Aug 6, 2008

The Never Ending Stories

In light of the Brett Favre soap opera, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect upon the 5 most overplayed, over-covered, overkilled stories that have hit sports media in the past year. Here goes...

5. Celtics vs. Lakers "Rivalry"
Did anyone else get tired of the media likening the 2008 Finals to the 80's matchups between Bird & Magic? I'll give it to ABC: the intro they played before each game was almost goosebump worthy. Aside from that, the NBA's marketing attempts were rather exhaustive.

Sorry folks, those weren't your Dad's (or Grand-dad's) Lakers or Celtics. As much as the NBA wanted its disgruntled fan base to get nostalgic, the reality is that most of these guys (aside from Kobe & Ray Allen) had no bad blood going into the series. They had barely spent any time playing with their teammates, let alone playing against their newly-constructed opponent. It had been over 20 years since the franchises had met in the Finals. I don't blame the NBA, but the whole rivalry campaign was overdone and discounted the days when the players had to wear headgear to walk away from the series in one piece.

4. Failures of the BCS System
Everyone knows (myself included) that the BCS System is flawed. Most fans want nothing more than a playoff system, but the reality is that the NCAA isn't willing to give up the dollars associated with the Bowl system in place. It's a fun topic to debate, but we might as well get used to things as they are. They won't be changing for awhile.

This year, there was a new "snub" every week it seemed. With all of the upsets, there was a different team sitting at number 3 on a near-weekly basis. #3's fans always have reasons they should be ahead of #2. #4 has reasons it should be ahead of #3. Everyone in the top 100 has reasons they should be ahead of Notre Dame. As long as the National Championship matchup is decided by popular vote, there will be gripes. It's not that I disagree with these gripes, I just get sick of listening to them on every sports show for a 3 month period.

3. Spygate
I, for one, was happy when Spygate hit the national scene. I had always harbored thoughts that Bill Bellichick was evil, this just proved it. I always believed the Pats' victory of the Rams was tainted, this just added credibility to my paranoia. It was fun watching Bellichick struggle for words and look like an idiot on national television. I have no problem admitting it.

Then the Patriots kept winning. And they kept winning by ridiculous margins. Before long, they were making the rest of the league look like a joke. It became evident by about Week 6 that the Patriots were just that much better than everyone else, whether they knew the other team's signals or not.

Nevertheless, ESPN had a weekly Spygate story and former assistant water boys were making vague, unsubstantiated claims about all of the Patriots' supposed cheating. Goodell destructed the tape evidence, and all the Patriot-haters were calling it a big conspiracy. They even went so far as to compare the Patriots' franchise to the mob, insisting that they must have bribed these "witnesses" to keep their mouths shut. There's nothing I hate worse than sports conspiracy theories, especially when they dominate my sports radio on the way to work every morning.

2. Roger Clemens' Steroid Use
Is he lying? He must be lying. But he sounds so sincere. That's how delusional sociopaths sound when they lie. Let's take this to federal court... forget all the violent criminals who are awaiting trial, we need all of America's brightest court minds on THIS case. America will not be a safe place until we know whether or not Roger Clemens lied about taking steroids. Oh, dear lord, his wife took them before her SI Swimsuit Issue shoot! Roger had to know. Roger slept with a teen country singer in 1987? This type of evidence clearly links him to steroid use!

Is the NBA regular season really that boring? Did we really need to waste four good months of sports coverage on this story? Did anyone really doubt Roger Clemens was using steroids? Did anyone really care? Boy, I sure didn't. This was without a doubt one of the most over-covered stories in the history of sports. Most baseball fans put a mental asterisk next to any record that was broken in the past ten years LONG ago, so why did I have to pain my ears with coverage on Clemens' drawn-out trial? It really goes to show how happy fans get when stars are humbled and humanized.

1. The Brett Favre Saga
Was there really any doubt about this pick? What Brett eats for lunch has the potential to be the headlining story on Sportscenter these days. Since the story is still currently in progress, I'll avoid adding to the over-coverage by leaving it at that.

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