Can We Talk About Chris Collinsworth For A Moment

joe dokes

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drleather2001 said:
 
I think this is very astute.
 
I also wonder how much the relatively recent phenomenon of media and fans being hyper-aware of "legacy" and "place in the history of the game" plays into this.
 
20, 30 years ago, I simply don't recall fans and media trying to classify the "legacy" of a player or team until that player or team was either about to retire, or a few years after they had faded from relevance.    When people talked about Larry Bird in 1987, they talked about him being fucking amazing, and that he had led some C's teams to championships; would he do it again?   They compared him against his peers.    I don't recall people wondering in any serious manner about how many championships he'd need to win to be considered the best forward ever or anything.  People wondered if Lemieux was as good as Gretzky, but nobody (to my knowledge) sat around and calculated how many more years, and how many goals, Lemieux would need to put up before he could be conclusively crowned "THE BEST".   Cal Ripken was simply an amazing short stop until he broke Gehrig's record; there was no rush to consider what "tier" of the HOF he'd end up in.
 
And, so, I think people simply observing greatness and enjoying it for its own sake will never happen again.   That horse has left the barn.   It's the downside to the pseudo-intellectualization of sports that guys like Simmons and Klosterman made really popular about a decade ago.   We talk about legacies and compare eras as if everything is occurring all at once; everything is meta.   
 
So, yes, you have sports writers and ex players and fans of other teams trying to pre-ordain the Patriots legacy before the book on it is even closed.  It's like watching a movie and having someone interrupt every 5 minutes to tell you how derivative and predictable it is even before the end of the second act.   
 
I'm not sure if the hyper-awareness of legacy is the chicken or the egg. Part of the "we must write the history now" (rather than enjoying/experiencing and writing the history later) syndrome is that everyone has a platform, and there is a finite amount of stuff to say about what just happened.
 
When Bird, Gretzky Lemieux and Ripken were doing their things, 50 million monkeys didn't have 50 million typewriters. I think we saw the beginning of what we see now when there were polite whispers about whether Ripken should have taken a day off for the good of the team.  But it never reached a crescendo, because there really weren't any outlets available that would "debate" the "issue."  If 2015 was starting with Cal Ripken at 2075 in a row, it would be deafening.
 

drleather2001

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Right, and thus my comment re: Simmons.  Modern media and the institutionalized "thinking like a fan" part of sports journalism is a huge part of this.
 
I don't think it's necessarily bad; or at least, not most of the time.   But the modern rush to compare players and dynasties in real time to those of the past ironically serves to make such a comparison less meaningful, exactly because there wasn't the ongoing analysis to tarnish/question/challenge those dynasties of the past.   
 
In 2030, people will remember Spygate and Deflategate as they relate to the Patriots, no matter the merits of those controversies.  Yet, nobody talks about the "soft spots in the parquet" for the 80s Celtics.  Or the salary cap violations of the Broncos and 49ers.  
 
People are fooling themselves if they think "Nobody will remember this deflate gate nonsense" in 20 years.  It is absolutely part of the story, and it always will be. 
 

ifmanis5

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drleather2001 said:
People are fooling themselves if they think "Nobody will remember this deflate gate nonsense" in 20 years.  It is absolutely part of the story, and it always will be. 
Agreed, although (perhaps after Roger is gone) if we find out that these 'gates' were actually nothing then the Pats' victories will look all the more impressive having overcome these distractions and controversies. I'm betting that all the 'Look Me In The Eyes' type of hysteria in the future will look pretty comical. Perhaps even sooner than later.
 

drleather2001

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ifmanis5 said:
Agreed, although (perhaps after Roger is gone) if we find out that these 'gates' were actually nothing then the Pats' victories will look all the more impressive having overcome these distractions and controversies. I'm betting that all the 'Look Me In The Eyes' type of hysteria in the future will look pretty comical. Perhaps even sooner than later.
 
On the contrary, I think the sports world is going to follow the model of cable news, where it becomes even more self-selecting and polarized.   I'd be shocked if, in 10 years, ESPN exists in anything close to the form it does now.  It will be obsolete; people will flock to the local network/online source that most closely aligns with their own viewpoint. 
 
There will be a Seahawks Now channel, and a Patriots/NESN channel (or something) that presents information in a way similar to how Fox News spins current events to feed their base.   With blogs and podcasts, we're almost there already.   If people want to believe that Deflate Gate is a big fucking deal, there's no shortage of places to find viewpoints that will support that opinion.   Colts fans in 15 years will have consumed nearly all of their football knowledge in a place where Bill Belichick is a 3x convicted cheater and Tom Brady is a system QB.  
 
And, look, Boston fans will not be immune.  We exist in a strange bubble where the objective truth is usually GOOD news.  When that ceases to be the case, lots of people here will get suckered in, as well.   
 

ifmanis5

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That is certainly possible; ESPN looks more like FOX News than anything else at this point. They find a topic or player that moves the needle (Favre, Ballghazi, Tiger, Manziel) and ride it at the exclusion of most everything else. I see that trend continuing in the direction you just predicted.
 

coremiller

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drleather2001 said:
 
I think this is very astute.
 
I also wonder how much the relatively recent phenomenon of media and fans being hyper-aware of "legacy" and "place in the history of the game" plays into this.
 
