A few articles and thoughts on this Super Bowl Sunday:
- Peyton Manning has a lot more pressure on him than Rex Grossman. Yet no one has said anything about this in the national media. If Manning plays poorly today, what are they going to say? What excuse are they going to make? I don't get this... why does the media play favorites so often? It's weird, the the political section of a newspaper, journalists are, for the most part, neutral. Sure the op-ed pages may rip a politician or give a politician praise, but they're also objective (news channels aside).
- I've never met a real life Colts fan. I'm not kidding. I didn't think they existed. Apparently a few of them made their way down to Miami.
- Two great articles in the Guardian. The first is about the best player in the Premiership this season - Didier Drogba. Drogba's been great for Chelsea this season netting 15 goals so far this season in the Premiership. Much has been said about the Blues being in second this year, but they're probably be sniffing around the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal if it wasn't forDrogba's play this year. As the article points out, he's lining himself up for the Player of the Year Award in England and if he keeps it up, I could see him being in contention in 2007. I know it's early, but since September he's been fantastic. A Champions League run would really help build his case. Anyway, an interesting interview if nothing less.
The second article is talks the impact of "Moneyball" and Malcolm Galdwell's work has had on coaching football in England. Even if you aren't a footie fan this is a great read (plus it stars Watford's coach, Aidy Boothroyd and his trials and tribulations this year with Watford). Great read and very interesting. [I should know that I'm reading Blink right now and like the Tipping Point, it is very good.]
- I was thinking in the shower about how short the NFL season is... a scant 16 games plus a four round postseason. No team can play more than 20 games or less than 16. This is sort of amazing when you think about it... why so short? Obviously the NFL would be better served to play a few more games, gain a few more bucks from TV deals and home games. And the other thing that bugs me is that the regular season is only 16 games... this is clearly too small of a sample size to determine much of anything. The NFL sport is the only sport where the schedule has a greater impact than the team itself (every year at least three or four teams that are not that talented seem to 'come out of no where' and even make the playoffs. These teams almost always play a weak schedule which is based on the previous seasons record; so the bad teams play the bad teams, the good teams play the good teams. Obviously, since someone has to win, a bad team that's marginally better than the other bad teams is going to win those games... while the good teams beat the crap out of each other). Expanding the NFL schedule would make the NFL more money... but it also would take away the equality that the league loves to promote, that your team has a chance to win the Super Bowl (unless you root for the Cardinals, Browns, or Lions; and probably Texans too). If the NFL were to play a 20 game schedule (thus expanding the season a month) the bad teams would be more likely to play the good teams. Chances are they would lose those games. In losing those games we would see the true colors of these teams. And instead of getting crap teams like the Jets in the playoffs, we'd get to see the better teams who had to play better teams in the playoffs. This would be good for some fans, but bad for the league. What I'm trying to say is that the NFL is some what able to rig their league to help the bad teams appear to be better than they are because of the way the schedule is made. I don't have an statical information to back me up... but I'm sure it wouldn't take me too long to prove this. Something to do maybe?
- I should also say, that the way the NFL treats former players is borderline inhumane. The pensions these guys have received (especially players who played before 1977) are a disgrace and has been well reported. But they haven't been reported upon enough. For reasons I'll never understand, the NFL gets a pass from the media. There is nothing that the NFL can do wrong. Players doing 'roids? That's okay, we'll make him a star and put him in the Pro Bowl. Put our season ticket package games only on DirectTV? That's cool, it's the best for business. Of course if a baseball player juices he's the one of the worst humans alive and if MLB puts it's games only on DirectTV, it gets ripped by the media and has Congress thinking about making laws restricting it (which by the way is a farce itself, Kerry doing this makes ZERO sense on so many levels and is a complete waste of time; thousands of Americans are dying in Iraq and John Kerry thinks it's important to restrict MLBs TV deal; get real John). The double standard that the NFL has in the media and with the public continues to not only bug me, but really turn me off from the game. And finally, Greg Gumbel's comment a few months ago about Gene Upshaw is 100% correct. The man is a lap dog for the NFL. And I'm 92% sure Vegas controls the NFL as it is. That's a different day. I watched less football than I have in years... aside from Bears game, I don't think I sat though more than three or four regular season games this year (and those were because I was with a buddy most likely watching the Eagles). In other words, the continues NFL to lose me. And I don't think I'm alone. I remember saying to people a few years ago that the NFL had reached it's pinnacle. Since Americans are the only people who actually give a rats ass about football, the NFL could not get any bigger... and that's starting to happen. The Super Bowl will probably always be the biggest sporting even in the US during my life time, but ten years from now the league will not be as strong as it is today.
- Of course go Bears... I'll be watching. The Super Bowl really is a fantastic event even if about 150 million people watch it in the entire world, most of them living in the US.
- Oh, and if you have not seen this it might be the greatest thing ever on YouTube. Bubb Rubb is awesome and that 1:45 mark when he pulls away is really just amazing.