland) have shown small market teams can beat large market teams. Yes, I consider Oakland a large market. It's the Bay Area. If you can't sell ticket in that market, you're an idiot. This knowledge that small markets can take down large ones instills hope for fans, who come back each and every year not just hoping but KNOWING there team has a chance. That's all fans ask for: A chance to root for a winner.
So, it's good the Colts are getting some recognition, but it is by no means fair coverage. Don't get me wrong. Small market coverage is far better in the NFL than the MLB or NBA, but that isn't saying much. Professional baseball died in America a long time ago, and the NBA is slowly circling the drain as well. The NFL is in better shape, but chew on this: The Cowboys, a team that has sucked for 10-plus years and hasn't won a playoffs game since Bill Clinton's first term as President, get more media coverage than the Colts. That's sad. Again, that's not a swipe at Terry and Cowboy Nation, but the Cowboys have been bad for a long time now. Yet, you still see a ton of Cowboys coverage. It's nuts.
I harp on this topic not because I feel the Colts are getting disrespected, but because I have taken note of how the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL have utterly failed with their respective sports. The NFL continues to crush these other leagues because their product, at the small market level, is better nurtured and promoted. That said, I'm still not satisfied as to the extent of the small market influence on how the sport is covered by external media sources. Thing like NFL Network help, but it's not a full solution. If Indianapolis has the second most popular team in football, you'd logically expect to see more media attention. Sadly, that's not the case. I really hope the NFL corrects this and doesn't follow down the same, tired path that doomed leagues like the MLB.