Monday, July 20, 2009

10 comments Two For One Tuesday

I updated it kind of late yesterday but if anyone is interested in a BotB Fantasy Football League please tell me. I am looking to get a league of a max of 12 teams together. So email me or put in the comments you will be interested and I will get the ball rolling. We need 2 more spots to be filled for the minimum of 8 teams and we need 6 more spots for the maximum of 12 teams. Though if there was enough interest, I guess we could go to 14 teams.

Everyone get very excited, because it is two for one Tuesday! I tell you what, for a guy like me who likes to put up a post every single day these are some dry times. It's pretty much the off season for nearly every sport, except baseball, so I am having to dig a little bit to find examples of bad articles. Fortunately, Tim Keown actually has a back log of bad articles for us to enjoy.

-When we last left Tim Keown was upset because he did not like that the NBA did not have personalities.

Before that (in one of our highest viewed posts ever...go figure huh?) we found he hated Kobe's face.

Before that he was informing us that a quarterback's skill has nothing to do with success in the NFL, it's purely a matter of which team you play for.

Today, Tim sets his misguided eye on Twitter and how it is ruining journalism.

Holly Robinson Peete has no business being part of the Steve McNair discussion, but she was.

As opposed to everyone else, your current writer included, who have given their opinion who have their business in being a part of the discussion? From Tim Keown's point of view we all have business opining over McNair's death, but not Holly Robinson Peete, as the wife of an ex-NFL quarterback she has nothing to do with this discussion.

Her opinions were either inane ("Will the Steve McNair tragedy scare married men straight like the '87 film 'Fatal Attraction' did for a while?")

Watch the movie and then think about cheating on your wife/loved one. You will think twice. Robinson-Peete was just making an off the cuff comment, it is not ruining journalism as a whole. Why is it journalists think anyone who is not a journalist giving their opinion in a public fashion is ruining journalism?

or distasteful ("i told hubby if i get a call some 20 yr old waitress he was doin offed him - me n kids boycotting funeral - not EVEN joking").

How distasteful to threaten to boycott her husband's funeral if he was murdered by his mistress! Show a little respect to the dead Holly! So what if your husband cheated on you and your children, it doesn't matter, it's more important to show respect for him than it is to have any self respect.

I know the whole Twitter/Facebook social-networking revolution is supposed to transform the way we communicate with each other. But for the most part it looks to me like just another way to avoid human interaction while tossing out meaningless tidbits of minutiae.

Absolutely it is. I have never thought it would transform the way we all communicate, I think it is just another way of communicating.

It is not a reason to avoid human interaction. I can't just call Shaq and find out what he is doing right now, there is no way I can personally do that, but I can look at his Twitter and see what he is up to. That is neat for some people. If it weren't for Twitter, there would be ZERO interaction between normal people and many high profile people, so it is not a way to avoid interaction, it is a way of communicating with those individuals we normally would not be able to communicate with.

I have no interest in being given 140-character opinions or observations or updates -- even from people I know and like.

I don't either, that is why I am not on it. Fortunately, the United States is not a dictatorship where Tim Keown is in charge of monitoring all communications. Otherwise, each person's scope of effect on others would be limited to discussing Kobe's facial expressions.

If its use was limited to people boring each other into stupefaction with their whereabouts and their moods and their shopping habits, it would be the equivalent of an inside joke at the high school cafeteria.

It is used exactly this way for 99% of the world.

The problem is, there is a widespread attempt in the media to bring validity to the enterprise.

This widespread attempt for validity occurs when celebrities and insiders like Peter King and Ric Bucher tweet about something sports related and it has a hint of validity to it. Why would the world NOT take something these people have tweeted seriously? It's not the message format but the messenger people take seriously.

(And I'll say it before you do: There are exceptions, and the election protests in Iran are a big one. Without Twitter, the amount of useful information leaving that country would be minimal at best.

This is a valid way to use the technology.

I don't believe Holly Robinson Peete, a successful actress with a solid reputation, would have told a newspaper reporter the same things she wrote on Twitter.

For one thing, no one would have called Holly Robinson Peete and asked her opinion on the subject. She probably would have told her friends the same thing she put online though...therein lies the appeal of Twitter, we get her personal thoughts without knowing her.

One of the first McNair-related Twitter items that gained widespread circulation came from CNBC reporter Darren Rovell, who cited WSMV-TV in Nashville as confirming that McNair was shot and killed by his wife.

