Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 16, 2009
By Kerry J. Byrne
Cold, Hard Football Facts Paul Tibbets of Pigskin
So Bill Belichick decided to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28 Sunday night and his Patriots lost to the Colts, 35-34.
We haven't seen an executive decision produce this much radioactive fallout since Truman-Hiroshima back in '45.
Personally, the Cold, Hard Football Facts have no major problem with the decision, other than this: a good decision is one that succeeds. A bad decision is one that fails.
Belichick's decision failed. So you do the math.
Belichick actually has bigger problems than 4th-and-2-Gate – but apparently CHFF is the only outlet that realizes it, because all the emotional energy in the media Monday was centered around a single play among 140 Sunday night, and not on the big-picture problems that plague Belichick's defense.
But nobody was interested in the more telling story because it's easier to scream "heretic" at the top of your lungs and then burn the witch at the stake of public opinion.
So, instead, it was open season on Belichick Monday. And the Cold, Hard Football Facts are observers of media as much as we are observers of football. So the dynamics of the responses that lit up the media like an A-bomb Monday absolutely fascinated us. It was a Marianas-style turkey shoot made all the more frenzied by the fact that Belichick commits the cardinal sin of not kissing media ass every day.
There are two main conclusions we've come to in the wake of 4th-and-2-Gate:
ONE - The most sober, reasoned, rational, fact-filled and well-thought responses were provided by the citizen-journalists in the dreaded "blogosphere."
TWO - The old Molotov-cocktail-tossing character assassins from the traditional mainstream media paraded through the streets of cyberspace as if it were Kill-a-Jew Day in the Gaza Strip. "Death to Belichick! Death to Belichick!"
It's a fascinating dichotomy.
CBS tried to pass off forged documents as a legitimate news story. CNN gave favored coverage to a dictator in exchange for exclusive coverage. The N.Y. Times fabricates more fiction than James Patterson. Mainstream newspapers like the Boston Globe and the L.A. Times couldn't play a story straight with a protractor, compass and plumb line. And the biases of the various cable networks are well documented.
The irony, of course, is that the old media, these observers of the human condition, refuse to observe and recognize the reasons for their own demise. They continue to uphold themselves as the standard bearers of legitimacy and integrity, even as the public laughs in their face at the thought. Even worse, the old media lament the dreaded "blogosphere" as if it's the source of the mistrust that the mainstreamers have brought upon themselves.
(Personal note: I feel uniquely qualified to comment on the two sides of the equation as one of the few people who has one foot firmly planted in both the "mainstream" and alternative media worlds.)
The truth, of course, is that it's the mainstream media itself whose standards are in the cesspool. The truth, too, is that you'll find better reporting and a greater diversity of opinion in the blogosphere. Sure, there are bomb-throwing hacks in the world of "bloggers." But they cause less damage than the bomb-throwing hacks in the big media.
The reactions to 4th-and-2-Gate provide us a perfect prism through which to observe this phenomenon. In fact, perhaps it's a "teachable moment" for the mainstream media members who live with the delusion that they uphold some sort of standards of integrity when, in fact, they're mostly just flinging feces from said cesspool.