Monday, February 02, 2009

Quick newspaper analysis

On my way in to the office this morning, I bought copies of the New York Post, the NY Daily News, and USA Today. I didn't want the newspapers for the writing; I just wanted the back page photos for possible "posterization" in my apartment or my cubicle at work. But I read and skimmed a few articles in each of the papers just to see what the NY writers had to say. I've already seen some other national coverage today, so sentiment is running high that this was the best Super Bowl ever, even though last year's was an incredible game, as were the Rams-Patriots, Rams-Titans, and a few others earlier this decade. The NY writers all have similar opinions on the game, which makes me think everyone on press row at the Super Bowl had the same idea.

But the one column that sticks out in the Daily News is Gary Myers' column looking forward to the 2009 season and Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. He goes out on a limb and predicts Giants-Patriots II for next February. Aside from this being a ridiculously obvious hometown prediction, it's also ridiculously idiotic. Predicting sports is as much guesswork as it is analysis. Yes, the Giants were the best team in the NFL until Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg and hurt his team. The Patriots were the favorite coming into the season, and then Tom Brady's knee injury gave way to Matt Cassel and an 11-5 finish out of the playoffs. No one can plan for injuries, freak accidents, or the abject stupidity of some highly paid athletes. The Steelers looked like a solid bet to repeat in 2006, until Ben Roethlisberger decided to ride his motorcycle without a helmet and ran into a car, nearly getting himself killed. The point is that while these are two great teams going into 2009, it is far too early to make any kind of guess as to who will make it to next year's Super Bowl. I know newspaper columnists need to file stories, but it's drivel like this article that makes me want to stay away from newspapers in general. Gary Myers might as well have written about who will win the 2020 Super Bowl for as much foreknowledge as he has of how the next NFL season will play out.

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