If you have ventured over to the Worldwide Leader in Schicht these days, you'll notice that ESPN's NFL coverage has leaned heavily towards covering the New England Patriots, and solely the New England Patriots. In fact, their coverage has shifted so dramatically to those pesky putritans that I even wondered if ESPN bought a minority share of the team, ala the Arena Football League. However, turns out ESPN does not own any part of the Patriots. Sadly, ESPN is just another ballwashing "news" outlet that has crowned New England a good eight months before the Super Bowl is played.
Don't believe me? Well, if you watched ESPN's NFL coverage TV show, NFL Live, this week it was pretty much all New England all the time. Same with ESPNews. Yes, I know New Engalnd's mini-camp started this week. So what! The Colts didn't get this kind of coverage when their mini-camp happened last month, and last I checked they thumped New England and went on to houst up some big shiny trophy that looks something like this:
Heck, the biggest story generated out of that camp was the fact that rookie first round pick Anthony Gonzalez couldn't attend because he had to go sell shoes for the NFL.
However, when New England holds its camp, its apparently earth-shaking news, worthy of full, 24/7 coverage. Heck, go over to ESPN's site for even more Patriot love juicing. Click their NFL link and you will see this:
Yep, that's right. ESPN feels that the three major news stories in the NFL ALL INVOLVE THE FRIGGIN' PATRIOTS.
Now, before you all say Ok, BigBlue, we get you. You hate ESPN. We get it already. WE GET IT! I want to say that this is not yet another moment where Stampede Blue kicks ESPN in its small nutsack. We all know ESPN is biased towards the Patriots because ESPN is based in the New England area, and that they are not interested in reporting on sports. They are interesting in ratings and viewers, and the Patriots and Randy Moss will generate more viewers than talking about Michael Vick's dog problems, or how a former NFL player ran a prostition ring using his live-in girlfriend.
No one should ever confuse ESPN with a sports news provider just as no one should ever mistake a NBA ref as an ojective enforcer of the rules of the game of basketball.
I'm just simply re-iterating a familiar narrative, one that we Colts fans are used to seeing: This upcoming NFL season, the New England are the best despite the fact that the Colts have owned them of late. This narrative has been established before nary a game has been played in 2007. Last year, the narrative was that no one cared that what Colts did in the regular season. Only making the Super Bowl, and winning it, mattered. No one cared that they started 9-0, tying the Curly Lambeau Packers of the 1930s for the best consecutive starts in NFL history. No club had ever started two season 9-0. Yet, no one cared.
This year, after winning it all, you'd think the narrative would change. Not so. No one is going to care what Indy does because they will be too focused on scrubbing New England's under-sack. Heck, the Colts could clobber the Patriots on November 4th, and the coverage won't be "Colts better than Patriots." The coverage will be "What's wrong with New England?"
Expect this all year, folks. New England is the favorite despite the fact that they have been completely and utterly owned by the Colts the last two years. No matter what the Colts do, no matter how many times they embarrass the Patriots, networks like ESPN will still carry water for New England and disrespect our beloved boys in white, gray, and blue.
My opinion: That's fine. They gave the Colts no shot to win it all when the playoffs started, and like most ESPN prognostications, they were proven dead wrong.