20, 30 years ago, I simply don't recall fans and media trying to classify the "legacy" of a player or team until that player or team was either about to retire, or a few years after they had faded from relevance.    When people talked about Larry Bird in 1987, they talked about him being fucking amazing, and that he had led some C's teams to championships; would he do it again?   They compared him against his peers.    I don't recall people wondering in any serious manner about how many championships he'd need to win to be considered the best forward ever or anything.  People wondered if Lemieux was as good as Gretzky, but nobody (to my knowledge) sat around and calculated how many more years, and how many goals, Lemieux would need to put up before he could be conclusively crowned "THE BEST".   Cal Ripken was simply an amazing short stop until he broke Gehrig's record; there was no rush to consider what "tier" of the HOF he'd end up in.
 
And, so, I think people simply observing greatness and enjoying it for its own sake will never happen again.   That horse has left the barn.   It's the downside to the pseudo-intellectualization of sports that guys like Simmons and Klosterman made really popular about a decade ago.   We talk about legacies and compare eras as if everything is occurring all at once; everything is meta.   
 
So, yes, you have sports writers and ex players and fans of other teams trying to pre-ordain the Patriots legacy before the book on it is even closed.  It's like watching a movie and having someone interrupt every 5 minutes to tell you how derivative and predictable it is even before the end of the second act.   
 
I don't think this is true at all.  Just with regard to the team I'm most familiar with, in the 80s in San Francisco, there was lots of talk about the 49ers' historical legacy and Montana's place in history. The 49ers 1988 video yearbook produced by NFL films after the 49ers won the Super Bowl that year was titled "Team of the Decade" and the dominant theme was that their super bowl win that year was important because it established the team ahead of Washington and Chicago as the best team of the decade and put them on par with the 60s Packers and 70s Steelers as an all-time great dynasty.  The producers interviewed players and coaches who talked about how this stuff mattered to them.  
 
Similarly, on youtube you can find the intro to a Monday Night Football game between SF and the LA Rams in 1989; the whole thing is about how Montana was staking his place in history that season, and they had interviews with Staubach and Starr commenting that Montana was putting himself among the all-time greats.  The open to the Super Bowl broadcast that year against Denver [SIZE=14.4444446563721px](which is also on youtube) [/SIZE]was all about the 49ers securing their historical legacy.  And after they won the Super Bowl in 1989, the 49ers players talked openly (there's actually footage of Roger Craig talking about it during the game, since SF was ahead by about 40 points at the time) about how they wanted to go for the threepeat to establish themselves as the greatest team of all time.   It became common in 1990 to start referring to Montana as the best QB ever -- Paul Zimmerman wrote a story in SI called "The Ultimate Winner" that made the GOAT case for Montana.  Etc.  I don't think it would have been much different for other historically significant teams -- wasn't there a ton of "greatest defense ever!" hoopla over the 85 Bears, for example?
 

Al Zarilla

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I've always been a staunch Collinsworth supporter, thought he was the best football analyst today, by far. I mentioned somewhere else about the neat bit HBO Sports did on him (his tremendous preparation, watching every play of every game of the season on his setup in his mancave; his wife doesn't see him for half the year, etc.). He points out stuff after plays, because we can't see the whole field on TV, that I don't know that Madden or anyone else would ever find. After Sunday though, I don't know. What the hell was his vendetta for? I suppose I'll "give him another chance" because I'm not going to stop watching, but, man, was I disappointed in him. 
 

YesYesY'all

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ifmanis5 said:
That is certainly possible; ESPN looks more like FOX News than anything else at this point. They find a topic or player that moves the needle (Favre, Ballghazi, Tiger, Manziel) and ride it at the exclusion of most everything else. I see that trend continuing in the direction you just predicted.
I mean the better example is how MSNBC went 24/7 for weeks on a Bridge lane closure in New Jersey. 
 

Marciano490

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drleather2001 said:
 
I think this is very astute.
 
I also wonder how much the relatively recent phenomenon of media and fans being hyper-aware of "legacy" and "place in the history of the game" plays into this.
 
20, 30 years ago, I simply don't recall fans and media trying to classify the "legacy" of a player or team until that player or team was either about to retire, or a few years after they had faded from relevance.    When people talked about Larry Bird in 1987, they talked about him being fucking amazing, and that he had led some C's teams to championships; would he do it again?   They compared him against his peers.    I don't recall people wondering in any serious manner about how many championships he'd need to win to be considered the best forward ever or anything.  People wondered if Lemieux was as good as Gretzky, but nobody (to my knowledge) sat around and calculated how many more years, and how many goals, Lemieux would need to put up before he could be conclusively crowned "THE BEST".   Cal Ripken was simply an amazing short stop until he broke Gehrig's record; there was no rush to consider what "tier" of the HOF he'd end up in.
 
And, so, I think people simply observing greatness and enjoying it for its own sake will never happen again.   That horse has left the barn.   It's the downside to the pseudo-intellectualization of sports that guys like Simmons and Klosterman made really popular about a decade ago.   We talk about legacies and compare eras as if everything is occurring all at once; everything is meta.   
 
So, yes, you have sports writers and ex players and fans of other teams trying to pre-ordain the Patriots legacy before the book on it is even closed.  It's like watching a movie and having someone interrupt every 5 minutes to tell you how derivative and predictable it is even before the end of the second act.   
 
It's odd, though that people don't want to appreciate greatness even for the glow it lends them.  At the party I was at for the game outside Philly one guy was all in on the Pats hate to the point I had to turn to him and say something along the lines of, "shut up, you're watching Ali in his prime.  Why can't you appreciate that?"  Ali got injections in his hands before fights.  He cheated.  Nobody cares.  They speak about him in awe, as they should.  We should be able to enjoy greatness.  Like that scene in Vision Quest where the old dude is talking about Pele's bicycle kick.  It's just part of the general desire to tear people down now, as much as anything.
 

