Sometime ago, amidst this Smartphone-tranced alternative world, all cognitive thought and deductive reasoning ceased. The greater the technology, the dumber we seem to become.
And nowhere has it been more pronounced than in the third-world dimension known as sports journalism. AP Stylebooks used to litter newsrooms like qualifiers in a Cialis ad, but it'd take Indiana Jones to find such a relic under all the dust and debris these days.
(Pardon me, hold that thought, I just got a tweet. Oh never mind, Adam Schefter just broke the news that the Jaguars might sign a tackle, but might not, but they might. Good to know.)
The rules now, well, there are no rules.
Reporters tweet rumors practically as fact to intentionally gluttonous degrees, from so many angles and sources that they can barely be tracked. We're left to wonder who said what about whom and when. It's impossible to sort through the smoke to find the real fires anymore. We remember almost nothing about anything that we heard or read.
(So what's this I hear about Jacksonville? I can't remember.)
Anyway, ProFootballTalk just ranked the Cowboys at No. 24 in the league. ESPN applied a 28th “future ranking” to the Cowboys. This qualifies in this bent industry as actual “analysis”, based on….I suppose a Fantasy Football expert or something. Not sure.
Stop and consider. Here's a team that has gone 8-8, 8-8, and 8-8 the past three seasons, with the same QB as now, the same coach, and the same GM. That there is a trend, folks, one that should comfortably and concretely put Dallas right at or very near No. 16.
Now, add a guard to a good young line and an offense that is safely in the top 10 in the league. Then, replace a cupboard full of nobodies with at least 10 legitimate NFL defensive linemen, as well as the return of healthy starters behind them. How can that not be at least slightly better than that awful defense a year ago? Objectivity says it likely can't.
From all that, two very popular sources of opinion just determined that Dallas is worse than the Cleveland Browns. Huh?
The truth is, the media now allows itself unapologetically to let its “analysis” reflect the true want of its analysts, rather than their observed thought. There's not a whiff of science to it at all. Add an insatiable thirst for stirring up public outcry and cock fights, as well as utter detest of doing any real work. I swear, none of these folks do any research beyond talking to each other and forming a collective agreed-upon opinion.
Sadly, this is the case in almost every arena anymore, the message is geared for the toothless and tattooed minions and lemmings who ask few questions and take up pitchforks on hint of a rumored whisper. Little attention is paid to those that pay attention.
Just watch the reaction by week 3 when Denver and the media figure out what we already know about DeMarcus Ware. Note the spin as their beloved Patriots and Giants derail. And watch how the “Cinderella Cowboys” inexplicably end up middle of the pack or better and shock them all to their dissatisfaction.
However, that will again morph later into “Dallas has one of the most talented rosters in the league”, as usual, then they'll lament how underperforming again the Cowboys are. Of course, there'll be no reference to that 28th-ranking they prescribed a few months prior. You can throw it in their face, but they'll ignore you. PFT runs so many stories per minute, good luck ever finding that 24th ranking again.
Journalists often carry a chip because they don't feel properly compensated or worshiped for their self-acknowledged immense talents. They pour the scars of their youth into thinly veiled vitriol and a disturbing love for poking bears in cages with sharp sticks. They care little anymore about doing right by their trade and name.
I believe we should call them on it at every turn. Thus, this rant. We should also largely ignore them, and not fall for the bloody meat they leave laying in our path. We won't, but we should.
And the worst part is, these are just the sports journalists. But that's another session for another forum and another day.
[su_spoiler title=”Editor's Note” style=”simple”]Erod joins us from the forums of DallasCowboys.com as a first-time contributor with a piece he originally posted on the forums July 11, 2014.[/su_spoiler]