Monday, May 19, 2014

Another NFL Analogy

It’s time for another NFL analogy article because there is a bizarre similarity between the world of the NFL and our political system right now. So without further ado, here are some things I’ve observed from the NFL that fit our system perfectly.

Heavy Assh*le Factor: The world of commenting on sports stories is just as moronic and vile as the world of commenting on political stories. Indeed, the comments at most sports sites are just as stunningly retarded, illogical, false, hateful and self-righteous as they are at political sites like HotAir and HuffPo.

I don’t know if this is good or bad. It would be good if the fact that this behavior occurs in other areas than just politics tells us that the problem is anonymous posting rather than some deep schism within humanity. And in truth, we do seem to be talking about less than a thousand or so ultra-dipsh*ts dominating all these forums. On the other hand, it would be bad if this meant this behavior was spreading to other facets of our lives.

Liberals Are Confused, Angry: One of the things that I keep running into in NFL circles is the hilarious discovery that liberals are utterly confused. The best example of this comes from the writer Peter King. King is a dipsh*t, delusional far-left liberal who likes to think he’s unbiased. You can depend on King to protest his lack of political bias even as he goes out of his way to discuss and endorse things like gun control, environmentalism, and his love of Al Gore. And he's big on the "somebody needs to do something!" which liberals love so much.

Where this gets funny is that because King is white and male and old, and because he works for a massive “corporation,” the liberals who comment on his articles are incapable of processing the idea that he could be a liberal. After all, liberals are young, dark and poor, not fat, old, entitled and white, right? So they simply assume that he must be a conservative and they attack everything he says... even the liberal stuff.

A case in point is the Michael Sam saga. No matter what King said, they took it as a statement that King wants Sam kept out of NFL locker rooms. So when King was writing articles critical of GM’s who said Sam would be a “distraction,” the liberal commenters were outraged that King would allow such a thought to be expressed in his column. Apparently, “distraction” was a code word for a way to exclude gays, and by repeating the comments of these GMs (even critically), King was giving them the seal of approval. Even when King tried to naysay anyone who said that Sam would be drafted (or not cut) because of political correctness, he was savaged for saying that Sam would need to make the team based on his own skills. Apparently, “skill” was a code word for a way to exclude gays.

This has been going on for quite some time now and they do the same thing with regard to race or unionization or any other liberal idea that touches upon the NFL. Everything he says, no matter how liberal, get spun into conservatism and attacked. My personal favorite attack on him is that King, who has fellated every black quarterback ever, is a racist because... well, because he’s rich and white and fat, so he must be!!!

I think this helps to clarify a few things: (1) liberals are unable to identify liberalism when they see it; (2) liberals are intolerant even of being told of opposing views; (3) liberals are incapable of spotting liberals when they don’t have the right resume and skin color; and (4) liberals are insane with rage right now. Sound familiar? It should, because you can see the same thing at any far-right or far-left website... conservative/liberal ideas savaged because the wrong person said them... an inability to tell friend from foe... rage-based emoting replacing human cognitive function... and extreme intolerance to anyone who doesn’t join the cult 100%.

Brain-dead Media: The NFL media is packed with morons, and no, I’m not being hyperbolic. Most of these guys know so little about the game they cover that it’s shocking. They don’t know the rules of the game. They certainly don’t understand the theory. They have zero ability for independent thinking. What they do is mindlessly repeat platitudes that have been repeated so often that they’ve become conventional wisdom whether they make sense or not.

Indeed, anyone can have a great time picking these apart. Here’s a recent example: there is conventional wisdom that players who aren’t drafted early are better off because they go to better teams. This makes sense generally as the draft occurs in order of the teams’ performance during the prior year. Ergo, the worst teams go first and the best last. Thus, being picked later means you should go to a better team.

But here’s the problem. Johnny Manziel was expected to be picked in the first four picks, most likely by Cleveland. He was instead picked with the 22nd pick. Immediately, a large number of journalists trotted out the idea that he got to a better team because he got picked 22nd... even though he was picked by Cleveland, who was picking 4th and just happened to get their hands on the 22nd pick. In other words, this conventional wisdom is nonsense and none of them realized that.

Now, some of the brighter journos did figure this out and they tried to apply a different conventional wisdom: there is less pressure on quarterbacks taken in later rounds because no one expects them to be any good. So they said Manziel will benefit from this. Only, everyone expected him to go in the first four picks, so the same pressure will be on him in Cleveland. Once again, the conventional wisdom simply can’t apply, but the journalists aren’t smart enough to realize that and they don’t know how else to analyze the news.

There are a million examples I could give you where the garbage spewed by the analysts flies in the face of logic, reality or even the rules of the game, yet they all keep repeating it in their echo chamber of fallacy.