Drocca

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I don't believe the concept of defining history or legacy while living it is new. Good point about the over-coverage though. And, in ten years there will be no ESPN? That is crazy talk.
 

drleather2001

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Drocca said:
I don't believe the concept of defining history or legacy while living it is new. Good point about the over-coverage though. And, in ten years there will be no ESPN? That is crazy talk.
Oh it will exist. Just not anything close to its current format. Hell, it's changed markedly in the last ten years.

TV is going to be wildly different in ten years; I just don't think ESPN will be as centralized as it currently is. ESPN Boston, ESPN New York, ESPN Seattle, etc. all spinning stories targeted to their audiences.
 

riboflav

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Drocca said:
I don't believe the concept of defining history or legacy while living it is new. Good point about the over-coverage though. And, in ten years there will be no ESPN? That is crazy talk.
 
Cotton Mather agrees with this.
 
Though defining History (capital H) while living it is now very different from how it was in... well, history. 
 

crystalline

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Drocca said:
I don't believe the concept of defining history or legacy while living it is new. Good point about the over-coverage though. And, in ten years there will be no ESPN? That is crazy talk.
It's a bold prediction. But it might come true- or at least get close.

In the 80s and early nineties CNN was a real news source. In the past two decades they've become "Where's the Plane? Hosted by Anderson Cooper", as more and more people get news from the internet. Same with newspapers- their readership has changed dramatically.

ESPN may not be gone in 10 years but they may be unrecognizable in 20.
 

Koufax

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To follow up on coremiller, when the 49ers had their great run the NFL was pumping their tires and touting their dominance as something for the ages.  And in a way, it was.  Roger Goodell, on the other hand, has taken the best franchise in the league and covered it with slime, completely undeserved.  This is not the way to sell your product or to enhance the league's reputation.  Utter incompetence.
 

Drocca

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Koufax said:
To follow up on coremiller, when the 49ers had their great run the NFL was pumping their tires and touting their dominance as something for the ages.  And in a way, it was.  Roger Goodell, on the other hand, has taken the best franchise in the league and covered it with slime, completely undeserved.  This is not the way to sell your product or to enhance the league's reputation.  Utter incompetence.
ESPN owns a lot of the product they sell.
 

ifmanis5

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Drocca said:
ESPN owns a lot of the product they sell.
Actually, they own very little of it and that's why in the long run they could be in deep trouble. They are a broadcast partner, they own almost none of the footage and games that they show. Everything has to be paid for and if a league decides to yank a deal, they can't show that footage without consent.
 
Back when Mark Shapiro took over (around 2002-ish) he realized this problem and started producing original content (like their movie version of A Season On The Brink and the football show Playmakers, which ultimately hurt their relationship with the NFL so they canned it) because it was footage they didn't have to license. The only deals that are way in ESPN's favor are the college ones, particularly with the SEC. But what happens in 20 years when the NBA puts all its games on the NBA Network (or the NBA app) or NFL games are only on the NFL Network (which is the true Doomsday scenario) then ESPN is left with nothing. As it is they spend a ton of licensing money for content they don't own. One day, they may not even be able to do that.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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Ask any announcer who ever broadcast a nationally-televised game, and he or she will tell you that after every game they hear from fans of both teams complaining about their bias against the fan's favorite. Every time.

I'd have thought, given our self-satisfied pride that SoSH members are smarter than the rest of fandom, that the whole Deflategate issue would have been shrugged off here. Maybe its a Sox vs Patriots thing? We left our collective intelligence at the door in the baseball threads? Maybe baseball is cerebral and football more emotional? The raw, sustained outrage around here is surprising and, frankly, unbecoming for a community that strives to be better that WEEI callers.

As to the idea that ESPN continues to focus on this story, why should they stop if people like those here continue to have a voracious appetite? On topics like Favre or Tebow or Manziel or Ballghazi, they know from detailed second-by-second ratings analysis exactly what issues move the needle and how much. ESPN is just a mirror for fans. Even Pats fans on this board.
 

joe dokes

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drleather2001 said:
 

 
People are fooling themselves if they think "Nobody will remember this deflate gate nonsense" in 20 years.  It is absolutely part of the story, and it always will be. 
 
 I'm sure it will be remembered, too. The question is whether it will be on the scale of "the Yankee dynasty of '39 to '64 used the Kansas City A's as a farm team" or the 1919 Black Sox. Two variables remain to be included..what does the NFL end up saying (it wont affect the average fans' opinion, but the narrative-drivers might change their tunes); and how much more success does the Brady/Belichick dynasty have.
That said, as long as there are people who actually think that 4-0 in Super Bowls reflects a more successful career than 4-2 in super Bowls, then reality doesn't much matter. That's flat-earth territory.
 
It's odd, though that people don't want to appreciate greatness even for the glow it lends them.  At the party I was at for the game outside Philly one guy was all in on the Pats hate to the point I had to turn to him and say something along the lines of, "shut up, you're watching Ali in his prime.  Why can't you appreciate that?"  Ali got injections in his hands before fights.  He cheated.  Nobody cares.  They speak about him in awe, as they should.  We should be able to enjoy greatness.  Like that scene in Vision Quest where the old dude is talking about Pele's bicycle kick.  It's just part of the general desire to tear people down now, as much as anything.
 
