Photograph by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
I’m not at all qualified to discuss sports, professional or otherwise. Or, at least, not in the view of the people who believe Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment is anything other than a morally righteous comeuppance, an inevitable reaction to a decorated athlete of color speaking his mind. How dare a person have thoughts beyond their scope of expertise? Can’t he just keep quiet, perform for the fans and accept his sizable paycheck? Why doesn’t he #sticktosports?
Given that thought process, none of us are qualified to form an opinion on, really, anything. Your dentist shouldn’t tell you what he thinks about the Mets’ starting rotation, nor should your accountant divulge his thoughts on Gary Bettman’s perpetual dismantling of professional hockey. Drill the teeth, find the tax breaks, shut up and do your job. Most notably, of course, the current POTUS wouldn’t be anywhere near his position had much of his base applied to him the same logic they – liberally – apply to athletes, given his complete lack of political experience and expertise prior to assuming the role.
Madden NFL‘s worst nightmare and greatest hope: Jon Bois.
Moving back to what LinkedIn refers to as “the greater New York City area” (read: Hoboken, New Jersey) affords one many luxuries not readily available in other parts of the country. Chief among them are actual bagels, the eternal winter and nightly concerts including bands you’ve never heard of in Brooklyn. One of the underrated aspects of the city, however, is the availability of free events featuring fairly prominent public figures at which you might learn a thing or two about a thing or two. When I learned that three of today’s most important Internet sports writers were gathering at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village to discuss the acclaimed Madden NFL video game series, naturally I had to attend.
In the last week, we have borne witness to two diametrically opposing yet clear examples of efficiency. Last Friday, Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a single quarter against the Sacramento Kings, breaking an NBA record jointly held previously by George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony. His ruthless shooting, 13-13 in all, slammed the door on the Kings in what had been a close contest. Several days later, at Super Bowl Media Day, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks conducted a full-scale display in performance art, pirouetting with reporters, fielding questions and answering them all the same way: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” His own unrelenting strategy captivated some and enraged others, and, like Thompson before him, sent the internet into a frenzy, triggering all sorts of ostensible #hottakes, including, I suppose, this one. But which outright disregard for others was more methodical?
This weekend, the AFC-NFC Championship games will feature four teams that started the playoffs as favorites to reach the Super Bowl. It will serve as the penultimate episode of a season that was chock full of intriguing subplots which managed to do nothing but fill up think pieces and conspiracy theories. Teams like the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles were like the Bob Bensons of the NFL – just something to keep our minds away from the thought of an inevitability. It was nice to see some fresh teams added into the mix after years out of the picture – greetings from Kansas City/Charlotte – but alas, the favorites prevailed, and there is not a Super Bowl dark horse in sight. Not that this is a bad thing. It’s actually quite to the contrary. If last year’s conference championships games were battles of Davids against Goliaths, this is an all-Goliath fest.