Just two days ago, I remarked on a FanPost that in my opinion, the constant bashing of the MSM that goes on here at MHR tends to drag down the quality of an otherwise outstanding site. Generally, that's how I feel. I am of the "don't bite the hand that feeds" opinion in a lot of ways, and personally, I think that most members of the mainstream media do a tremendous job at what they do. Occasionally, many of them will have a ridiculous column (hello, Mike Klis' Big Ben theory), and others will only occasionally produce something of worth (does the name Kiszla ring a bell?)
This morning, though, I witnessed what I consider to be the most ridiculous piece of sports "journalism" that I have ever seen. I haven't had a blog post on any site in months, but I had to call some attention to this.
This draft is perhaps the most interesting that I've seen, at least in the 15 or so that I remember seeing, from the standpoint of analysis. I don't recall ever seeing the media fall in love with a player as much as many have seemed to fawn over Jimmy Clausen, and I am pretty comfortable stating that there has never been as much controversy over one potential draftee as Tim Tebow.
Clausen was on the cover of ESPN the Magazine two weeks ago. He was Mel Kiper's darling, which I never really understood. He racked up a lot of good numbers at Notre Dame while playing behind for most of his career to the likes of Navy. There was never a chance that he was a 1st round pick, in my book. Tebow, on the other hand, set every record imaginable while all of the pressure in the world was on him. Not only was he contending for a national championship every year of his college career, but he made his Christian faith well-known, and that alone puts an awful lot of pressure on a kid to not "screw up". For that, I admire him. On the football side of things, I tend to agree with Jon Gruden: how can we be surprised that Tim Tebow is a 1st round pick?
This has been a media boon the past two days. If Buffalo had drafted him in the first round, I seriously doubt that there would have been the hand-wringing that there is since Denver - and more specifically Josh McDaniels - drafted him in the 1st round. What's more, if Mike Shanahan were still the Broncos coach, and he drafted Tebow in the 1st round, I promise you that media members would be kissing his feet because, well, he's Mike Shanahan.
This morning, ESPN's Todd McShay, someone that I happen to really like, was talking during the draft about why the Baltimore Ravens are the best drafting team in the NFL (which isn't true, but I digress). Here's what he said (the best I can remember):
The reason the Baltimore Ravens draft better than anyone is because they ignore the needs and take the best player available. This leaves them with a lot of really, really good, talented players.
Not five minutes later, Trey Wingo asked McShay about the biggest reaches and the biggest steals of the draft. Of course, the biggest steal was ESPN's lovechild Jimmy Clausen. The biggest reach? You guessed it: Tim Tebow at #25 overall. Whether Tebow was a reach or not is up for debate, but here's where McShay lost me:
How could the Broncos possibly draft Tim Tebow when they had so many other needs to fill?
This is perhaps the most ridiculous contradiction I've ever seen. Again, I like McShay. This is just lazy, though. This smacks of a vendetta against either Tebow or McDaniels, or perhaps both (I say McDaniels because that's who the media loves to hate, not the Broncos). It was lazy, poor analysis, and it made McShay seem like he was grasping for straws.
I wish that somebody on the set would have called him out on it, but that obviously isn't going to happen. They like contrived, manipulated "battles". This is just really bad, though, in my opinion. McShay lost a lot of credibility with me this morning.