 
As to the first, this is so true. I am glad that I still have the capacity to enjoy (or at least appreciate) greatness even if it is coming at the expense of the team I want to win. Whether its Mariano Rivera or Martin Brodeur or Gretzky or Aaron Rodgers or Cristiano Ronaldo, if I can't, just for a second, say "Holy shit....yeah, my team lost, but holy shit.." then I'm probably not watching sports anymore. (of course it's nice when *the* guy is *your* guy.)
 
As to the second, tearing people down, I think this is mostly true, but also a function of having so much space/time to fill. "well, folks, we're out of good things to say about [great plaer X], so who is going to take the "other side" of [pick your issue about player X where there really is no legitimate 'other side.']
 

Scriblerus

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The problem I have is that there is a difference between being a color commentator and a journalist. When they put guys like Collinsworth into "serious" one-on-one interviews, they inevitably look like fools because they aren't trained/have no experience with getting people to open up and talk.

The whole "look me in the eyes" thing is a prime example of this. He seemed to really think Brady was going to crack there and spill it. It was playground technique. He should have double-dog dared Brady to tell the truth.
 

Blacken

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Carmen Fanzone said:
I'd have thought, given our self-satisfied pride that SoSH members are smarter than the rest of fandom, that the whole Deflategate issue would have been shrugged off here. Maybe its a Sox vs Patriots thing? We left our collective intelligence at the door in the baseball threads? Maybe baseball is cerebral and football more emotional? The raw, sustained outrage around here is surprising and, frankly, unbecoming for a community that strives to be better that WEEI callers.
You're off the whitelist.
 

ifmanis5

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Carmen Fanzone said:
Ask any announcer who ever broadcast a nationally-televised game, and he or she will tell you that after every game they hear from fans of both teams complaining about their bias against the fan's favorite. Every time.
Usually true, but a lot of fans aren't objective in these matters.
 
Do you think any Peyton Manning fans would say Nantz & Simms were too hard on him against the Colts (probably no)? Do you think any Seattle fans would say Collinsworth talked too much about Ballghazi (hell no) and was too hard on Carroll for not running Lynch (possibly said he was about right)?
 

Carmen Fanzone

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ifmanis5 said:
Usually true, but a lot of fans aren't objective in these matters.
 
Do you think any Peyton Manning fans would say Nantz & Simms were too hard on him against the Colts (probably no)? Do you think any Seattle fans would say Collinsworth talked too much about Ballghazi (hell no) and was too hard on Carroll for not running Lynch (possibly said he was about right)?
No, they'd likely have different examples that they feel proved the announcers were biased against their teams and these specific points would have gone unnoticed.

As you say, a lot of fans aren't objective about this. Its just that fans here kid themselves in thinking they're above it.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Drocca said:
 
This is a good, fair question. And I can honestly say, no. Growing up I can remember Billy Packer was the big "Carolina hater" of the local guys. Carolina fans hated him and it was expected that you hate him. I never cared.
 
This gives me a good jumping off point to elaborate on a major difference between trashing UNC and trashing the Patriots (ignoring the college v. pros, because that distinction does not matter for these purposes) and also give my take on why Patriots fans are more sensitive than other fan bases.
 
I grew up in Winston-Salem, absolute ACC country. College basketball was the first sport I loved and while I prefer baseball more, my emotional ups and downs as a sports fan are much more strongly tied to 19 and 20 year old kids. People were fans of three schools where I am from - Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest. North Carolina State has a great fan base and I don't mean to ignore them but where I'm from, two hours from Raleigh, NC State did not have a major presence. Living in Raleigh now, obviously, I am surrounded by it.
 
Anyway, so you liked the hometown team (Wake), or one of the major programs in college basketball. This is where I get to the distinction. I have gone to school, work, church, every bar, every party, every social event with a mix of folks that love and hate North Carolina. There is no bubble. There is nothing being said about UNC (or Duke, or NC State) by any commentator, network or news program that is not said right in front of me, daily.
 
So distinction number one is the uniqueness of geography - UNC fans, Duke fans and NC State fans play and work together daily.
 
The second distinction is success. I root for a frontrunner. UNC has been, my entire life, one of the five best college basketball programs. Not top five every year, but one of the five best overall.
 
It's different rooting for a team expected to win. I'm not sure I can explain it well, but I think you probably understand. It's expected. Losing in the second round of the tournament in 1994 to Boston College felt worse than winning it all in 1993 felt good.
 
The Patriots are not a traditional powerhouse. This past decade + has felt like some alternative universe/happy accident. Fans cannot believe their luck and fortune.
 
And, unfortunately, fans of other teams, along with many journalists, announcers and talking heads cannot believe it either. And that disbelief has manifested itself, in some cases, by those same folks pissing on the Patriots every chance they get. Tom Brady is the best QB ever. He is the best. Peyton Manning has to play his system to be successful. Tom Brady has been successful in a wide variety of offenses. He is the best that has played the position so far. He is never acknowledged as such. Sure, he may be in the conversation or "one of...," but you never hear someone say, "We are watching the best quarterback to ever play this game absolutely slice up what was supposed to be the greatest secondary ever." That sucks for Patriots fans.
 
It seems like a fluke. It's not. For over a decade now the Patriots have had the best QB of all time and the best Coach currently in the game (I don't know if he's the best all time, or care. He's been the best coach in the league since Drew Beldsoe got hurt). The storyline doesn't reflect that, and neither does the narrative. But history will.
 
Unless. . .
 
They get an asterisk. There strong voices that want to use Spygate and deflategate to put that asterisk there. They want, when your unborn kids hear/watch footage of this dynasty, to be hearing/watching Barry Bonds instead of Willie Mays. And this is why I believe Patriots fans are more sensitive than other fans. Because people are trying to take the success of the Patriots and define it. They are trying to control the narrative and not in a favorable way.
 
