Friday, October 9, 2009

Bandwagons Ho!

Why are sports talk show hosts so quick to jump on and off someone’s bandwagon? These men and women are paid entirely too much money to just sit in front of a microphone all day and spout opinions about sports. Then doofuses like me listen and complain. Yes, I am helping to keep these knobs in their cushy jobs; you didn’t need to point that out.

So why is there no objectivity or real analysis among these sports talkers? The example I will use is something I just heard today. Before the NFL season started it was a consensus that the Denver Broncos weren’t going to be very good and the hiring of 32 year old Josh McDaniels as head coach was being questioned. Jay Cutler wanted out so they traded him. Brandon Marshall wanted out so they suspended him. Denver’s two best players wanted out of the organization and a lackluster preseason spelled mediocre at best for the Broncos.

Four games into the regular season Denver is 4-0. Today talking head #1 asks his co-host “Do we reassess McDaniels’ ability as head coach?” and the answer from talking head #2, “Yes, we do. He’s done a remarkable job.”

Has he? Brandon Marshall’s sudden love of his head coach could be nothing more than Marshall realizing he was flushing his career down the toilet by being branded T.O. junior. Let’s look at that 4-0 start:

Game 1: Denver-12 Bengals-7 Denver won on a fluke play with 11 seconds left. Take that away and they lose 7-6. You might say, “but the Bengals are a different team this year”. Are they? They followed up a big upset of the Steelers by going into overtime with the dreadful Cleveland Browns so how good the Bengals are is debatable.
Game 2: Denver-27 Browns-6 I could field a team of 8 high school players, 2 guys out of the stands, 4 women from a Pilates class at the local gym, 3 verbally abusive construction workers, 5 soccer players and Raider QB Jamarcus Russell and beat the Browns.
Game 3: Denver-23 Raiders-3 See above only replace Jamarcus Russell with Browns QB Derek Anderson and the Browns with the Raiders.
Game 4: Denver-17 Cowboys-10 The best team they’ve beaten this year but that’s still not saying much. If you said before the season started that Denver would beat Dallas in week 4 that would have meant more, but through 4 games Dallas is 2-2 and has turned out to be pretty quotidian. Romo looks terrible, they don’t have any big play receivers and the defense is average.

So Denver has beaten 2 horrible teams and 2 middling ones. But Talk Show Boys 1 and 2 think we have to reassess Josh McDaniels and the job he’s done. Denver is starting a stretch where they play San Diego twice, the Ravens, Steelers, Redskins and Giants. If they come out of it 8-2, 7-3 or maybe even 6-4 we can reassess the team and the coach, but they could easily be 5-5 or 4-6 after the Giants game. What will the Talk Show Twins have to say then? They will waffle back in the other direction and say “the Broncos are about what we expected them to be”.

All I want from my overpaid, ego-inflated talking heads is a little objectivity and analysis that goes beyond what I can do myself, and I’m getting neither.

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