NFL Draft take from Benjamin Solak Credit: Ringer NFL on X

This week’s edition of fans being mad at the media instead of their own boneheaded teams’ decisions in the NFL Draft put Benjamin Solak of The Ringer in the crossfire.

After Solak made a fervent defense of former top pick Justin Fields as a breakout candidate on the Pittsburgh Steelers, impassioned NFL fans online came with the receipts of his QB takes from years past.

“There’s just zero accountability in NFL scouting,” wrote a self-proclaimed “film guy” on X (formerly Twitter) named Joe.

The post took off, splitting NFL fans over what draft analysis really means. Some believed Solak “missing” on his projections was less important than providing clear analysis and opinions that inform and entertain fans. Others said “missing” Fields or others should make Solak less trustworthy in the future.

In response, Solak cupped his hand like The Rock and egged football lovers on to keep coming after him.

Of course, Solak’s explanation for loving Fields and other athletic quarterbacks in the past was not nearly as inflammatory as Joe Film Guy’s attempted takedown. Instead, Solak detailed exactly why he’s willing to bet on the upside of a gifted athlete like Fields ten times out of ten.

“I cannot wait to be the idiot on Justin Fields,” Solak said in a recent podcast, begging NFL fans to keep the hate coming. “I will be an idiot on a quarterback like this every day of the week … I’m going to take the big, fast guy who can chuck it.

“That’s the easiest low-risk, high-reward gamble I will ever take.”

In turn, Joe Film Guy quickly realized what a bad idea it is to come after a well-liked sports analyst. Call it the Mina Kimes Corollary.

It’s hard to take Joe Film Guy’s side against someone who is clear and thoughtful in their analysis, does their homework, and is willing to respond to criticism.

At the same time, it’s not wrong for fans to hold the media accountable. Even in sports, we know that expert analysts hold weight. They affect the perceptions of players, coaches, executives, and teams. They vote on awards. They can create unfair narratives that get their way back to players and the people around them.

It’s not life and death, but fans are well within their right to push back on someone with a platform if that person is consistently wrong or takes the wrong approach. But clearly, bringing the heat against Solak is not going to be as easy as Joe Film Guy hoped.

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.