If you ever needed evidence of America’s thirst for football, you got it this week. Summer can be a tough time of year for a lot of American sportsfans. Most of us city-folk aren’t particularly gung ho about NASCAR (at least not about watching it on TV), and the baseball season is still lukewarm. For those of us who call the NFL king, July and August are two months spent twitching and nail-biting in anxious anticipation of the return to glory that September will bring.
Unfortunately, we’re so starved for anything-football that we end up gobbling up any, and I mean any piece of trash the analysts (defined loosely) will feed us, which explains why we’ve been hearing for 5 days now that Tom Brady said “I hate the Jets,” on Boston radio when he was asked to comment on the widely covered non-story of the previous week: that Rex Ryan has a potty-mouth. I mean no one could actually be as surprised to hear either of those things as they’re acting…right? I have a hard time believing even Tony Dungy’s sincerity when he criticized Rex for using naughty words around a bunch of guys who 1. have heard plenty worse, 2. are paid huge sums of money to publicly straddle the fine line that separates grown men from wild animals, and 3. LOVE what he’s done to their team. None of this should come as a shock, and it certainly doesn’t deserve this amount of discussion. T.O. swallowing his pride and playing second banana to Ochocinco in Cincinatti is a much more interesting topic given his rocky history and their two XXL personalities. Hell, it would be more entertaining to watch John Clayton try his hand at the bracketology behind Chad’s taste in women than for everyone to get their panties in a bunch over Brady’s distaste for a division rival. If the media’s going to make a conscious effort at playing up the trash talk, they ought to consider hiring the Ultimate Warrior as a consultant – that guy knows a thing or two about promoting rivalries.
But I digress. My own desperate, football-deprived half-brain can’t resist latching onto whatever morsel of NFL drama it can find, even though the more functional half knows that none of it is particularly interesting. But when you combine the fact that these non-stories are running for multiple days on ESPN with the mind-bending irony that I’ve devoted my own story to the criticism of non-stories, you’re left with one inevitable truth that both halves can agree on: the season can’t start soon enough.