Thursday, August 07, 2008

Joe Buck Ain't the Only One...

Fury Fans,

I'm furious. That might be an exaggeration, but I'm at least flabbergasted. I'm watching the Cardinals/Saints pre-season game on a 'Special Thursday Night Edition of Monday Night Football'...yes, they actually take the time to call it that instead of just 'Pre-Season Football on ESPN.'

Anyway, the talk of the broadcast is the state of both Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart's NFL career so far. I knew I was in for some eye rolls, groans, and tsk's when in the opening segment Tony Kornheiser responded to Mike Tirico's mentioning of the word 'bust' like this:

"Well, I wouldn't shout the word yet, but it can certainly be whispered."

I used like Tony K. when he was limited to just PTI. Since joining the MNF booth, I'm growing to hate him as an announcer. I'm at 'serious dislike' currently.

Anyway, the examples don't stop there. Tony goes on to talk about Leinart, who will start just his 17th NFL game(that will be his 18th played) in Week 1, as if the guy has volumes worth of experience in the NFL. Both Tony and Jaws point out that Leinart hasn't shown the consistency an NFL QB needs to succeed. As they're talking I'm just shaking my head, waiting for Tirico to chime in as the voice of reason. No Tirico and it gets worse. Let me repeat, Matt Leinart is going to start his 17th NFL game in Week 1. And these dunderheads are talking about how he might be a bust! This is the same Matt Leinart who broke his throwing arm collar bone last year, causing him to miss significant time. This is his first start in 10 months. Cut the kid some friggin' slack!

I have to draw a comparison here to Eli Manning. This same announce team, over the last 15 months, talked early and often about how the true measure of a young NFL starting QB is year 4. Year 4 is the 'make or break' year if you recall some of my previous posts dedicated to the topic of Eli and the Giants. These three men all talked about this year 4 theory like it was gospel. And it wasn't just them it was ALL NFL analysts and journalists. By my math, these poop-for-brains are about 3 years too early on the Matt Leinart watch. He is basically starting his second full year as a starter this season. I wonder if I can ask Tony K. what happened to the 'Make or Break' theory?

But what REALLY set me off was when Tony brought up the pictures of Matt Leinart that came out months ago of him partying at a kegger. He said: "Someone has to tell him, this isn't 'Entourage,' Ok dude?"

Hey Tony, go fuck yourself. Ok, dude?

Then I had to pause the broadcast and start writing this entry. Jaws chimes in on the subject:

"Yeah, and you know, when you're teammates see stuff like that, they can lose confidence in you."

WOW. What Jaws just astutely pointed out, is that if you're "caught" partying in the off-season, your teammates might decide you lack the ability to play pro-football...because none of your teammates party in the off-season(or during it!)

This is amazing to me. Did the NFL lay down a secret agenda to 'bury' Matt Leinart?

These comments and judgements aimed at Leinart are unwarranted and way out of line so far.

These same announcers that talk religiously about how NFL QB's need to find their rhythm, and sometimes that can take weeks into a season to find, aren't even giving one of the top QB prospects in the last decade a single full season as a starter before they start saying the 'B' word.

That's bad announcing, and even worse journalism.


Anonymous Jessica said...

There's a precedent for that kind of criticism of Matt Leinart, going back to his first season. There was a lot of griping about how he'd rather hang out at an exclusive LA club with Paris Hilton than get a beer with his teammates, causing his teammates to not trust him and leaving him as an ineffective team leader. In contrast, Kurt Warner kept his nose to the proverbial team grindstone and forged relationships with his teammates, enabling him to step in to the QB position with some ease. So the theory goes. The theory that totally disregards the 9 years that Warner had already spent in the NFL.

My point is that they were building off of previously made (possibly ridiculous) assertations, although without referencing them, which makes them sound even more ridiculous than if they had pointed out that Leinart has "history" of not being engaged with his team and being distracted a la Grossman and Romo.

Sweet baby jesus, you made me defend Tony Kornheiser. What the hell.


12:42 PM  
Blogger Philselway said...

I don't you think you defended Tony K. too much really. I remember the stories you are referencing about Leinart's first year, the Paris pictures, and people questioning his dedication to football. Then there was the counter argument: He's a SoCal football hero(a USC God), and in LA with that 'LA lifestyle', the behavior he displayed was not surprising. The bottom line was, let his play on the field do the talking and see how his teammates respond when he's out there with them.

Unfortunately, we haven't seen too much of his play yet due to injuries and the reemergence of former NFL and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner. This is where I feel you didn't truly defend the Kornheiser. They are ready to proclaim this, only his 2nd full year as a starter, his 'make or break' season, and are even trying to get the point across that he's close to a 'bust' already. If Eli or Carson Palmer, or Drew Brees, or even Peyton Manning were judged on their first 17 games as a starter in the NFL, they'd be gone from the league.

Their comments upset me so much because this is just another example of knee-jerk, cooler-talk based, announcing/broadcast journalism that is dumbing down the sport and it's fan base. Joe Shmoe fan who doesn't know any better is off telling his friends 'That Matt Leinart is a real bust...'

Not fair, and not true.

1:29 PM  

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