I woke up to a flat tire this morning, which was just great! So, I walked over to the local Dunkin’ Donuts (because I can’t afford to drop four dollars on Starbucks), and thought about a few things as I combed through my daily reads on my phone. Chief among these thoughts was whether or not Roger Goodell enacted the some form of the Patriot Act without anyone noticing? Was there a press release? Or, in reality, is the inconsistent way in which he operates just omnipotence masked by hilarious levels of incompetence?
If you’re on the fence about the idea, just see below:
Per NFL PR, players don’t need to be there the whole time. Marshawn Lynch may be OK on this one. League was monitoring.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 27, 2015
The league was monitoring Marshawn Lynch’s responsibility to play nice with the media, I guess, because #MediaDay is an important event for the NFL (and its integrity, of course, because integrity is like the bloodline of professional American sports and stuff!). And Marshawn Lynch is not bigger than #MediaDay; despite the fact that, in actuality, he kind of is, because #MediaDay is horrible and mostly stupid.
I mean, the whole point of #MediaDay is so the wacky, fish-out-of-the-water media can interact with players. These idiots serve as tiny vessels that, through slap-stick comedy akin to “Dumb and Dumber To” (not a compliment), display the human side of robots like Kam Chancelor and Bill Belichick.
The end game works out well for nearly every party involved. The league gets stupid Buzzfeed articles (THE 27 CRAZIEST QUESTIONS ASKED AT #MEDIADAY!!!) that purportedly help build up excitement for the average non-football fan who watches the Super Bowl; the players get to field questions that don’t start with “Talk about” (e.g. instead of “Talk about that play where” … the wonky media outlets ask Jonas Gray about his favorite Power Ranger growing up or something); and the media gets what it covets most – content!! – all while the Jimmy Olsens out there still maintain their PROFESSIONALISM while cackling at the idea of Rob Gronkowski singing Katy Perry songs, like the rest of us.
All very serious stuff.
So, yeah, MONITORING. Totally necessary here. Fucking insane.
In other (non) news, Deflategate – finally, almost mercifully — took a day off yesterday. Like most, I’ve consumed way too much coverage of this ongoing topic. And despite the overblown hysteria that has surrounded each and every development, without question, it has been an interesting story from several vantage points.
So, with no clear advances in the story on the horizon, I picked out what I felt have been the three best pieces from this entire fiasco thus far. These columns don’t necessarily outline any resolution, but in a vacuum, they offer commentary about the story and the current state of sports (and the media who covers it):
Ever wonder why reporters ask the same benign questions? Yeah, me too. And Curtis, who is excellent, writes a phenomenal piece about an oldie but a goodie: the “Talk About” question (that’s not really a question).
“This is perhaps the only defensible Talk About: The one that puts the athlete or coach at ease by showing him you’re interested in what he has to say.”
“Bill Belichick doubles down on Patriots’ innocence in deflate-gate, dares NFL to prove him wrong” by Dan Wetzel
For my money, Wetzel paints a setting better than anyone else in sports journalism. This piece, published hours after Bill Belichick’s defiant press conference last Saturday, does exactly that:
“Whether or not that’s enough to explain deflate-gate away for you, at least try to appreciate the situation:
This was straight Original Gangster stuff by Belichick, a full-on punch to the face of the league office he has long despised and believes turns nearly every molehill into a mountain either because of general football incompetence or to drive television ratings.”
“Deflategate: Some Perspective, Please?” by Don Banks
Every time this story jumps the shark – and I’ve counted at least four separate occasions that this has happened – go back and read this piece on SI from Banks. It was published just hours before Bill Belichick went AP Physics on us.
“I find it deflating that the NFL rule book has grown so complex and obtuse that it makes the U.S. tax code look like light summer reading.
Remember when the league’s biggest problem was mainly that the Super Bowl was overhyped and always sucked? Ah, the good old days.”
That’s that. As always, thanks for reading. More to come. @Hadfield__.