I promised myself I would not criticize the mainstream media this week. Like far too many of THEM, I was becoming a one-trick pony.
Then the bull cupcakes hit the industrial-sized fan and we were blasted by a another week of utter insanity.
So with apologies to those who think I’m getting a little obsessed with this crap, here’s another look at another week of the mainstream media’s crazy talk.
1) The Winnipeg Football Club sent out a news release on Monday announcing that ticket renewals were running at a 97 per cent pace for 2010. And very few of those renewals had come in since the firing of Mike Kelly late last week.
Nice job. Good for the football club. Is it true? Who knows? But if it is, it means that almost every word written by our local papers during the last football season was a fabrication.
We all read this stuff every day. Both papers made it sound as if Kelly’s presence would mean that every single Bomber fan would cancel his season tickets. According to the papers, the fans all hated Mike Kelly so much, they were never going to go back to another game. They were never going to buy another ticket, period.
We were told that most of the Bomber board was so worried that if Kelly stuck around, the club might never sell another ticket again.
Well, apparently all the people screaming about never buying another ticket, never bought one in the first place. 97 per cent renewals?! That’s damn good.
If that’s true, only one thought comes to mind here: Liar liar pants on fire.
And we’re not referring to the Bombers. We’re referring to the newspapers. If the 97 per cent renewal thing is true, why would you believe a word written in a Winnipeg newspaper? The entire Kelly mess was the creation of a group of people so embarrassed by the fact the local football coach called “B.S.” on ‘em, that they waged war. The papers won, but apparanetly they did it with what we now see as outright lies.
2) There has not been a major trade in the NHL this year and there are fewer major trades every year, thanks in no small way to the NHL’s salary cap. However, if you read the Winnipeg Sun on Sunday, you’d think teams were making deals daily.
Sun Media’s Bruce Garrioch, who writes in Ottawa, now has every player in the NHL with the exception of Joe Thornton, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin on the trading block. This weekend, the Sun had Sheldon Souray, Vincent Lecavalier, Teemu Selanne and Eric Staal on the road to different teams, while almost every starting goalie in the NHL was apparently heading to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just for fun, the Ottawa Sun added Philly’s Jeff Carter and Edmonton’s Shawn Horcoff and Lubomir Visnovsky to the list of players about to be moved, “Any second. Maybe now. Tomorrow. Next week. We’re sure of it. Unnamed sources told us. Who nows?
Sun Media’s NHL trade rumours have gone way past just the rumour stage. It’s now reached the level of completely silly.
3) The Associated Press is convinced that Brett Favre and Brad Childress dislike each other and Favre is righteously angry at Childress because the coach even suggested that he might take Favre out of a game.
The game was Sunday night’s debacle against Carolina, a 26-7 loss in which there wasn’t a member of the offensive line who could block the Panthers’ Julius Peppers — or anybody else for that matter. Favre was getting killed in there and Childress said on Monday that he suggested to his quarterback that it might be safer if he came out of the game.
Favre didn’t like the idea, the two talked about it and Favre stayed in. And then he nearly got his head ripped off by a Carolina defensive line that had a field day with a lethargic Vikings O-line.
Monday, I listened to the Childress news conference and the coach made an interesting point. He said: “We don’t do anything in a vacuum. On the sidelines we talk a bout a lot of things. In terms of my question to Bret, it was something that was talked through. I wish I could remember how it finished.”
It was no big deal, but the AP, along with a few other outlets, wanted to turn it into a big deal. Just like they turned “Unhappy Randy Moss hates Tom Brady,” into a story that wasn’t a story two weeks ago.
In guess you missed it, Moss was absolutely tremendous last week in a 17-10 Patriots win in Buffalo and the mainstream media was wrong. Again.
I guess when you’re not selling any papers and your business model has virtually collapsed, manufacturing stories works a lot better than the truth.
4) Because I’m always criticizing, I must admit that I go on daily searches looking for good stuff. Found a nice rant yesterday afternoon on ESPN radio, when host Kevin Cowherd went after a caller who suggested the National League was more exciting than the American League because the NL does not have the designated hitter.
Cowherd went nuts. And in a good way. He asked the caller why the NL is better without a DH and the guy responded, “the strategy,” and Cowherd echoed everything I’ve been thinking for years.
“When baseball was in trouble in the 1990s, what saved it?” Cowherd asked, “strategy or home runs? You don’t even have to answer that.
“Home runs saved baseball. McGwire and Sosa saved baseball. Strategy? Nobody goes to baseball games to watch strategy and don’t start handing me this ‘baseball traditionalists’ stuff either. Nobody cares about strategy. Strategy doesn’t make you hot. Home runs make you hot. The old double-switch. I love the old double-switch. Oh, that’s exciting. Your girlfriend gets so hot after the double-switch that she says, ‘Honey I’m so hot, I have to go back to the hotel right now.’ What a crock!
“Home runs saved baseball. Two-out bunts by pitchers didn’t save baseball.”
Then he got personal with the caller, who just happened to be from St. Louis.
“Even in St. Louis, the only person who cares about strategy is Tony LaRussa and yet his best friend is Mark McGwire. His best friend on the field right now is Albert Pujols, a guy who hits home runs. David Eckstein is strategy. Yeah, everybody loves David Eckstein. The biggest heroes in St. Louis are Albert Pujols, Mark McGwire and Stan Musial — all power guys! Strategy nearly killed baseball. Home runs saved it. I’d rather watch a DH hit than a pitcher hit every single day. And there is nothing more boring than the old double-switch. Baseball is entertainment, not homework.”
Kevin Cowherd is a our media monster of the week.