Friday Rants is grateful this week for hearing the NFL is going to have a season this year. Yes, I know the “on again, off again” reporting has been relentless and frustrating. Funny how we all complained about the Brett Favre “will he, won’t he” reporting the last couple years. Small potatoes compared to this agony.
No, it REALLY sounds like the deal is done. And let us agree to not overreact with Vancouver-like violence when we find out final sticking points to reaching an agreement are something along the lines of players wanting extra compensation for autograph sessions…or owners not wanting the players to have multiple preferred parking spots at the stadiums.
The NFL takes us to a happy place. Always root for things that take us to a happy place… like this weekend’s opening of a brand new Winnie The Pooh.
But today is about rants…”oh bother”…
1. Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe the management of the Washington Redskins over the last several years. The addiction to the NFL is as visible in DC as anywhere. They continue to draw massive crowds and remain one of the most financially viable organizations in sports.
They recently announced come September solar power panels will be in place at FedEx Field and the adjacent parking lot. The system will provide part of the stadium’s electricity on game days and all of it otherwise. That’s very bright of them…but what about the team…
Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder…you’ve given your fans “leaders” such as Norv Turner, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs (The Sequel), Jim Zorn (sort of the Head Coach) and Mike Shanahan (who apparently left the rational part of his brain back in Denver). You’ve respected Albert Haynesworth and disrespected Donovan McNabb. You’ve spent so much money in all the wrong places. The installation of solar panels to power the stadium will likely provide way more electricity than anything we’ll see between the lines for many seasons to come. Your ownership is so odorous you are suing a cranky Redskins reporter over trying to document it. Instead of worrying about solar panels, worry about energizing a once-proud franchise now a national punch line.
2. Roger Clemens’ perjury trial ended as soon as it began. The U.S. Government apparently hired TNT’s Franklin & Bash to prosecute and they only took a few minutes to introduce inadmissible evidence not once, but twice. Sports Talking Heads are furious because they expected to have a topic of conversation for at least a week or two and they have to now find something else to create faux controversy about…
Sports Talking Heads…I know you are sad Roger’s case didn’t last longer so you could keep dragging out the “steroid era.” However, PLEASE do not comment about how much money taxpayers are spending chasing our tail on steroids. Perhaps I could draw your attention to…Washington DC (home of the afore-mentioned Redskins). We’ve been spending big-time, ultra-serious money on military actions in foreign lands for almost a decade now. You want to talk about gobs of money spent on chasing our tail? Not to mention the horrific human toll in doing so. It is absurd to talk about tax dollars wasted on Roger Clemens. Have you heard about our national debt? Would you like to run the numbers on that compared to a perjury trial? Talk up Clemens if you like but really…check yourselves when whining about our tax dollars at work (that goes for the judge in the case also). Show awareness for reality. Maybe there’s something about the city of Washington DC where wasting money, whether it be on a football team or a nation…a possible connection?
3. While we’re on the subject of Sports Talking Heads…it seems more and more announcers, reporters, writers, hosts, etc. opine on everything as if they’ve seen everything.
There are only 24 hours in a day and I sleep for six of them. Since sporting events are generally played all over the clock, all over the world…and sports overlap like never before…I find it fascinating to sit and listen to a reporter rattle off “expert” opinions on multiple games and sports from the day before.
Everyone is entitled to opinions whether based in fact or not. But in this era of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. we have to stop for a second and remember national sports media outlets do hire people to be specialists. People who cover a specific, finite sport, league, conference, etc. Those are people I seek out when I have not seen a game, interview, etc. and find what they are saying because they likely have seen more actual play, have more reliable sources, etc. Yet, even specialists can’t see everything every day.
Example…my hometown Eagles’ Kevin Kolb. The national media has decided he’ll save someone’s franchise this year. I know quality quarterbacking in the NFL is scarce but if you saw every game he played in (like I have)…which by the way isn’t too many…you would hold enthusiasm in check. People are saying Kevin is a savior. That is a big, big if…in my opinion…
Sports Talking Heads…the world is moving so fast I fear audiences are starting to actually rely on your every word and mistakenly believe you can intelligently jump from the NBA to NASCAR, from the NFL to the PGA…and people believe your opinions are well-informed just because you have a high-profile, rapid-fire forum. I hear some of you admitting to having a life and doing other things when not on the air or on deadline but many do not…and you try to come off as if you saw every NBA game the night before while also watching all the Top 25 college basketball action and every NHL contest. Don’t be phony. Keep it real. We can’t see it all and we know you can’t either. You are in the same boat as us – generalists. And as for these shows where they jump from one sports headline to another in a speed of light fashion…audiences…please keep in mind in a lot of cases YOUR opinion is as informed as the people you’re listening to, reading or watching. That’s MY opinion.