  • Patriots fans, by and large, are not regularly exposed, in meatspace, to their rival fans the way Carolina fans are, simply as a geographical quirk
  • No one questions the success of Carolina basketball the way they question the success of Patriots football. No one. And this is even with 1982 being the last year that Carolina won a college basketball national championship without fake classes for their players. What did the Patriots do? Recorded something (as BB said) that 80,000 people were watching and rubbed the balls too hard.
 
 
 
This is a tremendous post.
 
I'll add: you don't see this applied to other strong historical NFL teams. The early 90s Cowboys were drugged up felony-committing maniacs, but hey, they were a lot of fun too. Lawrence Taylor probably was snorting dope off of hookers' assholes at halftime of every game, but no one cares. Jerry Rice just admitted to cheating his entire career by using stickum: no one cares ( and on the last one I don't either).
 
Montana, all everyone wants to do is talk about how awesome he was, and he was. If he's not the GOAT he's like 1A. But he also had a stretch where his team went 1 and done in the playoffs 3 straight years, where he got pulled from a playoff game for sucking. He also is probably best known for that drive against the Bengals in the SB, but no one cares that 1) a DB dropped an easy INT off of him earlier in the game, 2) the Bengals were playing without Stanley Wilson, who likely would have been their most effective RB in that game as the field was soaking wet, and 3) Esiason had a bum shoulder, could barely throw, and finished the game 11 of 25. And yet until that last drive Montana had only directed his team to 13 points. No one cares because Montana pulled out the win, but I do wonder how that game would have been treated in today's media climate. We've already heard a ton of WORST CALL EVER stories and a bit less about how insane Butler's play was. Would they have done the same with Montana? Doubtful, but who knows?
 
I think Drocca's point about the view of the Pats over the last 15 years is spot on. It's like the NFL worldview has been turned upside down: the Pats were always supposed to suck! And instead their success goes on and on and on.
 

crystalline

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Carmen Fanzone said:
No, they'd likely have different examples that they feel proved the announcers were biased against their teams and these specific points would have gone unnoticed.

As you say, a lot of fans aren't objective about this. Its just that fans here kid themselves in thinking they're above it.
Sorry, you may have missed my post above so I will quote it again for you

Theres the old saying that theres no cheering in the press box, but that rule did not apply for the Super Bowl. Every big play made by Seattle was met with loud whooping and hollering in the media workroom, and after that Kearse catch, seemingly everybody in that room was downright giddy. (I think its a combination of a lot of Seattle media members rooting for the Seahawks, as well as a number of media members who just hate the Patriots. Thats not a misconception; its a fact.)"
http://boston.cbsloc...-the-tuck-rule/
"It's not a misconception [that many media members hate the Patriots], it's a fact."

Care to cite some sources saying many media members hate other teams?
 

Comfortably Lomb

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CoffeeNerdness said:
Admitted Stick'um cheat Jerry Rice had 11 catches, 215 yards, and a TD against Collinsworth's Bengals in SB XXIII.  Will Jerry have to pass the Look Me In the Eye Test too?
 
Ugh, so now we're calling the greatest receiver in the history of the game a cheat because he did what many players during his era did? Next you're going to argue that Gaylord Perry should be kicked out of the Hall of Fame because we look less favorably on doctoring the ball in our high and mighty moral outrage era. We're talking about stupid-ass professional sports. People need some perspective. Don't stoop to the level of the mouth-breathers out there.
 

crystalline

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Carmen Fanzone said:
No, they'd likely have different examples that they feel proved the announcers were biased against their teams and these specific points would have gone unnoticed.

As you say, a lot of fans aren't objective about this. Its just that fans here kid themselves in thinking they're above it.
Also, let's think through this.

What we know:
1. NFL announcers are told what to say by producers. In some cases, they are given prepared scripts from the NFL front office, which they obediently read.
This deadspin story has audio of Michaels doing so and Collinsworth chiming in: NBC Carries NFL's Water With Pre-Written Statement On Mueller Report
http://deadspin.com/nbc-carries-nfls-water-with-pre-written-statement-on-mu-1678746476
2. The NFL was pushing the deflated football story. Many leaks were coming out of the front office. Goodell made no statement. Kraft is so angry he has come out publicly against Goodell.

Combining 1 and 2, it is just a logical conclusion that Collinsworth is forcing criticism of the Pats into the broadcast. At the very least, it's no stretch that Collinsworth knows who pays his salary, and that those employers wanted to be critical of the Patriots.

Second, it's clear the NFL markets around superstar QBs. I can dig up link showing announcers are told by NBC/Fox/ESPN to play up QBs' stories (from a few years ago), but I doubt anyone would argue. Modern sports league marketing revolves around superstars.

It was obvious before and after the game that marketing people told broadcasters to hype Russell Wilson, at Brady's expense. (See pre-game picks; count the Wilson puff montages during the game).

If I were in marketing I'd do the same. Brady is a few years from retirement and Wilson seems likely to be the face of the NFL for the next 10 years.


And so we get to the usual bottom line: sports are entertainment and sports media are entertainers. Many things they say not because they think they are the truth, but because saying those things make them or their employers more money.

Which is why I feel like Simmons does: Collinsworth used to be my favorite color commentator who added useful insights about the game. But in the super bowl, he tilted way too far into being an actor/NFL shill. Fans' loss.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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Crystalline, I'm confused. Your first post claimed media actually disliked the Patriots. Your second claimed that media was marketing driven. Not sure which you want to go with.
 

ifmanis5

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crystalline said:
Also, let's think through this.

