The McDavid Effect: Press Over-Covers Edmonton Oilers Rookie

In his new Adidas ad, the commercial commentators quickly announce how teams have been watching “this kid since he was 13 years old.”  And later on, they question, “Can he turn around a franchise?”  These are questions swarming around Connor McDavid, ever since the Edmonton Oilers announced his name as the first overall NHL draft pick.

Day in and day out, the press have been covering every move that Connor makes.  How Connor’s training went.  How he did at that one scrimmage in rookie camp.  How his eating habits have been.  Who he is rooming with.  When he’s putting on the Oilers sweater.  How fast he’s skating.  How he compares to Jack Eichel.  How he compares to Wayne Gretzky.

The list goes on and on.  We’re all guilty of it.  Our site has posted updates on McDavid (hell, this post is like an inception-type post of what we’re writing about now).  You have been eager to hear about McDavid’s wherabouts.  There is even a “Connor Cam” and a “Connor McDavid” tracker on Twitter.  Jersey sales, t-shirts, etc.  There is so much coverage of the press, and it is creating what I like to call “The McDavid Effect.”  The more coverage you put on this kid, the more pressure is going to be put on him.

In an feature on the rookie the other day, it stated that he works fine under pressure.  That was before a million cameras were shoved in his face and he was being watched by big brother.  This is getting a little crazy for an 18-year-0ld kid who just wants to play some hockey.

As an 18-year-old journalist, who understands that it is the press’s job to report the news once it breaks, I am here to declare that the press is over-covering Connor McDavid, and that it needs to stop before it gets to out of hand.

The obsession over McDavid is going to make it harder for the rookie to live.  He will get frustrated with the over-amount of cameras and coverage.  He will not be able to live his life anymore, due to the fact that it is always being monitored.  When you’re young (Connor and I are the same age) and when you perform at anything, you do what you can to make everyone happy.  You can’t always do that, and when you do something that pisses others off, it makes it worse for you.  You feel horrible, and you feel like you can’t do anything you want to do.  You have to do what others expect and like you to.

The more the press covers Connor, the more he will be afraid to make certain plays or to try and experiment as he transitions.  He will feel as if if he makes one mistake, the press is all over it.  He feels as if if he does not score, then everyone will be covering it due to the fact that the press is calling him “The Next One.”

I’m not saying we can’t be excited for Connor McDavid.  I’m not saying that places cannot write about him. However, tracking his every move and questioning him on a daily basis about anything going on with his daily lifestyle is not press.  It is not “news” because there is nothing “newsworthy” about it.  Seeing where he goes to get lunch before a big game is not news.  McDavid skating on the ice against a team and not putting up numbers isn’t a breaking news story.  He is still a kid, and we cannot expect everything from him, or to even cover everything about him.

Let McDavid live his life.  if you do that, more pressure will be lifted off his shoulders and he will perform better and have a more calm transition to the NHL, guaranteed.  Over-coverage of McDavid probably will continue to happen, but I’m here to try and speak out against it.  It’s not right.