Tag Archives: Sports

Bias in News Reporting

Did anyone watch ESPN’s NFL Prime Time this week?

After recapping the Monday night games, the Chiefs-Patriots game was the next feature.

It was almost as if the Patriots didn’t play anyone.  They did not show a single Chiefs’ highlight.  They did not mention the Chiefs driving to the Patriots’ 5-yard line with 53 seconds to go.  They didn’t mention our starting QB, Brodie Croyle, was sent to the bench with a shoulder injury.

The only time they mentioned a Chiefs player at all was when they said something like, “Bernard Pollard ended Tom Brady’s season.”  Sheesh!  With that tone and phrasing, I’m surprised they didn’t give out his phone number, address, and where he was likely to be found by himself (to make it easier to give him a beating)!

That presumption of guilt continued:

They quoted Randy Moss’ accusations that it was a dirty hit and the sportscaster went on to say, “Even the Patriots coach hinted he thought it was a dirty hit.”  The subsequent interview clip, however, would not have seemed like an accusation without that lead-in.

Why didn’t they also include the quote from Bruschi, who says he doesn’t consider it a dirty hit?

“(As a defensive player) I fight and fight and fight. To make pressure, to alter a throw, and in my mind that was what he was doing,” Bruschi said. “Did he intentionally want to hurt Tom there? I don’t think so.”

Peter King, one of the biggest Patriot and Tom Brady fans in the sports journalist world, agrees:

Lynch, watching from home in Denver, didn’t think it was dirty. Important man to ask; he’s spent his career in football blitzing and trying to get at quarterbacks the way Pollard did Sunday. And he got fairly close to Brady on a recent short trial with the Patriots.

“There’s no way that was a dirty play,” Lynch said. “It’s easy to look at a play in slow-motion and say, ‘Oh, he should have been able to stop.’ Totally unrealistic. Things are moving so fast out there. Pollard was going for Tom, and it looked like he was somewhat blocked into him.”

Somewhat blocked into him. Good way to put it, if you saw it. As Lynch says, it’s impossible to even imply that Pollard’s intent was to crash into the side of Brady’s knee.

They ended up showing the hit 3 times, from slightly different angles.  But they cut the clip short so you don’t see Patriots’ RB Sammy Morris jumping on Pollard’s back and pushing him down when he tries to get up to sack Brady.

An honest sportscast would have made it clear that Sammy Morris did as much to cause that injury as Bernard Pollard.

I know it’s sports, and it doesn’t matter as much as war, the economy, or even politics; but I still think it was unprofessional and a violation of sportscasting ethics to imply Pollard or the Chiefs played dirty, and to completely ignore the Chiefs’ gritty performance in pushing the game to the limit without our starting QB.

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Chiefs Sign Ingle Martin, QB (and P?)

With Brodie out for 2-4 weeks, the Chiefs management apparently feels we need a little more QB depth.

See Martin’s wiki page for his background.

That raises some questions:

Why would need 4 QBs?  Croyle isn’t going to get cut, right?  So why would we bring in someone as an immediate, long-term answer?  Is Thigpen not good enough?  Why would we want to sign someone who has bounced around on the Packer and Titan practice squad for two years?

Huard has us covered for the short term. And some (including Herm and Chan, apparently) still think Thigpen could eventually be at least a solid starter. He may not be ready this week, but there’s no one out there that right now, clearly has more potential to be a solid starter than Thigpen.

So if Huard gets hurt within the next 2-3 weeks, Thigpen gets a chance to show what he can do for a short stretch. That way he picks up some more valuable experience.

So why even sign Martin?   Because we could use a 3rd working QB to help act as a scout team player and emergency QB in the next couple games.

It seems as if the Chiefs’ management is thinking: why sign Rattay or Simms (and pay them “former starting veteran” money) to only be an emergency QB?  Sometimes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So while he’s with us, he’s auditioning to be our #3 QB next year (if we jettison Croyle, Huard, or Thigpen for demonstrating they now lack minimum ability to start).

If you recall, that’s what the Chiefs did with their roster last year, signing Barksdale, Baldwin, and Tyler Thigpen to the team.  The #51, 52, and 53rd players on the team weren’t going to get any playing time, anyway; it acted as a tryout.  And while Barksdale and Baldwin were later cut, Thigpen stuck.  Later in the season, we brought in Pat Thomas; he’s now our starting MLB.  So expect the Chiefs to continue to play with the final few slots on the roster.  It’s almost like an expanded practice squad; the Chiefs will sign players for a few weeks and take a look at them, see if it is worth bringing them back in the spring.

As for this specific situation: It’s a win-win. If he has some talent that the Packers or the Titans couldn’t see because he was buried on the depth chart taking a bare minimum of snaps with the 3rd team, then we win because we found that talent. If he is truly bad enough to not be a project for a future starter, well, what hopes for the playoffs or for a future franchise QB do you harbor for a what really amounts to a #4 QB? How much does it cost us to determine that for ourselves?  No draft picks; little money. It’s almost totally risk-free, and we get an extra arm to act as scout QB.

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