A legitimate reporter citing a legitimate television station reporting a story they had found out about. There is no difference in the information being disseminated over Twitter and WSMV breaking into the scheduled programming to break the news. I could see the problem if a non-reporter was the first to break the story, but that did not happen. The facts were a little bit wrong on this, that is a problem, but ESPN has never had a problem in the past breaking news stories that were just a little bit wrong. The only problem the network and it's writers seem to have is when someone else breaks the story first, but wrong. Then writers like Keown start screaming foul. You won't hear him get upset when Chris Mortensen breaks a story wrong though.

But since he is more well-known and considered more reputable than WSMV, his decision to publicly lend his name to it -- consciously or not -- gave it more credibility and a bigger audience than it deserved.

Actually the story was basically correct in its structure. Steve McNair was killed, and you can forgive someone for not thinking the woman he was with was his wife. I don't think this is a case where Twitter was a problem in destroying serious journalism, but a case where a reporter was in a race to be the first to break a story and did not have all his facts straight.

It's all right to admit, and it's all right for people who have nothing to do with investigating or reporting the event -- the wife of an ex-quarterback or a reporter -- to stay out of it until more is known.

At that point all of the facts were known and she was just giving her opinion on the situation. It may have been a rough, off the cuff opinion but she is not a journalist and she was not attempting to be a journalist. Everyone has a right to an opinion and Twitter allows individuals to give that opinion publicly. Twitter may be ruining privacy but it is not ruining journalism.

But from a journalistic sense, it seems like Twitter -- and whatever technology comes next -- is becoming a place that you can be wrong without consequences.

What is Keown talking about? I am not going to link the amount of stories that ESPN or any other news outlet has gotten wrong over even the past year and there have been no consequences for this. ESPN hired Adam Schefter because they got tired of breaking stories incorrectly through Chris Mortensen. Besides the consequences for constantly incorrectly reporting a story is that the person starts to lose credibility. This really has nothing to do with Twitter because it is merely the medium through which the story was reported.

Again as I always say, the only thing destroying journalism are the journalists themselves.

-As I am sure everyone has heard by now, Mike Vick has been released from jail, which means it is time to let the speculation begin on where he will play, how much he will get paid, and whether he even deserves to play again. Begrudgingly, I believe in second chances so I think he should get a chance to play again. I say begrudgingly because I really do love animals more than humans and Vick was involved with an entire dog fighting operation, he did not carry out a single event. I wish he would not get a second chance but it seems fair to me that he does.

The title of Jim Trotter's article is "Michael Vick Deserves Opportunity to Play in the NFL Again."

I am not sure if he deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL again, but he is going to get another chance to play in the NFL so I need to learn to deal with it. I love animals more than I love humans, but I also recognize Vick has served his sentence and paid a fairly high price. It doesn't make me happy to let him play again.

The arguments used by Jim Trotter in this article would not be enough to convince me Vick deserves a second chance if I didn't already believe it.

My wife has a huge heart when it comes to animals, dogs in particular. She has given our 11-year-old German Shepherd so many belly rubs that it rolls onto its side when it sees her coming. On hot days she'll put large chunks of ice into Ruby's water pan, and at dinner she'll mix in grilled steak or baked chicken because, in her opinion, dry kibble just isn't good enough by itself.

My wife also is among those who believe Michael Vick should get a second chance in the NFL now that his 23-month prison sentence for bankrolling an illegal dog-fighting operation is over.

Because Jim Trotter's wife loves her dog very much, this means that she is an expert on whether Mike Vick deserves to play again in the NFL? I think Jim Trotter should call Roger Goodell and tell him that his wife loves animals and thinks Vick should be able to play again, I am sure it would make all the difference in the world in his decision on whether Vick should be allowed back in the NFL.

I hate arguments that start like this...relying on a person who normally hates something but doesn't in this specific, like this one exception for one person should prove anything.

"My grandmother normally hates action movies but she liked Transformers 2, so therefore it is a good movie."

"Ban him from owning a dog," she told me last weekend. "But let the man earn a living."

Yes, treat Vick like a child molester and keep him away from dogs, that makes perfect sense. What a wonderful way to show the United States prison system has rehabbed not allowing him to own a dog.

Vick has done his time, lost most of his money and been publicly disgraced. His name has been indelibly stained by the admission that he tortured and killed dogs.

All of these are absolutely true and I can not argue with this. I will say that he brought all of this on himself.

If Vick knocks on the office door of each of the league's 32 owners and, one by one, is turned away, so be it.

This will not happen.

But to unilaterally prevent the former star quarterback from playing because of fears about how fans or sponsors might react would be hypocritical at best, shameful at worst.

The NFL is a billion dollar business that relies on corporate sponsors to buy commercial time and these corporate sponsors like to be attached to a product that consumers can relate to the NFL and it's business. When I think of erectile dysfunction pills, I think of football commercials because that is when they are mostly run by drug companies. The fans reaction is important as well. An individual team is a business in itself and relies on fan support to continue, and without this fan support it leads to less than sold out stadiums, lower revenues, and so on. That's not good for a team.