The same thing is true throughout our political media. Time and again, I read articles that simply don’t grasp how our political system works, what the facts are on the ground, or what logic and history suggest will happen. It’s shocking to see how flat-out wrong these people are time and again, and yet they keep repeating their provably false ideas over and over as others around them adopt them without thinking.

We live in sad times in that I honestly need to declare that the media is not only worthless, they have become a massive unintentional misinformation machine.

It’s Useless, So Why Can’t I Stop?: One of the stranger aspects of modern journalism is that they keep doing things that they themselves admit are nonsense. A case in point are sports journalists who turn out Mock Drafts. It is the rare mock draft that gets more than five or six picks right out of thirty and everyone now admits that these things are essentially worthless. Nevertheless, almost every single sports journalist turns out at least one of these.

The same is true in the political world with things like polls. So many journalists rely on things like polls even though the polls have proven that none of them will be close to correct. Even worse, we know that polls taken more than a few days before the election itself are even more worthless. Nevertheless, these journalists just can’t stop themselves.

An interesting side note of this is the return of “Independents.” In 2012, we learned that one of the reasons polls were wrong was that “Independents” aren’t really independent. They are Republican-leaning groups who lean toward third-party candidates like libertarians. This is why all those polls showing Republicans and Independents voting for Romney didn’t add up to a win. You would think everyone would be on to this and would now sample both “Independents” and “Moderates,” who are the Democratic equivalent of “Independents.” But no one has and all the people who rely on polls are back to counting “Independents” as if they mean something... nothing learned.

Poison Relationships: The relationship between the NFL and the NFL players association is apparently so poisonous that they can’t even agree to implement things they both want. Indeed, before either side will agree to anything (even something they want) they must hold the other side up for something in return and they want to drag the other side through the media mud. This is the same world the Democrats and Republicans find themselves in at this point.

Interestingly though, for the NFL this hasn’t been a problem. I would suggest several reasons for this. First, the NFL ultimately is about money and neither side will do anything to slow the cash cow. Secondly, the NFL is structured to let the owners push their will through subject ultimately only to a strike. This second point could be similar to ruling by Executive Order, except that the President’s power really is too limited to do that effectively... and Obama doesn’t know how to use it.

The first point is more interesting. The first point suggest that we need to find a way to align Congress with the success of the country. Maybe we should limit the budget to economic growth to give them an incentive to make the country as rich as possible.



Tennessee Jed said...

ah, man! .......... somebody needs to do something about this

tryanmax said...

Maybe we should limit the budget to economic growth to give them an incentive to make the country as rich as possible.

I'll leave it to the experts to devise a mechanism, but I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, most people wouldn't grasp this, especially on the far right where a balanced budget amendment is the holy grail. Conversely, the left would oppose it because bigotry.

Your article makes me think of Marshall McLuhan again. (I talk about this guy so much, I must think more highly of him that I even realized.) In the case of the rich, fat, old, white liberal, being taken for a conservative, King is the perfect example of the medium becoming the message. He is incapable of expressing himself because the packaging dominates the idea. The only way he might possibly be heard is if he openly announced his liberalism.

And to the larger issue, especially as it relates to mock drafts and polls, the medium trumps the message because, even though the information is useless, the fact that it's relayed by news outlet sends the message that "this is important...this matter."

It's hard to know precisely what McLuhan was driving at, as he preferred to be cryptic. It must've been funny to him. But I like to think he was making pure, uncritical observation with the knowledge that it would be understood, first as a caution, then as unchallenged conventional wisdom, and ultimately as a platitude.

One last thought occurs to me. This is an especially easy time to posture oneself as a deep thinker. One only need bone up on the thoughts of previous thinkers and spout them off without citation. People tend to become dismissive of the ideas of the past even as they remain readily accepting of old ideas trussed up as new. This is something the GOP does not understand. They must stop presenting ideas bearing a deep patina and instead polish them up and never mention where they came from.

Tennessee Jed said...

Marshall McLuhan ..... How are you doin'?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! Bravo! :D

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, On your final point, great point! People dismiss things "old" thoughts because they think those people lived in a different time and thus can't really relate to our times. But they are amazed and dazzled by old ideas when they are presented as new thoughts. So it does make a lot of sense to sell the idea and drop the reverence for the originator of the idea as part of the sales pitch.

Good point on King as well. He fits the stereotype these people see as conservative, ergo, unless he openly declares himself "not that," then they will automatically try to view him through the prism of that stereotype.

On the mock drafts and polls, I agree that the public accepts them because "they are presented and therefore must be important." What surprises me though is that the people who are supposed experts in their own field don't seem to be able to grasp this problem. I think it's a real indictment of the profession.

Post a Comment