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Tribal Warfare
10-19-2009, 01:51 AM
TV stamps its bland on game (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1515856.html)
By JASON WHITLOCK
The Kansas City Star

This won’t be my typical Chiefs postgame column. I missed the trip to our nation’s capital thanks to a back injury suffered working out. I’m not joking. Yes, I work out. Although there will be considerably less weightlifting from now on.

Anyway, I watched the Chiefs pick up their first victory of the season just like you, alternately stretched on the couch or living-room floor, wondering exactly which quirk of fate I should blame for being a Chiefs fan.

For me, Kansas City’s 14-6 victory over Washington was equally boring and fascinating. I’ve spent 16 years attending just about every Chiefs home and road game in person, comfortably seated in a press box chatting with other journalists and figuring out what I want to say to you about the game.

Sunday, I experienced the game your way and spent the afternoon figuring out what to say to you about the game.

Man, the TV broadcasters feed viewers a lot of team-friendly propaganda. Color commentator Rich Gannon almost had me ready to punch Matt Cassel’s Hall of Fame ticket. And play-by-play man Ian Eagle called guard Mike Goff’s name so much that I came up with the nickname “Willie Goff Roaf.”

When Eagle and Gannon declined to properly discuss the insanity of Todd Haley’s decision to eschew a 42-yard field-goal attempt in favor of a fourth-down pass in the first quarter, I just assumed that Scott Pioli was the executive producer of Sunday’s broadcast.

Seriously, the Chiefs were playing one of the worst offenses in the league and Haley turned down three points in the first quarter so he could pass the ball on fourth and 2. Cassel, of course, was sacked on the play.

It was an asinine decision. Eagle and Gannon pretended it never happened.

OK, here comes the big-picture curveball.

Pro sports are in total partnership with the networks that televise their games. The reason there’s never been another Howard Cosell is because the networks are uninterested in allowing a loose cannon to comment on the games. An objective-opinion broadcast on network TV could get in the way of the propaganda that must be fed to prospective ticket buyers.

ESPN is in the process of taking over and redefining sports journalism. ESPN is in partnership with all of the sports leagues. The Worldwide Leader has been launching Web sites targeted at specific markets. ESPNChicago.com, ESPNBoston.com and ESPNDallas.com have all launched in recent months. At some point, there very well could be an ESPNKansascity.com.

We’re going to be fed team-influenced, sports propaganda 24/7.

It’s a joke. It’s un-American.

Sunday’s game was an absolute nightmare. Both teams were bad. The coaching decisions were odd. Gannon is very smart. He can recognize bad football and bad strategy. He played for the Raiders.

There wasn’t an offensive touchdown on Sunday. Ian Eagle made one passing comment about the horridness of the play when he cracked a joke about the technical difficulties that knocked the game off the air for several minutes.

I’m not saying Eagle and Gannon should’ve made belittling the game their theme. I would’ve just preferred some recognition that the teams were mirror images.

Washington head coach Jim Zorn is doing the same poor job of multitasking as Todd Haley. They’re both serving as head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. They’re inexperienced coaches trying to do way too much.

Washington owner Dan Snyder and his front-office flunky Vinny Cerrato have no interest in protecting Zorn, so Gannon was free to discuss Zorn’s struggles.

There was no such freedom when it came to Haley. That’s why the broadcast favored Haley’s Chiefs.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson magically reappeared in Kansas City’s playing rotation. Johnson made a couple of nice plays when he was allowed on the field. He’s been rumored to be on the trade block.

Gannon and Eagle never addressed Johnson’s situation.

For a multitude of reasons newspapers are reluctant to tell customers what we try to do that other media outlets can’t. We can attempt to be truthful. Yes, we fail at times. But at least we can make the attempt.

I watched Sunday’s game convinced I was locked in an alternate universe from the TV broadcasters.

sportsman1
10-19-2009, 01:56 AM
Well Whitlock has that right about the propaganda they spew.. but all I can say is what a F*cking hypocrite. Whitlock helps perpetuate that with his ridicilous race-bating. Same crap ESPN does.

T-post Tom
10-19-2009, 03:29 AM
I'll have to agree with the bulk of this article. The NFL is masterful as self-promotion. (Some folks claim that the Favre to MN move was all part of a masterful NFL plan to help leverage the city into financing a new stadium. Possible, I guess.)

Thig Lyfe
10-19-2009, 03:39 AM
That's why you never have commentators criticizing bad calls by the refs. The closest you ever get is a waffling "I don't knowwww..."

KC#Nation
10-19-2009, 05:32 AM
Can someone say me, where i can watch plays from the internet?

InChiefsHell
10-19-2009, 07:03 AM
Can someone say me, where i can watch plays from the internet?

nfl.com has all the highlights...such as they are...

Groves
10-19-2009, 07:56 AM
Once upon a time, when you went to a restaurant, instead of ordering the complete dinner package, you could order a main dish and specify your sides. You could even order a dessert, or two if you wanted.

I wonder if we'd ever get to the point where we could easily get our video from one source, but choose a different audio stream. You know, how some people used to do it by using the radio for their audio and turning their TV speaker off.

Hydrae
10-19-2009, 08:03 AM
Interesting. I did not have the ability to watch the television feed and listened to the radio feed online instead. Lenny could not stop talking about the mistake of not kicking that field goal in the 1st quarter. But then again he has a vested interest in this team whereas the television announcers are looking from a broader, national basis.

jidar
10-19-2009, 08:12 AM
He's right about that 4th and 2 call.