It is not shameful for the NFL to protect its financial interests by worrying about how the fans and the sponsors might react to Vick coming back. It's perfectly natural. The NFL is not in a position where they should have to make an ethical and public statement about the redemption of a human being. The NFL is in a position where they need to make sure Mike Vick coming back will not adversely affect the NFL as the #1 sport in the United States. It's the same reason Roger Goodell cracked down on misbehaving players, to get the appearance of the NFL being a thug league out of everyone's mind. He learned from the NBA's mistakes in that aspect.

So no, it is not shameful to worry about the bottom line because that is how the NFL judges itself and is judged by others.

If the NFL can give second chances to gamblers (Art Schlichter), drug traffickers (Tamarick Vanover and Bam Morris) and those who commit vechicular homicide while driving drunk (Leonard Little) -- yes, I consider killing someone while driving drunk to be murder, even if the law doesn't -- it should give Vick the opportunity to resume his career.

I hate this argument as well. Simply because the NFL has been lenient in the past does not mean they should continue to be lenient in the future. The line has to be drawn somewhere and just because these players were allowed back into the game in the past doesn't mean the bar should be lowered for the future.

This annoys me like the Hall of Fame comparisons annoy me. "Well, we have to let Y player in the Hall of Fame because X player is already in the Hall of Fame and Y is a much better player than X." Just because the Hall of Fame lowered it's standards and may have made a mistake in the past doesn't mean it should base future decisions on the low level the "mistake player" played the sport at.

It's true that none of the aforementioned transgressions took place on Goodell's watch, but it's also accurate that none of those players, prior to reinstatement, was punished as severely as Vick.

It's accurate to say none of those players were punished as severely as Vick because they did not happen on Goodell's watch. You can't separate these two events because they are completely linked together.

We all know how I feel about Leonard Little. He should be in jail in my mind. Donte Stallworth got an indefinite suspension after running over a pedestrian while he was high and drunk but I am not sure if this is going to be a precursor to the Vick decision. Stallworth got off incredibly light in the judicial system for what he did, especially since he was intoxicated and on illegal narcotics at the time, and this light judicial sentence may be why he got an indefinite suspension. Vick has paid his price in the judicial system already and he has also paid a financial price as well.
The argument that Vick's return would cause a loss of fans or sponsors is laughable. The NFL is the Gulliver of professional sports leagues. Its game is bigger than any one individual, including Vick.

I don't find this as laughable as Jim Trotter does. I don't think Mike Vick being reinstated would tear down the entire NFL or anything, but it could lead to an eventual change in perception for the league combined with other events. Fans are not going to grow tired of the league and the player's antics all at once, it will be a gradual thing, and combine it with the poor economy and looming lockout in 2010 and I think there should be some really trepidation at alienating any fans.

No fans are going to wake up tomorrow and say they hate the NFL because of the Vick situation, but if you combine a Vick reinstatement with a few other negative NFL player related events, including a lockout, the league could look at a sponsor and fan problem at some point in the future.

Vick isn't the first player to participate in dog-fighting and he won't be the last

He didn't participate in dog-fighting, he ran the entire operation and made money off of the operation. It's not like he was only standing around and watching the fighting, he was also the one financing the dog-fighting and actively taking part in "punishing" those dogs that lost.

Where was this type of outrage when former members of Congress admitted to being members of a group that committed the same heinous acts on African-Americans that Vick did on some of his dogs?

This is a completely different topic that is not related to the discussion being had about Mike Vick and dog-fighting. To even bring this up is a sign of a weak argument in my mind.

Goodell should heed the words President Bush said in his 2004 State of the Union address while discussing legislation to help convicted criminals re-enter society.

That is absolutely true and that is why I think Vick should get a chance to play in the NFL again, against my true wishes.

You can't downplay the effect a Vick reinstatement will have on fans and sponsors. The second the NFL starts to believe it is bulletproof is the very second the fans and sponsors will take an opportunity to show that it's not. Everyone who owns a animal thinks what Vick did was horrible, that is almost a given, but as simple as reinstating him to the NFL would seem to be, there is a bigger picture the NFL has to look at. You can't simply ignore that. I never liked Vick as a person or a quarterback but he gets a second chance in the NFL because America believes in second chances, but it doesn't mean that second chance should not come without some hesitation on the part of the NFL.


KentAllard said...

"There are no second acts in American lives."

There should be more outrage if a member of Congress comes out as having belonged to a racist organization. That doesn't mean everyone else gets a free pass.

