Has anyone else noticed that we are now forced to digest our sports “news” in the following manner: 5-10% scores and breaking news, 90-95% “analysis”- really the opinions of washed up has been’s, wannabe’s and never will be’s who act as though their opinion is more important than the games they are being paid to cover? Don’t believe me? Watch the NFL draft next year, watch how Mel Kiper turns red and insolent when players he picks don’t go to the teams he picked them to go to, or don’t get picked at all. Hell, watch Inside the NFL, where they have a whole segment where the commentators discuss who WILL win, and look at the cameras as if somehow because they said it, it will be so.
Having opinions fed to you as fact has created this strange sports culture where people like Tony Kornheiser-who I absolutely adore on Pardon The Interruption for his opinions, is allowed to destroy Monday Night Football. Not because he doesn’t have a great mind, but because football needs color commentary, not discussions about every topic under the sun other than what is going on on the field. Its not just him either-how many crypt keepers/former players/coaches who can form a somewhat coherent sentence are all over the Sunday pre-game shows saying/doing the strangest things? Don’t get me wrong, some of it is highly entertaining, I used to love Stuart Scott infusing hip-hop as he delivered the SCORES. Now? Its like every sentence on Sports Center starts with “Well I think…”
It doesn’t just start and end with ESPN, Fox does it too, why in tarnation would I want to see former players and coaches in suits “demonstrating” plays. Can’t I just watch the game to see what plays are going to be run? If I want to know who is going to win the game, shouldn’t I just watch it? Why do I need you to tell me what you think about who’s going to win, when I have access to the same stats you do? That whole intangible “well I used to play” thing only works if you’re looking to influence an audience that has not mastered the use of simple brainwaves or elementary reading and math. I can’t add for shit, and guess what, these cats are always going to be wrong 50% of the time on every game they pick. It’s just as bad as the human interest stories the networks seem to love to dump on the female reporters. I promise I could have gone my entire life without knowing that David Garrard has something wrong with his bowels. The whole fifteen minute segment about it during the playoffs last season? Useless in the grand scheme of the game. For my trouble? I can’t watch Jacksonville without thinking to myself “I wonder if he has to go to the bathroom right now”. Ick.
If you watch any of these sports “news” shows, Tampa Bay shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. Never mind that they won the division outright, beating Boston 10 out of 18 times in the process, made quick work of Chicago and jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the ALCS, this was supposed to go the other way. They call it sports for a reason boys and girls. It’s a great story, I get it, Tampa Bay Rays have sucked for the past ten years. Boston won the division and the World Series last year and I’m sure fans, stans, and people who expect us to take their opinions as fact were expecting more of the same so they could write the same old stories and be “right”.
Thankfully, sports aren’t played out on paper or basic cable “opinioncasts”. Something really has to happen, and I’ll drink to that. Everytime.
Like Teritaâ€™s take on sports? Tired of people assuming that women arenâ€™t die hard sports fans? Or maybe youâ€™re using this column to make sure your bfâ€™s weekly sports obsession doesnâ€™t completely put you to sleep and you can make conversation? Either way, read the rest of Teritaâ€™s sportie run down here.