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The Media Can Be Evil

Yes, I’m talking specifically about the story the Boston Herald released on Saturday, the day before the Patriots attempted to win their fourth Super Bowl in seven years, and complete the perfect 19-0 season. The Herald cites a source saying a member of the Pats’ video department filmed the St. Louis Rams walkthrough the day before the Pats won the 2002 Super Bowl. Literally, they’re accusing the Pats of spying on their opponents, which would be pretty jacked up. My problem here isn’t the story — it’s perfectly fine if they really have a source — it’s just the timing.

In week two when all the initial Patriots spygate bullcrap was going on, it provided just about as bad of a distraction as you could get. There was plenty of attention drawn to the issue. Matter of fact, it was the talk of the NFL for the next few weeks. Patriots’ spygate dominated headlines.

And that brings me to the current issue at hand. How plausible is it that the Herald just received the Rams story and scrambled to pump it out as soon as possible? Not too likely if you ask me. I’m 99% convinced they were hanging onto this story to release it at the optimal time to sabotage the Patriots — the day before the Super Bowl. What more did they stand to gain by releasing it now as opposed to earlier in the year when they most likely had it? Nothing in my opinion except for a futile attempt to distract New England. Kinda like when the New York Daily News released the story about Rick Ankiel’s HGH use the day after he hit two home runs and had 7 RBI. Jerkoff timing.

I’m quite disturbed about the conscious choice I believe the Herald made to intentionally distract the Pats with the timing of the release of their story. And in case you’re asking, I don’t think it will effect the Pats, and I’ll say New England wins 41-24 or so. Remember, back in April, I said you might as well cancel the NFL season because the Patriots were going to dominate it thoroughly. So far I’ve been correct, and there’s no reason to shy away from that now.

Enough of this Tom Brady Boot Crap

Hopefully I can bring some closure to this awful topic that’s been so prevalent in the sports world the past few days. Why all of a sudden did the sports media turn all paparazzi on Tom Brady? Why did people grow so frantic about a football player visiting his girlfriend with a walking boot on his foot? The treatment of this story by the media was both absurd and disgusting. Honestly, I was truly embarrassed to be a sports fan watching the media prod the photos like they were chastising Britney Spears for driving with her kids on her lap.

Oh my god, oh my god, look, Tom Brady has a walking boot on! Oh my god, he’s hurt! Oh my god, he went out to a club at night and wasn’t wearing the boot! Seriously, to see some of my favorite sports shows break this down or use tabloid stories as their leads made me sick.

Wednesday night at Sporting News Radio, host Todd Wright asked his guest (a writer covering the Patriots) about eight minutes into the interview if there was any concern about Brady’s ankle. Wright prefaced the question by asking if he properly placed the Brady question in the context of the interview — towards the end of it — where an issue of less importance would belong. It was proper placement; it’s an overblown story but still merits some discussion. Bottom line: the guy is fine, just suffering from battle wounds like any other player would be following a rigorous game the previous day. He’s going to shred the Giants and win another Super Bowl MVP. End of story.

Where’s Tiki Barber Now?

Not long after the Giants had won the NFC title game, advancing to the Super Bowl, did the question pop into my head: Where’s Tiki Barber now? Ballhype reminded me of this thought and now I must ask it again. Where’s Tiki Barber now? I never really got into the whole Eli vs. Tiki bout that started earlier in the year, but I was quite disappointed with Tiki. His first move out of the field and into the broadcast chair and he’s ripping guys he played with no less than a year before? That was poor form. Poor form. He never needed to open up that can.

Alas, the Giants, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, are getting the last laugh. While Tiki talked a mess of ish how Coughlin ruined his enjoyment of the game, and how Eli wasn’t a leader, the Giants brushed it off and shoved it up Tiki’s ass. Barber retires and the Giants reach the Super Bowl. Where’s he now for his response? I’m not an Eli fan in the least bit, but I’d like to know what Tiki’s response is to what’s ensued. Karma is a bitch. Oh yeah, and love it or hate it Tiki, Eli Manning is in the Super Bowl. I hate it, and Tiki must be swallowing his words. Hard.

Get Off of Eli Manning’s Nuts

Just the same way many people hammered Eli for his crappy play in the past, those same folks have come full circle to jump on his nuts following the Giants win Sunday over the Bucs. See, that’s just the thing — many people called it Eli’s win, not the Giants’ win. Tom Coughlin didn’t get a win, Brandon Jacobs didn’t get a win, Michael Strahan didn’t get a win, nope. Only Eli Manning got a win. I heard Joe Buck say something to that effect during the broadcast — that Eli Manning, not the Giants, was beating Tampa Bay. I heard people say after the game that Eli got the monkey off his bank joining his brother in the second round of the playoffs. Sure, Eli had a good game, but was the victory solely his? I think not.