What we know:
1. NFL announcers are told what to say by producers.
No, they are not.
 
In that specific Michaels case of reading the Mueller summary, that was the NFL dictating terms and NBC complying with it. In the more general cases however, at pre-production and production meetings, the topics of the game are discussed and prepared beforehand. The producers and director need to be ready with footage and graphics to support what the talent will say so everyone is on the same page for a seamless presentation. However, nobody is putting words into Collinsworth or Michaels' mouths, especially when it comes to opinion. If anything it is the reverse- the rest of the production team and technical crew is there to support the game and to support the talents' verbiage. Producers can certainly bring up topics, and to some extent steer the ship but they do not tell them what specific opinions to give on air during a game.
 
For opinion shows like First Take or Around The Horn, it's a different situation and in many cases producers will tell talent what position they should take in order to manufacture a debate.
 

crystalline

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Carmen Fanzone said:
Crystalline, I'm confused. Your first post claimed media actually disliked the Patriots. Your second claimed that media was marketing driven. Not sure which you want to go with.
You said announcers are unbiased and every teams fans think announcers are biased against them.

Both of my posts have different reasons why announcers/media have biases. There are several types of biases.
 

crystalline

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ifmanis5 said:
No, they are not.
 
In that specific Michaels case of reading the Mueller summary, that was the NFL dictating terms and NBC complying with it. In the more general cases however, at pre-production and production meetings, the topics of the game are discussed and prepared beforehand. The producers and director need to be ready with footage and graphics to support what the talent will say so everyone is on the same page for a seamless presentation. However, nobody is putting words into Collinsworth or Michaels' mouths, especially when it comes to opinion. If anything it is the reverse- the rest of the production team and technical crew is there to support the game and to support the talents' verbiage. Producers can certainly bring up topics, and to some extent steer the ship but they do not tell them what specific opinions to give on air during a game.
 
For opinion shows like First Take or Around The Horn, it's a different situation and in many cases producers will tell talent what position they should take in order to manufacture a debate.
Do you think Wilson versus Brady and their respective storylines were discussed beforehand? Do you think marketing at any level in TV or the NFL has an opinion on promoting Wilson for the future?
 

ifmanis5

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crystalline said:
Do you think Wilson versus Brady and their respective storylines were discussed beforehand? Do you think marketing at any level in TV or the NFL has an opinion on promoting Wilson for the future?
Storylines are always discussed but if Collinsworth sensed for one second that someone was trying to implant an opinion Inception-style on him he would walk away in a heartbeat. The whole point of hiring Cris Collinsworth is that you're getting his unique opinions and expertise and everyone in the business knows that. What Cris said on air is from Cris and that's his take or he is walking. Which makes his SB performance all the weirder to me.
 
I've never seen anyone from marketing at a production meeting**, those are typically cubicle people way behind the front lines in a different building on a different schedule. There's nobody from marketing whispering in Cris' ear to talk up one guy but not the other, doesn't happen. What Cris said on Sunday is from Cris and no one else. Cris would quit immediately if it was any other way.
 
** Actually, I take this back. There have been some cases where they were on speakerphone but that was mainly to take notes and to know how to sell a particular show or angle. Promos can sometimes have tight deadlines so it's helpful for them to know certain specifics so they can cut a spot quickly, but they don't typically give editorial input. Then again, I've not been to s Super Bowl meeting so maybe they would attend that.
 

crystalline

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ifmanis5 said:
Storylines are always discussed but if Collinsworth sensed for one second that someone was trying to implant an opinion Inception-style on him he would walk away in a heartbeat. The whole point of hiring Cris Collinsworth is that you're getting his unique opinions and expertise and everyone in the business knows that. What Cris said on air is from Cris and that's his take or he is walking. Which makes his SB performance all the weirder to me.
 
I've never seen anyone from marketing at a production meeting, those are typically cubicle people way behind the front lines in a different building on a different schedule. There's nobody from marketing whispering in Cris' ear to talk up one guy but not the other, doesn't happen. What Cris said on Sunday is from Cris and no one else. Cris would quit immediately if it was any other way.
It sounds like you have some inside view on this, yes?

When you say storylines are discussed, there must be some knowledge of what plays well with ratings.

And part of the reason its hard to believe what they all say is because Michaels wove that NFL statement on the Mueller report right into his own words, and Collinsworth acted like they were Michaels' words too. At least some of the time, then, others tell the announcers what to say, and they don't quit immediately.

I don't have a big problem with all this- Collinsworth is not a judge, who we'd expect to have no conflicts of interest. I don't have such a bright line as you do between game broadcasts and shows where the talent are told what to say like PTI. Let's also remember that for both, if these guys get bad ratings they will be fired; if they fail to tell the whole truth there are few repercussions. So job performance is based on ratings, or entertainment value.

It's interesting to hear about the daily details of whose ideas contribute to an NFL broadcast. Overall, though, I can't get that upset about what Collinsworth says, when I listen I take it for entertainment value. All I am saying above is that to believe these guys are impartial truth-tellers is folly. Everyone's biased by which side their bread is buttered on.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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crystalline said:
When you say storylines are discussed, there must be some knowledge of what plays well with ratings.
This is a far different point than your claim as "fact" that many in the media "hate" the Patriots.

If you go back and read my posts, you'll see that I made the ratings point myself.

