Stories to focus on besides Harbowl and Ray Lewis (and why those 2 stories aren’t that interesting)
Last year, after the Eagles and Falcons seasons went approximately nowhere, I was one of the ones rooting for a Harbowl. The thought of two teams with physical defenses playing each other was too tempting for me to resist. This year, I get my wish, although I’m less happy about it because this was supposed to be my Falcons’ year. But this year the matchup is also more exciting because both the Ravens and 49ers are strong on both sides of the ball. This Superbowl doesn’t just promise a defensive war of attrition, it has the potential to be a football cirque du soleil.
But as with any Superbowl, it’s never about the game itself. This is the time of year when football fans reluctantly share their favorite thing with people who don’t know shit about it. And this year, with Beyonce performing at half time, you’re sure to endure more conversation about her outfit than the accuracy of Flacco’s deep ball.
If that’s not enough non-football stuff for you, we have two weeks of non-football media playing the SEO game and feverishly working to post stories for a general audience that the football audience has already read. And that’s great because it opens the door to more fans joining the NFL cult full time. I just hope that people can find more stories to explore than Jim and John Harbaugh being brothers and Ray Lewis retiring. Because, for me, those two stories might be the least interesting.
Disclaimer: I love the Harbaugh story. I think it’s great and fantastic that one family produced two people with elite positions in the same industry. Howwwwwwweverrrrrrr, there is a A LOT of nepotism in the National Football League. So much that I’m surprised that two familial head coaches haven’t coached against each other yet. Surely a father-son Superbowl will follow. A lot has been made the past few weeks about how minorities are still being largely excluded from the coaching ranks. And watching all the brother-brother-father-son duos in the NFL is just another reminder of how exclusive a club this football shit is. For that reason, two brothers coaching against each other feels anticlimactic. Two BROTHAS coaching against each other would be more exciting at this point.
I am absolutely a fan of Ray Lewis and he deserves the acclaim he has received. Howwwwwwweverrrrr Lewis has done an EXCELLENT job of marketing himself as many things — motivational speaker, elite pep talker, best middle linebacker ever, emotional and spiritual leader… He’s also cornered the market on being both intimidating and wildly attractive at the same time and based on how many children he has various women have rewarded him for that as well. Due to those facts, Lewis is celebrated on a daily basis. And even though he was suspected and cleared of witnessing a murder and trying to cover it up, that case has also added to his mythos and notoriety so that even when that trial is the subject of conversation, the story always comes back around to what he’s accomplished since then. SB doesn’t present some singular chance to celebrate Ray Lewis because it’s all been done already.
I have some ideas on other things to write about.
- Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens. Pierce is a fellow Temple Owl (which is mentioned every single damn time he plays and I don’t know why but I still like it). Drafted in the 3rd round he was thought to be the back up back up to Ray Rice. Meaning, yeah he might play, but mostly Ray Rice is gonna play until he gets hurt. Pierce has shown himself to be a dominant force and finished the season at # 5 in Pro Football Focuses’ rankings for “elusiveness.”
- Ed Reed goes home to New Orleans for his first Superbowl. If there was ever a football player I want to meet it’s Ed Reed. When Bill Belichick talks about Reed he is talking FOR ME as well so just read this and picture me nodding my head. In all the years I’ve followed Reed’s career, despite being one of the most thoughtful and amiable interviews in the league, I have never eva eva eva eva seen a long form profile on that man except ONE in Sports Illustrated from 1995 or something. I’d like to see the media rectify this. All week leading up to the AFC Chip game Reed refused to talk to anyone. There are no videos or transcripts on record for him. So he may not be willing to sit down for anything, but if he is, that’s a great get for some crafty person.
- Colin Kaepernick’s eyebrow-raising personality. I think that with the success of Kappanick (not a typo) and Russell Wilson, and RG3 and Cam Newton you have to talk about the emergence of zone read QBs and teams. Or, as the media likes to simplify, teams that run the QB. That’s important. So is the not-quite-appropriate racial dissection of a guy who is half black and adopted by a white family with a birth mother who doesn’t understand the word “no.” But I think the media can go deeper here and find out what kind of “guy” Kappanick is. There is a distinct way this guy communicates with teammates at the line, after plays and in practice that is special. He is also in touch with his black side despite not growing up in that environment in some rather distinct ways that I’d like to be nosy about. I don’t know what I think of Kappanick yet, but there’s a story here and I want someone to get it.
- David Akers. Akers spent the bulk of his career getting cheated out of money by the Philadelphia Eagles. Then he actually literally was cheated out of money in some sort of pyramid scheme in which he may have lost the bulk of his savings. The rub on Akers is that he misses kicks in big games, although I’m not sure that the read on that is quite accurate. Akers is no Billy Cundiff. What is accurate, however, is that he’s missed a lot of kicks this season probably in part due to a surgery he hid until recently. That led to a kicking competition and a risk of getting replaced by Cundiff. Akers reaction is needed. Most of the time kickers are ignored, but Akers is an interesting study and he’s heavy into martial arts and good on camera.
Right this minute I realized this post is too long and probably should have been two posts. So I’ll stop here and return with ideas in another post…I think. LOL