Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated had an amusing column about a month ago mocking our national obsession with all things NFL.
I thought of Taylor's column today when I saw yet another example of how pervasive and downright stupid the media's coverage of the league has become. I was eating lunch at the Jersey Mike's (great sandwiches, BTW) near my office here in Aurora, and ESPN's "NFL Live" was showing on the TV in the dining area.
Now, first of all, it's remarkable they bother to air "NFL Live" in May. I know the OTAs are going on and all, but is there really that much interesting news that comes out of those dumbed down practices? Not in my world.
In any case, the "NFL Live" panel was breathlessly reporting that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning "did not look good" in practice Wednesday. I'm not exactly sure what the hell that means, but a graphic was shown noting the Broncos open the season with games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. It was noted that each of those three clubs qualified for the playoffs last season, and in grave tones, the panel warned Denver cannot afford for Manning to get off to a poor start against such quality competition.
OK, I suppose that's true, but you know, the Broncos don't play their first game until Sept. 9. Today is May 31, right? The holiday weekend that just passed was Memorial Day and not Labor Day, no? I checked my cell phone to make sure I wasn't confused and confirmed today's date. Indeed, the start to the NFL season is still more than three months off. I'd say that gives Manning plenty of time to iron out the kinks in his play.
I guess there is a lot of air time to fill between now and September, but I can't imagine why anyone in this world would give a damn how Peyton Manning "looks" during a practice in late May. Even if I were a Denver Broncos fan, I don't think I would be concerned.
Yet, in our NFL-obsessed sporting culture, this is news. I find that preposterous.