Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Brief And Obvious Point About... Distractions

Can't Argue With Results
You want to know what's never lost a team a football game?

Not penalties, or turnovers, or missed tackles or bad coaching or home field advantage or bad luck or kicker malfeasance or clock management or injuries or spectacular effort by the opposition...

No, it's the most dread mistake of all, the one that gets trotted out every time there's a big game in the NFL to hype: distractions during the hype of the game.

Whether it's Jim McMahon mooning a helicopter, Joe Namath guaranteeing a win, or any of the other ballast and bilge water that phoning it in media members kick out rather than, I don't know, statistical analysis or a fresh insight, it's football dogma to say that any player who dares to make himself into more or less than the same-old same-old interview fodder is doomed, doomed I tell you, to being the Ultimate Scapegoat for his team's loss. (Oh, and if they win? It's because the team somehow overcame Distraction due to some other greater force. Probably the QB's steely-eyed focus, or the coach really controlling things behind closed doors.)

It's as if everyone covering the damned game wants to be a hack creative writer for the WWE, where all you need to do to beat any opponent is to have some other dude he hates come out during the match, wiggle his arms in the air to do a voodoo curse, and get pinned by the previously hapless opponent that used to be dead in the corner. Oh Noes! Distraction Conquers All!

The lesson, as always, is that Sports Reporters suck harder, on a per capita basis, than any other segment of the media, and that includes the political operatives that they eventually turn into. You are better off dealing with gossip or entertainment folks; at least they might give you some mildly interesting stray fact numbers in regards to television ratings or the money that's being made, rather than this perpetual passion play of Who's Being Mean to some of the least worthwhile people in America. (No, not the owners! For once.)

What wins football games is football players, making football plays. And I guarantee you that their ability and skill to make those plays has about as much to do with how they deal with a pool of reporters as the color of the cheerleaders' outfits, and maybe less. Moving on...

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