Friday, February 2, 2007

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Worst Super Bowl journamalism yet

Over years, with focus and concentration, I have learned to tune out most of the Super Bowl press coverage. Every once in a while, however, something seeps through, and I must simply stand back and gape at what might be the lowest forms of sports literature known to man.

For exhibit A this week, I give you the following paragraphs from Time's Sean Gregory:

[W]hatever you think of Manning, I would argue that it's best to root against him in the Super Bowl. Yes, even among his fans. It's Manning's quest for that one missing part, that one imperfection, that will sustain our attention. "From a fan's perspective, the joy is in the conversation," says sports sociologist Jay Coakley, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. "Peyton's longing for a Super Bowl keeps the conversation going, and if he wins, that conversation stops." In an age of sports parity, in which seven teams have won World Series titles this decade and about a dozen NFL teams were fighting for playoff spots during the last weeks of the season, we can use a dramatic story line.

Did anyone really want to see Charlie Brown kick that football (thanks for the reflexes, Lucy)? Would Ernie Banks, the smiling Mr. Cub chortling "Let's play two," be as beloved if the Cubs were winners? Is the sports world really a better place since the Boston Red Sox overcame their "curse" and in 2004 finally won the World Series?

To answer his questions: yes, yes, and hell yes.

I'm rooting for a Super Bowl that has a meaningful fourth quarter. But part of me also wants Manning to either win it or lose valiantly in the way John McEnroe lost his first Wimbledon final to Bjorn Borg -- precisely so sports fans do not have to recycle the exact same conversation about Manning that has taken place for the last seven years.

Hat tip: Slate's Tommy Craggs

posted by Dan on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM


Is "journamalism" a hip neologism I haven't yet heard of, or a typo?

posted by: asg on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

Hell yes, Dan. Peyton has earned it - go Colts!

posted by: Connor on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

Is there something about Peyton that inspires journalists to stop thinking. Nothing makes me reach for the clicker faster than one of the talking heads going "it may not be fair, but ..." Hey buddy, if it's not fair, don't say it. Don't brag about making a comment that you feel is wrong from a historical perspective. As you say, there's no conversation going on here. No one really making intelligent comparisons between Manning and quarterbacks of the past. Go Colts. "Waiter, this conversation isn't very good." Time for live organ transplants.

posted by: Bob_R on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

Right, this conversation has gotten as good as it's gonna get. Nothing left to say on the topic, so let's end it with a Peyton win and move on to the monkey the next guy's carrying on his back. Or maybe we can start talking about Peyton's streak of Superbowl wins, is he better than Brady?... whatever. In sports there's always the next conversation.

posted by: lewp on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

No, the worst Super Bowl journalism was Jim Nantz' subtle reference to Dungy's son's suicide at the trophy presentation. I forgot the exact line, but it was something like..."and considering the hardships over the last 14 months." He shouldn't have going anywhere near there. Just let the guy celebrate.

posted by: Mike Foley on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

Well, it is always good to have at least one guy or team who we'd really like to see win just because they haven't yet and they really deserve it. But it's not like Manning's the last guy in the NFL who deserves a ring. Wouldn't we love to see the Saints do it, after all New Orleans has been through? LaDainian Tomlinson is a guy who deserves one as well.

posted by: Adam Herman on 02.02.07 at 09:03 AM [permalink]

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