With all of Michael Phelps‘ record breaking activities in Beijing (and if you don’t know who Phelps is all I have to say is…really?), there has been a lot of talk lately on the AM sports talk shows about who the most dominant athlete of all time is in their sport, and who “the greatest” is. Obviously, this has been sparked by Phelps’ absolutely stunning performance in this year’s Olympics, winning 8 gold medals to put him alone at the top of the mountain for an individual Olympics, as well as owning the record for most gold medals, ever.
As usual, the talking sports heads have bandied about the usual names like Tiger Woods, Roger Federer (who just won his own Olympic gold in doubles tennis); however I’ve noticed one name conspicuously absent from the list. If you asked me who the most dominant athlete in his/her sport is right now, the answer is easy: it’s Doug Koenig.
Back in May, Doug quietly won his 11th Bianchi Cup, and during the mid to late 90s had racked up a string of wins that was unheard of in the sport. In fact, from 1997 until now, exactly two people have won the Bianchi Cup, and that winner has been Doug more often than it hasn’t been.
But unless you’re really tied into the shooting sports, you didn’t hear about Doug winning the Bianchi cup, because it certainly wasn’t on ESPN, and you didn’t hear about from your local talk show guy. In fact, I had completely forgotten the Cup myself until I got my latest issue of American Rifleman, which had a decent little two page spread on Doug winning – so that’s right, I didn’t hear about the championship of an event that went down in May until all the way into August.
Now, the blackout in the mainstream sports media is pretty easily explained – they don’t like “gun stuff”, and despite the fact that the shooting sports is a higher dollar industry than all the recreational golf in the country, it doesn’t crack ESPN’s coverage, which is fine because they’re a business and need to make business decisions.
My real question is why, since the Bianchi Cup is run by NRA, didn’t I get an email or something from them? I’m subscribed to all their mailing lists, and a thorough search of my inbox tells me that I never got so much as a “Congrats to Doug Koenig on winning his 11th Bianchi Cup” email. I don’t really get why NRA wouldn’t want to do more to publicize their own event – especially since Larry Potterfield from MidwayUSA dumped a bunch of money into it this year; I feel like I should have been getting emails left and right back in May screaming BIANCHI CUP.
I’m not often critical of NRA, because I think they take a lot of undeserved crap, but I think this is one time where I’m disappointed. I gobble up Shooting USA‘s coverage of the Bianchi Cup every year, but those episodes won’t air for quite some time. I really feel like a pistol game as prestigious as the Bianchi Cup should be promoted as widely and to as many outlets as possible – put something on the NRA’s front page, have Cam Edwards talk about it on his show, but don’t wait for the August issue of American Rifleman to get the word out to the general public.
But hey, that’s just my opinion, and I may be biased a little bit because I’ve always been infatuated with Bianchi Cup, and I hate to see things like a guy winning his 11th championship go relatively unheralded.