Over the weekend, we had a little incident involving me, Titans running back Chris Johnson, and a very bad article written at SBNation.com. The writers at SBNation.com seem to take exception to my criticism of their article regarding Chris Johnson's antics on Twitter and a SBNation.com editor's claim that Peyton Manning did not deserve to win his NFL record fourth MVP award. While the incident happened roughly two ago, the real news that is the NFL Playoffs prevented me from writing any kind of meaningful counter-response. With Sunday's games now over, I now have the opportunity to wrap-up what happened and offer some final thoughts.
On certain occasions, when the SBNation.com editors are not posting breaking news, they will write articles about sports or sports events in general, like Andrew Sharp did when he basically claimed Peyton Manning did not deserve to win his 4th NFL MVP award. Often, these articles written by SBNation.com editors are very informative and offer insightful commentary, like this one.
In Andrew's case, the article was anything but.
In fact, the article was an example of the kind of writing we often see on the lazy, over-paid, big media front rather than the normal content we expect from SBNation.com. However, instead of using my normal tact of insulting Andrew and the five or six other people who agree with him on this subject, I'll try a different approach: I'll ask him and others to try and see it from the point of view of Colts fans.
Here we are Saturday, celebrating our favorite player, Peyton Manning. He just won his NFL record fourth MVP award, and he did so in landslide fashion by gathering nearly 80% of the vote. By winning his fourth MVP, Manning is now beginning to establish himself as not just the best quarterback of his generation, but as the best quarterback of all-time; maybe the best player of all-time. For us Colts fans, this award is yet another uppercut across the face of those people who have screamed since 1998 that "Peyton Manning is an over-rated choker."
While in the midst of our celebration, after weeks of hearing (mostly from me) that the team was wrong to bench starters against the Jets, we head over to SBNation.com to read what they are thinking about Manning and his legacy. What do we get?
We get a generic news article telling us Manning won, and after that we get Andrew's article. When important events (like a great NFL player winning a record fourth MVP) are not truly commented on by a brand we all know and trust (SB Nation) it tends to piss off us diehard sports fans who are looking for real, insightful commentary.
Also, to make matters worse, when we Colts fans called Andrew out on his article, we were essentially labeled (in a very passive-aggressive and sarcastic way) as over-zealous, crazy, and hyper-sensitive.
Interestingly, these are labels and tactics often thrown at blogs in general by (you guessed it!) mainstream media outlets.
I hope that you all now understand where I come from when I attack articles and writers that present lazy or illogical arguments. At places like ESPN, when Skip Bayless goes on TV, talks a bunch of nonsense, and no one else throughout the day calls him out on it, the network loses credibility. It is because of issues like this that created the need for blogs in the first place. At SB Nation, when someone (Andrew Sharp) writes an article Skip Bayless would smile at, someone like me is going to respond and hold him accountable because, seemingly, no one else at SBNation.com will.
In my humble, schmucktastical opinion this makes our network better. Of course, the process is reciprocal. I am not above criticism. However, when someone does it, I expect them to be up front and in my face about it. Passive-aggressive sarcasm is about as brave, honest, and noble as Chris Johnson Tweeting that Peyton Manning robbed him of an MVP rather than being man enough to say it to his face.
On that note, bring on the playoffs!