I think we're averaging 3 or 4 fan posts a week on this topic of media. We all need to get over it. Me included.
Most outlets think the Broncos stink and will stink and are stupid. That's their right and somebody (regardless of whether they should or shouldn't) pays that person to write down their opions. Just because we don't agree doesn't mean the analyst's job is incomplete or unfounded.
It's a chicken and the egg type of situation right now. Did our demand for specialized information create this divisive type of media coverage or did the media coverage cause fans to act derisively towards the media?
The answer is: who cares.
To use a cliche postgame interview quote: "it just it what it is."
After the jump is a great article that sums it up for me and generally speaking, is something we should all remember before climbing back up on the soap box to rant about how callow John Clayton's analysis of the Denver Broncos was or is.
The following is from Football Outsiders today, written by Mike Tanier:
You know more about football than the typical "expert" knew 25 years ago.
Back in 1984, it was nearly impossible to watch more than three NFL games in a typical week: the early Sunday game, the late game, and the Monday Night game. Now, you can watch seven or eight without breaking a sweat: three Sunday games, the Monday Night game, and as many as four NFL Network Shortcut games.
In 1984, you watched the home team and a handful of the top national teams, like the Cowboys or Dolphins. A Philadelphia area fan could go two or three seasons with no opportunity at all to see, say, the Falcons: They rarely played the Eagles, were blacked out on CBS whenever the Eagles played, and made few appearances on national television. Now, it’s easy to keep track of a low-profile team on the other side of the country, and Matt Ryan’s family in the Delaware Valley can watch him all year for the price of a satellite dish or a trip to a sports bar.
In 1984, those of us with VCRs could record grainy, clunky game tape. Now, we can conveniently tape games in high-definition with the push of a DVR or Tivo button. With a satellite dish, we can tape two or more Sunday games while watching two others.
In 1984, we read the local paper for our news. We got plenty of information on the home team, a few insights about past or future opponents, and AP reports and capsules about the rest of the league. An ambitious fan might subscribe to The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, maybe a gambling service. Now, we search the Internet and get our information straight from the sources. If we need to know about the Bills, we read Buffalo News. If we want a national roundup, we have a hundred choices.
We got our stats from tiny, agate-type midweek lists and from the backs of magazines in 1984. Now, we get them from Football Outsiders and Pro Football Reference and NFL.com. Pregame shows were a half hour long in 1984. Their length has nearly quadrupled, and while their information content hasn't, they provide more knowledge than Phyllis George or Jimmy the Greek did.
You get the idea. You watch more football, read more about football, ingest more data and opinion about football than it was possible to absorb just 25 years ago. High level experts and analysts of that era could easily gain an edge over the common fan: they could get their hands on out-of-town papers or game tape, interview a player or telephone a colleague, go to the basement to search the stacks.
Those advantages barely exist anymore. You can watch a press conference or download the transcript. You can read the out-of-town blogs. The marginal knowledge that separates the extremely passionate fan -- and that’s what you are if you are still reading at this point -- from the professional football analyst has grown very small, and it’s shrinking constantly.
That’s why you find your local columnist frustrating, the television color commentator unlistenable: you know too much, and they probably haven’t changed with the times.
That's one reason why newspapers are scrambling to stay in business. The marginal knowledge gap doesn't just exist in sports, but in current events, entertainment, and other fields as well. Your local paper is still learning how to compete with CNN.com or with pundit-like bloggers of all philosophies when covering national news, with TMZ.com and fanboy sites for entertainment news. It’s a scary fact that some newspapers just won't be able to compete, and many have folded or cut to the quick.
It's a reason Football Outsiders stays in business and people like me get writing opportunities. Our databases are a source of extra knowledge, information you cannot get anywhere else. You may read the Buffalo News before I do, you may research Schonert’s career on your own and acquire more information than I have time to provide. But I know that the Bills went 0-for-15 on third-and-10 situations last year, and while you also have access to that information (page 29 of FOA) I had it before you did, which could have made a big difference if Schonert was fired in July.
The realization that marginal knowledge is always shrinking forces conscientious, dedicated football analysts -- and yes, I consider myself conscientious and dedicated -- to keep learning more about the game. For me, that means studying more game tape, because strategy and play diagrams have become my niche. For Football Outsiders, that means more research and more stat compilation. We can stay relevant, interesting, and in-demand by introducing new stats and methods like the FEI, Speed Scores, Receiving Plus-Minus, and by freeze framing plays and counting empty-backfield plays so no one else has to. If we stop evolving and adapting, someone will pass us by, individually or as an organization.
Anyone can write an article about Turk Schonert. Anyone can compile quotes, cite stats, add a little spin. Heck, anyone can transfer play-by-play onto some spreadsheets, type in a few formulas, and create some DVOA-like stats. We survive by surfing a tiny whitecap of knowledge, by working harder and harder to know a little more and to impart that knowledge in an entertaining way.
It's daunting. It's stressful. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm in this business to learn more and to pass along what I’m learning, not to string together second-hand facts.
I just thought this was interesting and a timely read.GO BRONCOS...