September 25, 2017

Real Football Talk? Too Much To Ask From Media.

By Bruce Allen
[email protected]

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.

Got something to add?


  1. So let’s break down this Shameless-Selfpromotion-Gate…

  2. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    The only thing that’s necessary about Sunday — besides the game itself, plenty of beer and snacks, and my girl wearing her best tight bluejeans — is a television graphic that shows the Patriots and Colts helmets colliding and exploding. Maybe they could show that as they go out for every commercial break.

    That’s it.

    Re: Schlereth, in the realm of “if you can’t say something nice …” I’ll say this for him — he’s probably the hottest guy in the bathhouse at any given moment. That’s something.

  3. JGIG wins the prize for submitting the 1000th comment in the history of Patriots Daily!

    We’ll be glad to send your $5 million prize, but please first send us $10,000 to help us get the account set up.

  4. Thank you for digging up those stats on Steve Young’s lopsided games. The Quarterback Lawyer’s self-righteous rants this season are just disgusting. He kept saying, “I don’t want to have to talk about the score, I want to talk about the great football.” So don’t, Steve. Talk about the football. Who says you have to make an issue over the scores? I really can’t stand hypocrisy.

    I just can’t go and read that Kravitz article. I keep reminding myself, They live in Indiana. I’d probably be an a**hole, too.

  5. In all fairness to Kravitz, most Colt fans don’t like him much either. He’s not a sports reporter as much as an “opinion guy” and comes off as amusing half the time, and irritating about 75% in this Colt fan’s opinion. And he is definitely not a pom-pom shaker. He sounds like Bellichick often and is about as pessimistic and negative regarding the Colts as any newsman. The stuff that gets national attention is his over-the-top stuff like this article. The Colts blog 18to88 actually lists him as persona non grata.

    Hey, good luck Sunday. Just not too much.

  6. TheKnidsRok says:

    Thanks, Bruce, for putting down in writing what I’ve been bitching about to anyone who’d listen to me all week.

    This is a pet peeve of mine even before ESPN decided not to talk about anything Pats related without turning it into some sort of “-gate” controversy. I hate it when “analysts” spend all their time talking about how one team being favored and the other “flying under the radar” is going to affect the game, or justifying picking one of the 11 playoff teams that didn’t win the Super Bowl the previous season to go all the way this year because after last season’s loss they’ll be “on a mission.”

    It seems like the amount of NFL media chatter dedicated to the tangible and intangible factors into a given game are in directly inverse proportion to the amount they’re actually going to affect the game. What’s the point in talking about intangibles, anyway, when their very definition is that we can’t say anything definite about them?

    Now that these lazy, storyline pushing hacks can get away with spending all their time psychoanalyzing Bill Belichick, the rest of the Patriots, and the body language of the Kraft family, that’s pretty much all we’re going to get all year.

    And then, at the end of the season, when the playoffs are here, and we’re desperate for any sort of shred of cogent analysis about the upcoming match-up between the Patriots and their divisional round opponent (yes, I have us penciled in for a first round bye already), what are the media going to give us? My bet is speculation on whether the media circus surrounding the Patriots all season will be a distraction or a rallying point for them as they go into the post-season.

    The sound you hear at that point will be my head exploding.

  7. This has been going on for a LONG time now in the Sports Media….it’s all about the “Soap Opera” aspect of sports…just look at how much time they spent last year talking about the Belichick/Mangini handshakes…..that one had parts one, two and three….the only thing that will stop it, is if WEEI’s ratings start to go down and there is no sign of that….I guess that says something about the fans too.

  8. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    I had no idea you were a Nigerian prince!

    Don’t worry, though: Bill Gates is testing out a new Microsoft e-mail program and will pay you $100 for every person you forward this to. THIS IS REAL!!!!

  9. Oh kay come on not all of WEEI is crap, just Dennis and Callahan, the big show, the stuff after that is boring…. okay so basically, except for the midday show it’s crap.

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