I love watching sports on television, and at the moment have the AFC Championship on between New England and Baltimore. The winner goes to the Super Bowl. For the past week, most commentary I've read have positioned the big "story lines" for the game as a match-up between whether New England quarterback Tom Brady will get to the Super Bowl for a record sixth time, or if Baltimore QB Joe Flacco will get to the Super Bowl in this, his contract year.Seriously?
I mean...seriously???! I do love sports and can put up with a whole lot of inane analysis. It comes with the terrority. And I'll reguarly watch games that have the more barebones "story line." But I have limits, man. The question of how a player does in his "contract year" does not even register on the Bob-o-meter.
I can grasp the Tom Brady story. It's pretty thin, but it at least has a sense of history and perspective to it. But Joe Flacco is good quarterback who's taken his team to the AFC Championship game at the very least. He's going to do just fine in his contract talks. So, whether Joe Flacco ends up making $14 million a year or $17 million or whatever is just something I couldn't even remotely begin to care about -- as a reason to even think about, let alone reason to watch.
A far better story line for Baltimore is whether this will be the last game for the great linebacker Ray Lewis, who is retiring after this season. But apparently, some analysts want the Story to be only about the quarterbacks, no matter how idiotic.
In fact, a perfectly fine story line would be, "Watch the game to see two really good teams, the winner of which will play in the Super Bowl. I'd think for most sports fans, that's usually reason enough.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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