By Bruce Allen
Why does everything have to have a “storyline?”
Why can’t this weekend just be about what promises to be an incredible football game between two great football teams at the peak of their power?
Instead, football fans have contrived “Good vs Evil” and “RunningUpTheScoreGate” shoved down their throats. Why? Is this game not compelling enough on its own merits? Is there a lack of things to talk about about these two teams and how they could attack one another on the field Sunday? Or is the football media just too lazy to do actual football analysis and instead wants to go with hyperbolic
What is easier for a sports talk host…to talk intelligently about the game, the matchups, the possible strategies on each side, or to stir up the listeners and callers into a four hour debate on whether running up the score is a good thing or a bad thing, with each host of the show taking a different side (even though one of them came down on the exact opposite side yesterday.) and insulting the opposing viewpoints?
If you want to know how the Colts have a top passing defense despite losing their top defensive backs, you might need to dig hard to find someone willing to explore that angle. If you want some ideas on how the Patriots might deploy Adalius Thomas this Sunday after seemingly targeting him as the guy who might be able to slow down Dallas Clark, you might need to visit a messageboard, since I can’t find anyone in the media willing to venture some guesses on that one.
It would be nice if we could get some actual football talk, this week of all weeks, rather than coming up with contrived storylines which are usually reserved for making a lame game seem interesting. This game can stand on its own.
A few links from this morning:
In the Shameless-Selfpromotion category, here is a bit I wrote for the Boston Metro entitled Runupthescoregate exposes further media idiocy. Perhaps you watched Mark Schlereth and Steve Young be harshly critical of the Patriots this week on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. From that piece you’ll see that those two seem to have changed their tune from their own playing days. Young especially had no problem dropping 50 points on opponents and scoring in the fourth quarter.
Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post today asks the following question: “When you’ve already beaten a team so badly over the previous 45 minutes, why is it respectful to suddenly go easy, so they’ll falsely feel better about themselves?”
Pat Kirwan notes that suddenly the Patriots and Colts offenses appear very similar.
Harkening back to our “storylines” gripe above, out in Indy, Bob Kravitz tells readers that “it’s incumbent upon the Indianapolis Colts — those Beacons of Purity in heavenly conflict with the Forces of Pure Evil — to not only beat the favored Patriots, but humble them, humiliate them and take their camcorder from them.”
Bill Barnwell will hopefuly have his normal Thursday column ready for sometime this afternoon, so keep checking back here today on Patriots Daily.