I can’t remember the last time a guy got as much credit as Eli has for doing as little as he’s done. He LOST to the Patriots but was made out to be a king for his performance. He didn’t even throw for 200 yards against the Bucs yet he’s now a bonafide playoff quarterback. For some reason or another, the Giants have now become the trendy sleeper pick to pull off an upset against the Cowboys. I’m not buying it. Eli can easily go back to throwing picks and turning the ball over, and Dallas is going to slam the Giants for the third time this year. Maybe then everyone will remember how much they used to hate on Eli because they all seem to have since forgotten.

OK, Who Didn’t Vote Brady for MVP?

The news of the day isn’t so much that Tom Brady was voted the NFL MVP, but rather, that a writer voted for someone other than Brady as MVP. Tom Brady received 49 of 50 votes as the NFL’s MVP according to the AP vote. Apparently the one person who didn’t vote for Brady chose Brett Favre as his MVP. Sure, Favre had a great, unexpected comeback season, but how could you possibly vote for anyone other than Tom Brady? That’s like some dickwod not voting Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken to the Hall of Fame because they don’t believe anyone should make it unanimously on the first ballot. Makes no sense.

Let me ask this: what more do you want a player to do before you award him the MVP? Tom Brady had the best season by a quarterback EVER in the history of the game. How is it possible that that isn’t good enough for someone? Brady broke Peyton Manning’s single season touchdown record by throwing for 50. His touchdown to interception differential was greater than any other quarterback in history. He led his team to a 16-0 regular season — the first time that had ever been done. He finally gets some receiving weapons around him and utilizes them to his advantage, only to get snubbed by one writer. Brady proved that if Daunte Culpepper could throw for nearly 40 TDs with Randy Moss, he would throw for 50. In his first year ever in the league with true receiving weapons, Brady took complete advantage of his tools to put up a record breaking season. What more do you want from him? How can you not vote Tom Brady as MVP?

UPDATE:
Via the comments, looks like we have our man.

Sydney Australia Gets NFL Network

Bryant Gumbel NFL NetworkIt took me traveling halfway across the world to finally catch an NFL Network televised game. I live in Los Angeles which is where the NFL Network is based, but my local cable system does not offer the channel. In Australia however, 17 hours ahead in time, and only about what, 10,000 miles away in distance, I was able to watch NFL Network games. Go figure.

First I saw my Bengals get embarrassed by the Niners on the Saturday night game two weeks ago. Less than a week later, I got to see the Steelers bring the pain to the Rams on Thursday night. Both telecasts were commercial free — it was amazing. The only thing that would have made the games better were if Gumbel weren’t doing the play-by-play; it’s really embarrassing how bad he is. I heard Gumbel screw up names, plays, and strategy analysis. I didn’t even have a spotting board or producer with me and I still knew the names of guys making plays on the field better than him.

So with the final game of the regular season for New England set for kickoff Saturday night against the Giants on NFL Network, I may have left Australia about a week too early. It sucks that most of the country won’t be able to get this landmark game. Further, I’m left scratching my head wondering why we can’t get our asses together to have it air 10 miles away, but they can figure it out 10,000 miles away. Incredible.

UPDATE: Per Signal in the comments, the game will now be simulcast on NBC and CBS

Sick of the Overhyped Managerial Jobs

When told over the weekend that the Patriots/Colts game received a ridiculous amount of media hype during the week, I was skeptical. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason why, but I didn’t feel like I got the full, Super-Bowl caliber dose of Pats/Colts all week. Then I figured it out: there was so much attention given to the managerial hirings in baseball that it clouded the attention given to the football game. I’m glad that we’re probably done talking about those openings being filled because they didn’t deserve anywhere near the hype they received. Of course, I’m talking about the hiring of Joe Girardi and Joe Torre.

I can’t believe people are making a big deal over the Dodgers hiring Joe Torre. That’s exactly what LA wants — headlines and buzz. The news appeared on the front page of the local paper. No, not a big-time player getting signed, just a new manager being hired. Oh yeah, while another one, to whom ownership pledged allegiance the day the season ended, was disgustingly kicked out the door. There are two dynamics of the hire I didn’t like: the fact that Little was committed to and then essentially fired, and then all the headlines Torre got. As my friend Ben Maller joked, are people going to pay big bucks to watch Torre make a double-switch? Exactly.

Unless Torre convinces the Dodgers to up their payroll to $200 million, his presence won’t make a big difference. Oh yeah, and as for all those A-Rod to follow Torre to LA rumors? Bullcrap. Has everyone forgotten that this is the same manager who batted what will wind up being the all-time home run leader in baseball history 8th in a playoff game? Now why would A-Rod want to follow that? If Alex is going to an LA team, it’s certainly not the Dodgers. And last I checked, Bob Abreu and Derek Jeter weren’t following Torre either, so what’s the big deal. There isn’t one. It’s all just a big farce that they want you to believe is important.