Monday, February 7, 2011

We watch the game we WANT to see

Being a sports junkie, my television is constantly tuned to ESPN or one of its 20 offshoot channels, and my radio is locked on AM sports talk.

I might need to find something else to get addicted to.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but what viewers and listeners get these days isn't a talking head giving an opinion and then interested in an intelligent, mature discussion on the matter.

All we get now is sermons and screaming and bravado and lectures - mostly by people who have never played sports past the high school level. And my favorite part of sports debates is the uncanny ability for folks to spin anything in their favor, even when they are backed into a corner and dead wrong.

When 999,999 people saw that Rashard Mendenhall got hit by two Packers and fumbled in the Super Bowl, but one lone voice in the forest says he didn't get hit, he just dropped the ball because it helps his stance, that's when I have had enough.

Case in point, the world's best dressed chattering donkey - Skip Bayless.

The "First Take" bit player always seems to find a way to turn anything into support of his usually ridiculous commentary. When it is his quarterback, the Pro Bowl is quite an accomplishment. When he wants to rip another QB, the Pro Bowl means nothing, it is all about the Super Bowl. He sometimes can argue against an argument he made the day before and then argue with the other arguer about arguing with him over it.


Bayless is a caricature. A clown wearing Armani who got a cherry gig on national TV and now thinks he comes down off the cross every morning to discuss the NBA. He is not alone, but he is the leader of the yahoo pack. Colin Cowherd isn't much better, so my dilemma is I am caught between a rockhead and a crummy place for sports talk for most of the morning and early afternoon when it comes to ESPN programming.

There are plenty of examples everywhere, not just ESPN. Fox Sports, Sporting News, etc. I assume many people don't agree with my takes all the time, but I try not to be so stubborn and blind and ridiculous that the words "I was wrong" cease to exist in my vocabulary.

Did Green Bay win or did Pittsburgh lose? Is LeBron James a spoiled freak of nature or a misunderstood all-time great? Are the Indians an awful baseball team or ... well, no good debate on the other side of that one.

We watch the games we WANT to see.

But it is getting tougher to listen to others talk about those games after the fact.

- Bill Tilton


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