Every once in a while, it’s a valuable exercise to take the opinion of someone you typically disagree with and just try to side with them.
This week, Richard Sherman tweeted something out that, as usual, made me feel like I had just been condescended to. But after some fist-clenching and eye-rolling, my opinion went from resentment to quasi-empathy.
All these draft analyst get so much wrong. I wish someone kept track of how idiotic some of their predictions are. They literally spew of ton of nonsense and get paid for it. Wish they got graded and paid for how often they are right/wrong
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 27, 2018
Here’s what I agree with:
Since most of us fans and media don’t spend nearly as much time as draft analysts do researching players, there is an implied trust in what these folks say. Often times, they just go unquestioned. That has always bothered me. The only way to hold them accountable for their analysis is to go back after the season is over and determine where they were right and wrong.
Who wants to waste their time doing that?
Even when they go back and examine their hits and misses after the draft ends, nobody cares. Win or lose, their reputations are intact. In this sense, I appreciate Richard’s attempt at knocking them down a peg or two. Nobody in media, politics, athletics, even science, should be held in such high regard that everyone just takes what they say as fact.
But that doesn’t mean Richard has it all right.
Richard doesn’t understand what the function of the media is in this case. He wants analysts to be held accountable in the same way athletes are – by measures of success and failure, prediction by prediction. Very few people have occupations that judge their work in such a cut-and-dry manner.
Sports media is about entertainment – nothing more. Whether they believe it or not, guys like Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are there to help football fans pass the time from February through April by giving us the background on the next wave of NFL players. If they can get eyeballs on their networks by furthering the discussion about the draft, they’ve done their job. Yes, they forecast and evaluate players, but they have zero impact on what actually happens.
Unless he’s doing it for a laugh, Seahawks general manager John Schneider does not flip on ESPN and say “I need Todd McShay’s opinion on who we should take at 18 this year.”
Additionally, the media’s 365-days-a-year output of football-related content is part of what grows the popularity of the league, which, ya know, helps players when it comes to things like increasing salaries. It’s strange that as a perceptive person, Sherman doesn’t acknowledge that.
In a way, I identify with Sherman because I too get upset about things that seem insignificant. It’s annoying when people who have limited knowledge of a certain topic view themselves as authorities. The fact remains that we all love sports and we all have an opinion, though. That’s the reason for having sports media in the first place.
As irksome as he may find our business, there’s plenty of room for everyone’s thoughts.