The Sports Media tend to have a herd mentality.
You know what I mean. There are a handful of original thinkers out there, and everyone else simply follows the leader.
On any given day, if you wish, you can go online and read about the same two or three topics over and over again on an endless number of web sites, from espn.com to USA Today to the Bleacher Report.
When you've had enough of that, you can turn on your local sports-talk station and hear those same two or three stories discussed ad nauseum by Dan Patrick, Chris Myers, Scott Van Pelt, Mike Tirico, Sean Farnham, and J.T. The Brick, not to mention your local hacks. Even more creative guys like Colin Cowherd and Jim Rome get caught up in the crowd sometimes.
It seems that certain topics are as irresistible to sports writers as cocktail waitresses are to Tiger Woods. And, like Tiger, they keep going back again and again, in spite what should be their better judgment.
Here are 10 topics from 2009 that outlived their usefulness to anyone except sports media types who needed something to mail in:
10. Greg Oden vs. Sam Bowie. The sports equivalent of a lawyer joke. As tired and as obvious as a Buddy Hackett impersonator in the Catskills.
9. The BCS. Okay, so this topic is done to death every year. I’m allowed to mail one in, too.
8. Kobe vs. LeBron. We’ve all seen the comparisons. We’ve all heard the arguments. We’ve all yawned.
7. Tiger Woods scandal. This one isn’t higher because it happened late in the year, and was actually an impactful news story. Nonetheless, as news cycles go, this was like Sarah Palin in 2008: It came out of nowhere, shocked people for a week or so, annoyed people for another week or so, and will hopefully go away after that.
6. Michael Vick. Vick is the perfect antidote to the slows sports news day. Because of the lingering threat of animal rights protest, everything he does, from getting out of prison to maybe going to a strip club to receiving the Ed Block Courage Award, could potentially be interesting. Except it isn’t.
5. Manny Ramirez/Alex Rodriguez steroids revelations: Unlike some people, I don’t dismiss or condone steroid use. I think it’s terrible for sports and for the health of our youth. That being said, I don’t want to hear about it every day for two months.
4. Tim Tebow and Tyler Hansbrough. I’m lumping these two together because they received similar treatment from the sports media. That is, they were endlessly fawned over as examples of all that is good and pure in college sports, then endlessly dissected as players who will not succeed at the next level.
Hopefully, all this scrutiny will end with their respective graduations.
3. The New York Yankees. Year after year, in season and out of season, regardless of how long it has been since they won a title, the minutia of the Yankees organization, from scouting to front office moves to potential signings to the personal lives of players, are granted the same importance by the national sports media as the workings of Congress are by the national news media.
This happens despite the fact that 90 percent of the country not only doesn’t care about the Yankees but actually hates them. Unfortunately, the Yankees managed to win the World Series this year, so we can expect a minimum of another 8.2 years of having them shoved down our throats.
2. The Dallas Cowboys. “America’s Team” does the Yankees one better: They haven’t won a title in 15 years and have actually been mediocre for the better part of a decade. Nonetheless, they are discussed and written about at least as often as the Patriots, Colts, Steelers and Giants; teams that have actually won a Superbowl in this decade.
Whether it’s Tony Romo’s love life, Wade Phillips’s coaching shelf-life, or a scoreboard the size of the MetLife Building, we’ll hear about it, whether we care or not.
1. Brett Favre. I listen to sports radio in my car to and from work every day. Sometimes I listen to it on the weekends. Let me point out that, while I like the NFL and watch games when I have the time, I’ve always been more of an NBA guy.
Furthermore, I live in Portland, OR, which doesn’t have an NFL team, and where the local sports guys concentrate on college football and the Blazers. Nonetheless, I swear I’ve heard Brett Favre’s name more often this year than President Obama’s name, the names of any of my clients at work, and the names of my own children. Enough said.