I probably agree on an intellectual level he should be reinstated, but fuck it, I hope he gets banned for life.

Bengoodfella said...

If a member of Congress came out as belonging to a racist organization there should be immediate outrage and that person should step down. Unfortunately that isn't what we are talking about here. I agree, just because that happens doesn't mean everyone else should get a free pass.

I think on a human level that he deserves a second chance because we all get chances to mess up and then try and redeem ourselves. I do believe he should get an opportunity to play. I don't know if he is going to get a chance to play in the NFL or not because I don't know where he fits in the NFL, other than the Wildcat.

I just saw Chris W posted the opposite argument as this on FJMariotti. He did not seem too impressed with the idea that the NFL could lose some sponsorships or fans because of this. I never said the NFL would lose sponsorships or fans, I have said the NFL needs to be careful because with a lockout looming in 2010. No fan of the NFL is going to stop watching games because Mike Vick plays in the league. I think more of a problem is for Vick on the local level. I don't know what team will want to take a chance on him. There will probably be one.

I do have to disagree with him on the idea that Goodell should not pay some attention to corporate sponsorships before making this decision. Vick being reinstated is not going to change the world but Goodell does need to pay attention to the opinions of those that are associated with the NFL.

I think Vick should be let back in the league but I also understand how no team is going to want to be associated with him.

What I meant about the big picture is that whatever team signs Vick could really well lose local sponsorship, I don't see how this is not viable. I think Goodell should reinstate Vick and let him sink or swim on the free agent market.

The Casey said...

Twitter is just like every other medium today in that the signal-to-noise ratio is incredibly low. People seem to think that speed, volume, and quantity make up for thoughtful analysis and reporting, and they're wrong.

I read both of the reinstate/don't reinstate Mike Vick articles today, and somehow I disagree with both of them. Like Chris W., I don't really give a damn whether he plays or not. My only worry would be him signing with an NFC South team so he could stick it to the Falcons.

The argument that bugs me the most is the "let him make a living" argument. Nobody is stopping Mike Vick from getting a job today. I'm sure there are places that would hire him today just because he is Mike Vick. There's the supposed new football league starting up soon. I don't think he'd make a good coach, like I saw somebody suggest, but he could get a job. To steal from FJM, what's up with this "if not NFL JOB then UNEMPLOYMENT" argument?

And I pretty much agree with Chris W. about the "don't reinstate MV" article.

Bengoodfella said...

Twitter sucks in my opinion and that is the reason I am not on it. I don't really care to share with I am doing during the day, besides I get most of my thoughts out here. I don't think it is ruining journalism though. The problem is that society is trying to learn how to adapt it to their lives and "real journalists" are using it too much to be the first to break a story. I don't think it is well used in that capacity. Actually Bill Simmons uses it perfectly in my mind.

I don't care if Mike Vick plays this year or not but I think he should get a second chance, though I would like it if he didn't. I don't think you have to worry about him being in the NFC South. Unless the Saints look to pair him and Bush together.

The argument on the side of the pro-Vick side that annoys me the most is that other players have gotten to come back with little punishment, because that was under the old regime. Let's face it, he doesn't have a lot of job skills outside of football. I am just guessing at that but I feel pretty confident in that assessment.

The argument that annoys me on the anti-Vick side is that they seem to think the entire league will fall if Vick was reinstated, which is not true, though I do have to admit if I am Roger Goodell I am a little concerned about the response. The league is not going to fall apart over night but they do have to worry about public perception in some fashion. I feel like the anti-Vick crowd wants blood.

It's ok to agree with Chris, he is a persuasive guy. I don't personally care but neither side makes a great argument to me.

Bengoodfella said...

Casey, football league? We need a couple more...

The Casey said...

Sure. I haven't played in at least 5 years, but somebody's got to come in last.

Fred Trigger said...

Its all good, man. I havent played in 5 years, either.

wv: fight

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, I have gotten 7 people into it now. We just need 1 more for the minimum!

AJ said...

actually the min is 4 people...but 8 is a good number, 10 would be ideal.

You think maybe Eckstein would participate, to give back to his sponsers?

Just remember, pick the players you hear the most about in the news and you'll be fine. Players like Vick and Farve, you know, the players that will have the least amount of impact on the season yet are the most talked about on TV.

Bengoodfella said...

My minimum is 8 people because I have played in leagues with 6 people and it is just brutal.

I wish Eckstein would play, that would give us 8 people AND we would get a chance to grit out a victory against him.

Absolutely, I am taking your advice. I am going to pick T.O. in the first round because I hear he is going to have a good season, Romo in the second round and Chad Johnson in the 3rd round. I will whip everyone's ass!