Published January 9, 2013 - 9:20am
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Johnny Manziel won the Heisman and when he brought his older girlfriend to the ceremony, she got a lot of media attention.
But, AJ McCarron has won this competition. Not only did he win a National Championship, but his celebrity status has reached new heights with every sports media outlet and even tabloids discussing his girlfriend, Katherine Webb.
By now you probably know these tidbits of information about her:
- Auburn Graduate
- 2012 Miss Alabama USA
- Brent Musburger thinks she’s attractive
- ESPN apologized for the comments
The Power of Twitter
Katherine Webb and AJ McCarron met on twitter in early December. It was a month ago and at that time, Katherine had 380 twitter followers. When news broke that they were dating, she climbed to roughly 2,000 followers. With ESPN’s coverage of her during the Championship game, her account skyrocketed and she now has well over 200,000 followers.
What’s amazing about twitter is the accessibility of people and that the interactions are public. So when Lebron James followed her, it is visible to everybody. When other football players like Aaron Murray and NFL player Darnell Docket make comments about her, we can be entertained by the responses of AJ McCarron:
Katherine Webb has even had Donald Trump and other people reach out to her on twitter. With college football season over, her rise to fame and relationship with AJ McCarron is the hottest topic in the media.
Reasons for Excessive Media Attention
I’m interested in hearing the thoughts of our readers on this. Here are some issues that I think fuel this media frenzy towards creating a celebrity couple out of these two college students:
1) College Football – It is the 2nd biggest sport in the United States. It ranks behind NFL with their star power and ahead of the NBA, baseball, and every other sport. The TV ratings are high throughout the United States and everybody was tuned into the National Championship (or at least the first half).
2) Celebrities – Americans love celebrities and in sports a game will have a much larger appeal if the general public see a drama between star players.
3) Coaches – College football has traditionally focused media attention on coaches. With players leaving the sport so quickly to play professionally, the casual fan may only recognize the unique coaches and the Southeastern Conference has done an exceptional job of attracting entertaining personalities as coaches. With ESPN’s excessive coverage of Tim Tebow and then Cam Newton, you can see how media entities need to elevate players to celebrity status in order to improve ratings. With the Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron, we will likely see this trend continue even more.
4) Lopsided Game – The National Championship was over before it started and by the end of the first quarter, people were already turning off their televisions. It was the first National Championship on cable and ESPN wanted to make sure it was a success and the announcers needed something to discuss. Katherine Webb gave fans something to watch and helped give a solution to ESPN’s dilemma.
We want to hear from you: Why do you think there is so much media attention towards AJ McCarron and his girlfriend?