Dumber Than You Think

I'm sure the majority of people out there tune in to your favorite sports radio shows or NFL draft specials on TV and just assume that the countless number of experts actually know what they're talking about. Well guess what, they probably don't. In fact I'd wager to say that your group of friends who sit around and talk about football all day know just as much and probably more than some of the so-called experts. Let's face it, qualifications to becoming a writer or sports anchor do not tend to include projects such as 40-time analysis, or figuring out how many 2nd and 3rd round picks the 16th pick in the draft is worth.

Apparently graduating from Syracuse University with a Masters in communications qualifies many people as automatic sports experts, when in reality all these people have to do is recite what the insiders, such as Mel Kiper and Chris Mortenson, tell us.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the top 10 picks are going to be. Not when every analyst takes Mel Kiper's mock draft and switches around two or three picks to make it look like they put some thought into it.

I'm pretty sure even my cat could put together a respectable mock draft if I put 10 names on the ground, let her run around and mix them up, and then wrote down the names in the order that they appeared. But I guess maybe I'm the one who is missing the point. Afterall, I suppose that the sports media has become no better than the news media.

Maybe they are just this organization whose main objective it to generate revenue through entertainment. I mean, who needs factual analysis when you can create a circus with a few controversial stories that drive the fans crazy?.Case and point, Matt Leinhart. The thing that gets me the most about his case is all of the people who I keep listening to who say that "if he only came out last year he would have been the #1 pick in the draft.

" Hmmm, that's funny, seems to me that when the season ended this year he was planning on going #2 behind teammate Reggie Bush. But guess what? We live in a society where we need 4 months to talk about the NFL draft, and that would just be too boring if the top players stayed on top where they belong. Instead you have people in the front offices of the NFL who would rather draft people on 40-times and vertical jumps than their performance on the field over the last 3 or 4 years. I don't know about you, but I am dumbfounded how a player can rise to the #1 or #2 pick in the draft after playing quarterback for 3 years on a #1 ranked team, and suddenly after he hasn't played for 5 months he nearly falls out of the top 10? So maybe we should hold off with the whole "Matt Leinhart would have been picked #1 last year and now has fallen to the tenth," because for all I know he would have fallen in the draft last year as well. Let's not forget about his off-season elbow surgery.

The worst thing you can do is give an unintelligent owner more time to think unintelligently. At least Bills fans can take solace, because it's hard for their owner to think at all when he is barely able to stay awake for more than an hour at a time. Of course it would be nice if he knew what day it was once in a while.The bottom line is that the true experts are the people with insider access to team officials, and even those guys get used as pawns by each team in the NFL. Seemingly everyone else just uses the same "expert analysis" to come to their conclusions.

Which is why I respect people like Merril Hodge who actually break down hundreds upon hundreds of hours of film, and aren't afraid to go out on a limb and give their true analysis, even if it differs vastly from the other analysts. Maybe Jay Cutler was the only quarterback worthy of being picked on the first day. The truth is that would never happen because the NFL is no better than any other league when is comes to drafting its players based on potential, and not necessarily on what the player has shown themselves as capable of producing in the past.

Is it too much to ask for a football analyst to break down who the best players actually are, and not always have to worry about predicting what the draft results will be? Personally I don't know why they bother televising the actual draft when the time comes anyway, because by then all of the suspense has essentially been removed. Why does the commissioner need to read off that the #4 pick is D'Brickashaw Ferguson? Chris Berman just got finished telling me that 2 minutes ago.The truth is that more than anything, the popularity of the NFL signifies just how un-interested Americans are with the rest of the sports that are currently going on. Let's not forget that the NBA and NHL are both in their playoff seasons as we speak, and that baseball is a month old. So were these last four months really about Americans and their thirst for the game of football? Or was it about their disinterest for the other sports, mixed with a love for the absurd? Let's not forget that professional wrestling once had a huge fan base too, and even today still has a pretty large following. Afterall, women aren't the only gender who enjoys a good soap opera once in a while.

Want to read more? Check out www.sportslizard.com.


I'm Dick Richards, and I write a column for one of the great up and coming sports collectible sites on the web, Sportslizard.com. While I have written about more serious topics in the past, i.e. sports memorabilia and its authentication processes, I enjoy sharing my thoughts on lighter topics which center around the world of sports.

Whether its ripping the commisioner or baseball, criticizing a member of the media, or adding levity to the steroid situation, I thoroughly enjoy expressing myself on the issues of sports. Im also very lucky to be associated with Sportslizard.com, which has a lot to offer to sports fans of all ages and interest levels, whether it be the autograph collector, sports figure enthusiast, and your average 20-something sports junkie. I look forward to writing more and more articles for sportslizard for many years to come.

By: Dick Richards

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