Monday, November 5, 2012

Filler! Filler! Filler to make the Season go by Faster!

       Anyone with their finger on the pulse of the NFL noticed peculiar reports yesterday surrounding suspended Saints skipper Sean Payton. According to those reports, Payton is a "free agent" after one Mr. Goodell voided Payton's contract extension. Not a big deal, one might say, why wouldn't he return to the Saints after all the successes he's had with the franchise? Oh, but no one saw those stories yesterday. Instead, the media reproduced the same headline over and over again, "Sean Payton to Dallas?" As if everyone wasn't sick of rancid Tebow headlines. Media hype, especially baseless hype, is fun isn't it?

       No one is indicting the suspicion that Payton in fact will jump ship to Jerryworld. In fact, every single trend seems to indicate that this move is perfect for both parties. I don't need to flesh out the evidence for that theory to bear itself out. What is clearer than that, though, is how the media jumped on this story like tigers on raw meat, and now this non-starter is the story of the dead. Not Chuck Pagano. Not the 8-0 Atlanta Falcons. The Dallas Cowboys have a new coach, when they are 3-5 and their season is far from dead. Washington Redskins players decried Mike Shanahan for declaring their season "over" at 3-6, and most will agree with that sentiment, but the media is allowed to speculate wildly over the future of 2 men when the team in the middle is by no means dead? What a fun double standard to beat to death.

     While Jason Garrett isn't everyone's favorite coach in the NFL, he has a ship to rite, and by no means should he worry about the safety of his job. He did that with almost every game last year, and it seems every game this year warms the flame underneath his chair. Only the world's largest microscope looking down at him could increase the heat on his seat, and it always seems to. Here's another question: What good does it do Jerry Jones and the Cowboys to fire Garrett now, or next week if the Cowboys fall in Philadelphia? And here is the most important question of them all: What good does it do the media to speculate on a perfect storm (too soon?) of circumstances that would make Sean Payton the next head coach in Dallas? There are only two teams whose season is "over" now, and saying that isn't even fair: Kansas City and Jacksonville. Playing out the string is a media term, and that's all.

     The media microscope is as large today as it has ever been over the NFL, but that doesn't mean this tool should be used on everything. Yes, this Cowboys team has the most talent it has had in some years. Yes, it looks like much more a fault of the coaching than the talent in the Cowboys' failures this year. But, as the NFL has constantly proved, no one is dead until the math says you are. Even though the NFC might not bear out the appearance now of letting in a team with 6 or 7 losses into the postseason, there are still 8 games to be played. If we sit on December 30th and the Cowboys are on the outside looking in, then discussing the security of Jason Garrett is fine. It's November 5th (the day I write this). 

     Remember, remember, the fifth of November applies to Guy Fawkes, not to Jason Garrett. The media should recognize that.

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