But that's not hatred. Or bias against a team. Every media outlet in America was seeing ratings spikes when they covered Ballghazi. To expect NBC to ignore it on game day, or to cite their discussion of it as evidence of "hatred" toward your team, is to fundamentally fail to understand the business of television.

Same with the notion that marketing suits dictated an in-game preference for Wilson discussion over Brady. Its conspiracy theory hokum and, to the point I was making, lowers SoSH to NYYFans levels of foolishness.
 

snowmanny

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I suppose there are other possible reasons that many in the press box were cheering the Kearse catch (they love the Seahawks; they love complicated catches). But I'd put my money on they hate the Patriots.
 

crystalline

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Carmen Fanzone said:
This is a far different point than your claim as "fact" that many in the media "hate" the Patriots.

If you go back and read my posts, you'll see that I made the ratings point myself.

But that's not hatred. Or bias against a team. Every media outlet in America was seeing ratings spikes when they covered Ballghazi. To expect NBC to ignore it on game day, or to cite their discussion of it as evidence of "hatred" toward your team, is to fundamentally fail to understand the business of television.

Same with the notion that marketing suits dictated an in-game preference for Wilson discussion over Brady. Its conspiracy theory hokum and, to the point I was making, lowers SoSH to NYYFans levels of foolishness.
I didn't say that many in the media hate the Patriots. An actual media member in the press box did.

I also think you're naive if you believe that NBC, ESPN, and the NFL don't think about marketing and PR in their most important communication to the public, game broadcasts.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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crystalline said:
I also think you're naive if you believe that NBC, ESPN, and the NFL don't think about marketing and PR in their most important communication to the public, game broadcasts.
Don't fall into the JMOH trap...

I've been an NFL game producer and an ESPN suit.

What have you got? I mean, besides the WBZ blogger who posted a photo of himself with Bob Socci, like some 14 year old fan, in the middle of a wide-eyed account of his first Super Bowl.
 

crystalline

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Carmen Fanzone said:
Don't fall into the JMOH trap...

I've been an NFL game producer and an ESPN suit.

What have you got? I mean, besides the WBZ blogger who posted a photo of himself with Bob Socci, like some 14 year old fan, in the middle of a wide-eyed account of his first Super Bowl.
Damn. If you have inside info on NFL production you're supposed to let people know early on.

So that means you think Collinsworth really believes the Pats are big deflating-football cheaters?

Bottom line is I used to like him and if he keeps up the ball deflating thing next year I will have to stop listening.


Moreover, sounds like you think the focus on Wilson being far better than Brady is what those guys actually believe. I find that surprising.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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ernieshore said:
Collinsworth even defends the Seahawks starting a fight at the end of the game.
"From Seattle's standpoint, whatever..."
This was weird to me. I think he might have gotten caught in the switches between the monitors and the live action and maybe didn't appreciate that it was clearly instigated by Seattle. It was a weird thing to say. You could easily see going the other way and criticizing Seattle for pissing on the end of a great game. Coupled with both Michaels and Collimsworth trying to make ominous statenents about deflategate ("he burnishes his legend. For now.") it did come across as unduly negative.

To me, I thought Collinswoth spit the bit by going far too negative on the non running of Lynch, and taking way too long to discuss the play itself. I thought he was doing a very poor job of matching his commentary to the images for the two minutes or so before he got around to the fact that an undrafted free agent had just made a huge play in the super bowl. And for better or worse (especially for Carroll), those two minutes before 120 million, helped define the post-game narrative.

Carroll's decision may very well be the story of the super bowl, but not to the exclusion of what I think really is the better story. I think Collinsworth had an oppotunity to reaffirm in those two minutes why we all love sports, and the notion of a guy like Butler delivering a redemption moment deserved equal time. It's true that tearing people down is the blood sport of the day and I don't expect him to be immune to that. But when number 5 on the depth chart makes a once in a lifetime play, there are two ways you can go, and he picked the more disappointing one and wouldn't let it go for far too long. I don't think any of this has anything to do with bias. I think he calls it how he sees it, and he was simply stating in the moment how he felt.
 

HomeBrew1901

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The amount of pissing and moaning in this forum in particular is fucking laughable and has reached NYYFans levels of hysteria and I'm with Drocca, instead of reveling in the joy and afterglow, people are crying about Cris Collinsworth, Mike Francesa and Felger and Mazz.

What do I think about Collinsworth calling the game? I don't, I have no fucking clue what he said because I was so wrapped up in the action on the field I barely heard anything anyone said including my wife and kids next to me.

My (our) team just won their 4th Super Bowl in 14 years, we've witnessed 9 Championship Victories in that time, and people want to cry about commentators that don't like our team or that might get more joy seeing a really fucking good Seahawks team win twice in a row. It's fucking laughable and part of the reason these folks don't like our team.

Just enjoy the ride and chuckle at the fans that want to yell about cheating and deflate gate.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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He routinely gushes over the Patriots, Coach Bill, and Brady.

He gets a raging boner any time Jamie Collins is within 5 yards of the football.

He always identifies (healthy) Gronk as unstoppable.

To suggest that he is a Pats hater is nuts, but he was behaving strangely during the Super Bowl. I honestly believe it was because the network wanted to weave a specific narrative into the game that felt unnatural to him, and so he came across as a little schizophrenic and spoke in non sequiturs at various points.
Yep.  There's no history of CC "hating" on the Pats, but he's first and foremost a network employee whose job it is to keep folks tuned in, and he has a tendency to be a kind of overzealous goober from time to time regardless of the team he's watching.
 