I'm trying to give Haley the benefit of the doubt here, and I hate to be one of those guys who questions all of the coaches decisions in hindsight, but that call was a real head scratcher.

phillip
10-19-2009, 08:25 AM
He's right about that 4th and 2 call.

I'm trying to give Haley the benefit of the doubt here, and I hate to be one of those guys who questions all of the coaches decisions in hindsight, but that call was a real head scratcher.

It's not hindsight if you knew it was stupid as soon as the offense lined up.

FringeNC
10-19-2009, 08:42 AM
Whitlock is NOT right about the 4th and 2 call. This argument has been rehashed a dozen times, but a study looking at expected values of 4th down strategies found that you should go for it in situations like that. (Now the Chiefs' O-line is so bad, it could be argued that they are so far below the average team that the rules don't apply to them, but whatever. It was hardly a major coaching gaffe.)

Whitlock is such a bitter fuck with regards to Haley and Pioli. Instead of writing about Haley's first win as a head coach, he rips him, and talks about the fact that they are boring to watch. I don't remember the same attitude from Whitlock during the 2006 season when every game Herm won was as boring as yesterday's.

Reerun_KC
10-19-2009, 08:50 AM
Whitlock is NOT right about the 4th and 2 call. This argument has been rehashed a dozen times, but a study looking at expected values of 4th down strategies found that you should go for it in situations like that. (Now the Chiefs' O-line is so bad, it could be argued that they are so far below the average team that the rules don't apply to them, but whatever. It was hardly a major coaching gaffe.)

Whitlock is such a bitter **** with regards to Haley and Pioli. Instead of writing about Haley's first win as a head coach, he rips him, and talks about the fact that they are boring to watch. I don't remember the same attitude from Whitlock during the 2006 season when every game Herm won was as boring as yesterday's.

Whitlock is racist...

He is about as bad as Stephen A Smith...

stevieray
10-19-2009, 09:35 AM
ian engle said they would burn the film to this game.

jwhit must've been preoccupied with tailgating in his living room.

gblowfish
10-19-2009, 09:38 AM
I bet Fatlock hurt his back picking up the Twinkie that dropped off the TV Table while he was watchin' Oprah.

wazu
10-19-2009, 09:48 AM
Whitlock is NOT right about the 4th and 2 call. This argument has been rehashed a dozen times, but a study looking at expected values of 4th down strategies found that you should go for it in situations like that. (Now the Chiefs' O-line is so bad, it could be argued that they are so far below the average team that the rules don't apply to them, but whatever. It was hardly a major coaching gaffe.)

I'm a pretty big Haley fan, but there is no intelligent defense of that decision. Honestly, I love this article by Whitlock. I'm betting he would be a pretty entertaining commentator.

KCUnited
10-19-2009, 09:48 AM
I never listen to the televised broadcast unless its on Fox or I'm rewatching the game, but yesterday Len and Mitch were so far away from the field they couldn't see who was doing what and it was really a terrible call from them as well.

C-Mac
10-19-2009, 09:50 AM
Can someone say me, where i can watch plays from the internet?

www.kcchiefsgames.com

CoMoChief
10-19-2009, 09:50 AM
Whitlock is racist...

He is about as bad as Stephen A Smith...

This f***er needs to be thrown off a cliff.

Whoops!!! That's racist!!!

Buehler445
10-19-2009, 09:58 AM
ian engle said they would burn the film to this game.

jwhit must've been preoccupied with tailgating in his living room.

I was thinking that too.

And didn't Al Davis try to ban Gannon from the Faider complex because he said they should just start over or something?

I don't think it is as cut and dry as Whitlock thinks it is. Sure it's bad for business to kick a fan's team when they're down. Otherwise no one would show up for home games. But at the same time, I have heard announcers say that was a bad call, a lot of times they're just dumbfucks and it makes me chuckle a bit when they go off about the refs and the ref is right, but I think it is more a case of bad quality control.

There's no conspiracy. Most of these dumbfuck announcers are too stupid to promote an agenda. A couple years ago ESPN (who is supposedly the purpotrator of this whole deal) put Ditka in the booth for a MNF game with the Faid. ALL he could talk about was how piss poor the Faiders were and that they should be ashamed of themselves. I thought it was funny as hell because he was ranting and raving instead of calling out important plays on the field. The point is that I don't believe these guys have the precision and preparation to have an agenda.

Add onto the fact that they RARELY talk about anything complex, I mean, fuck the playoff situation confuses most of them. I think it is more of a case of laziness than it is propaganda.

That's not to say that they aren't guided to steer clear of just hammering on a team. Face it. There are a LOT of casual fans out there that would quit following the team if they got hammered on and abused during the commentary. And that's bad for business. But if people quit caring, his readership goes down too. If EVERYONE was as negative as he was, nobody would give a shit. He needs people like Gretz and Holtus to balance him out.

This is much to do about nothing.
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gblowfish
10-19-2009, 10:08 AM
Anytime you draw Ian Eagle on a broadcast, it means your team sucks.

Reerun_KC
10-19-2009, 10:11 AM
Anytime you draw Ian Eagle on a broadcast, it means your team sucks.

Honestly after what Herm did to this franchise, I am surprised that the NFL will even put us on TV...

blaise
10-19-2009, 10:16 AM
Gannon was critical of Jason Campbell at the end of the half when he didn't get the ball to the end-zone. He was also critical of Cassel when Cassel overthrew Bowe in the back corner of the endzone. He said if he was Bowe he would have been angry because Matt didn't even give him a chance to make a play.