As befits the ending of a season in any sport, records have begun to fall in the NFL. The biggest and most well-recognized is Drew Breesí breaking Dan Marinoís single-season passing yards record, which happened Monday night against the Falcons.
From the moment Breesí pass hit Darren Sproles hands, it seems that those who make their living at pontificating were rushing to put Breesí accomplishment in perspective. First, the comparison had to be made between Breesí season and Marinoís 1984 campaign, which is fitting since we havenít even played Week 17 yet, much less the play-offs. Then, the historical times had to be compared, since football has become such a different game since 1984*. Finally, all the talking heads had to establish what this record did for Breesí long-term legacy in the NFL.
*- I know football has become slightly different since 1984, and Iíve seen all the numbers to prove how much more of a pass-oriented game the NFL is in 2011, and how much bigger, stronger and faster players are now. I donít care; the fact is that a talented passer like Brees could be successful in 1984, and an all-time great like Marino could still throw for 5,000 yards today. If you believe otherwise, Iím afraid Iíve got to let you go be silly somewhere by yourself.
This is 2011, so I understand that “technology is moving at the speed of light” and “people are communicating ideas more quickly than ever”, but the fact is that we donít let ideas and achievements digest anymore; everyone HAS TO HAVE AN OPINION on everything that has happened IMMEDIATELY. I went all caps because typically people are screaming this opinion at one another on a split screen. And the whole thing sort of sucks.
I absolutely realize that ESPN is a 24-hour a day enterprise that has to fill its airwaves with something; same for sports radio and that Cowherd, Mike & Mike and JT the Brick have to come up with a new perspective to keep it fresh and keep the topic alive. These guys are trying to keep viewers, get ratings and continue this incredibly cushy gig theyíve gotten for themselves. Iím not begrudging anyone that; frankly, Iíd be lying if I said I may not do the same thing in their shoes.
Still, I wish it were different. Is there any way we could possibly let the record be broken and then just enjoy it? Being a part of history may be better than having to shout over a thousand other voices to make your opinion heard (whoops, hold on I need to put on a blinking neon sign that says “hypocrite” right now). If that makes me an old fart then (insert sound of farting noise); itís just that, historically, we donít have any idea how anything compares to anything.
Does Drew Brees lead the í84 Dolphins to the Super Bowl? Are the í11 Saints a playoff team with Marino rooted in the pocket like an oak tree? I donít know; you donít know. So why does everyone with a column, microphone or smart-aleck blog pretend that they know how one event relates to another?
Sports are the most fun to follow when something relevant is happening; thatís just fact. The most exciting event I can recall being alive for was the 1998 home run chase (this was before we realized that everyone was taking steroids, HGH and horse testosterone). A nation swayed on every pitch thrown to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, believing this would be the one to bring them one step closer to immortality. No one had to tell us how important the moment was when McGwire slammed his 62nd home run; everyone understood the brevity of the night*.
*- Now we do. Seems people need to be reminded of the fact that this was the most important summer that ever happened at the time. I understand that the stench of steroids will certainly make those memories fade, but nothing was more exciting for a kid my age (I turned 12 that August); even though the two of them were outed as dopers and cheaters of the highest order, I will never forget the state of America during that summer.
Brees breaking Marinoís record doesnít hold sway like that, and I think I know why now: If people have to tell the general public how important a moment is, then chances are itís not really all that big. Itís a nice story, and Breesí speech in the locker room was something right out of a movie (I think Al Pacino actually used it in the outtakes of “Any Given Sunday”), but itís just a moment that happened in 2011; I liked it. And I just want to have my opinion on it.
(Now you have it too. Crap. I think this backfired on me.)
About Colby Wilson
Colby Wilson is a free-lance columnist for the Clarksville Sports Network. He enjoys some of the finer things in life, but is at his most content lounging on the couch watching sports. If you like what he wrote, let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org; if you didn’t, keep it to yourself, okay?
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork
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