If you don't care for him, the mute button is your friend, although I suppose if you did that we'd have no idea who belongs on the WHITE LIST and BLACK LIST!!1!
 

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
This was weird to me. I think he might have gotten caught in the switches between the monitors and the live action and maybe didn't appreciate that it was clearly instigated by Seattle. It was a weird thing to say. You could easily see going the other way and criticizing Seattle for pissing on the end of a great game. Coupled with both Michaels and Collimsworth trying to make ominous statenents about deflategate ("he burnishes his legend. For now.") it did come across as unduly negative.

To me, I thought Collinswoth spit the bit by going far too negative on the non running of Lynch, and taking way too long to discuss the play itself. I thought he was doing a very poor job of matching his commentary to the images for the two minutes or so before he got around to the fact that an undrafted free agent had just made a huge play in the super bowl. And for better or worse (especially for Carroll), those two minutes before 120 million, helped define the post-game narrative.

Carroll's decision may very well be the story of the super bowl, but not to the exclusion of what I think really is the better story. I think Collinsworth had an oppotunity to reaffirm in those two minutes why we all love sports, and the notion of a guy like Butler delivering a redemption moment deserved equal time. It's true that tearing people down is the blood sport of the day and I don't expect him to be immune to that. But when number 5 on the depth chart makes a once in a lifetime play, there are two ways you can go, and he picked the more disappointing one and wouldn't let it go for far too long. I don't think any of this has anything to do with bias. I think he calls it how he sees it, and he was simply stating in the moment how he felt.
It wasn't weird to me at all.
 
At that point in the game, the Seahawks had nothing to lose.  The game was effectively over absent a Herm Edwards style uber miracle.  So if the Seahawks behaved badly, whatever.  The Patriots, on the other hand, had a Super Bowl win in their pockets and doing ANYTHING that might inject an element of risk was unwise.
 
Now, I agree, Collinsworth could have pointed out the obvious: That Seattle had instigated it and was showing incredibly poor sportsmanship.  And parenthetically, I agree that Collinsworth beating the DeflateGate drum at that point in the game was pathetic.  Talking about the issue was not pathetic.  But the timing was inexcusable.  Still, away from the sportsmanship point, the notion that the Seahawks had nothing to lose and the Pats shouldn't do anything that would give the zebras a card was right and exactly what I was thinking, for what it's worth.
 

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The Patriots had to execute one more snap and any penalty would have been worth 2 yards, and that's if the refs completely ignore the other side. That's worth letting the other team take free shots at your guys?
 

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Hendu for Kutch said:
The Patriots had to execute one more snap and any penalty would have been worth 2 yards, and that's if the refs completely ignore the other side. That's worth letting the other team take free shots at your guys?
You're right.  It's hard to imagine what exactly could go wrong from a Pats perspective. That said, the law of unintended consequences is powerful and to the extent Collinsworth was saying that the Seahawks had nothing to lose and the Pats had everything to lose by engaging in a fight to me is no indication that he was crapping on the Pats or showing bias.
 

crystalline

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TheoShmeo said:
You're right.  It's hard to imagine what exactly could go wrong from a Pats perspective. That said, the law of unintended consequences is powerful and to the extent Collinsworth was saying that the Seahawks had nothing to lose and the Pats had everything to lose by engaging in a fight to me is no indication that he was crapping on the Pats or showing bias.
Agreed. Although the logical side of my brain was saying "ah, worst case is 2 yards and some fines" the rest of me was terribly anxious.
 

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Hendu for Kutch said:
The Patriots had to execute one more snap and any penalty would have been worth 2 yards, and that's if the refs completely ignore the other side. That's worth letting the other team take free shots at your guys?
Brady executed a flawless play to get them off the goal line.  There is no rational justification for giving two yards back.  The proper Pats response in that situation would have been to point and laugh at the Hawks.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Again, there are two ways to go on reporting that. I don't think "the Seahawks have nothing to lose" is the correct one. It is true that any team in a desperate situation can start a fight to try to bait their opponent into doing something stupid. This opportunity exists in most sports. You can do it at the end of a basketball game too. How many football games have you seen where a team is up by less than a TD in victory formation. How many have you seen where the defense starts a fight? The only sport in which this tactic happens regularly and is accepted is hockey.

Again, I think Collinsworth chose the wrong story. "If you're the Seahawks, whatever" implies that this is a permissible and even excusable or smart strategy. Jumping on "they're falling for it" while not mentioning (and worse bordeline embracing) an incredibly cynical tactic that most other teams in that exact position avoid seems again to choose the wrong fork in the road. Plus, as with the Butler play his comments were not matching the images on the screen. At that moment, there was a Seahwak chasing a Patriot around and prolonging the fight. As gameday threads make clear, I watch games with a bit of a doomsday approach, but there was zilch that was happening on the screen that worried me in the slightest about the game outcome. While Collinsworth was making his point there was a Seahawk acting like a lunatic, and there was little doubt in my mind offsetting penalties was the worst case scenario. I guess injury was a possibility too, but that I don't think was his point.

If the situation were reversed and the Patriots had instigated a fight on a Seahawks' kneel down, what is the post game reaction? Everyone here knows the answer. It becomes the mythical missed handshake with Caughlin or "running up the score" or paradegate and we have to be subjected to how we don't lose with class. Does this double standard affect the angle Collinsworth goes with? I don't know. It's unknowable, but he did have a choice. And criticizing the Patriots for a fight the other guys started sure does seem to dovetail with that double standard. (Obviously, if you think the double standard is a myth, this doesn't sound correct, but I think it's fairly well established there is something to it.)