• phil cantor/@osgphil

Please Stop with the Eternal Sports Hyperbole: Not Everything or Everyone is the "Best Ever"...



Why do we do it? Why do we listen to the talking heads who tell us every team on a roll is or could be the greatest ever and the big matchup on the schedule is the greatest game ever?


For those of you unsure of what I speak, I'm speaking of Hyperbole (hi-per-bow-lee). Not hyper-bowl and the definition is pretty simple: It's the "Use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech".


Arguably, it's the most overused device in Sports and sports conversation today and each year--it seems to get worse.



This is Hyperbole

No, the Patriots do not have the best defense in NFL history ESPN. In fact just a couple days after this Bill Barnwell article appeared, the Baltimore Ravens shredded them for 37-points.


In fact--the reason they started the season giving up only 48 points in their first 7 games is pretty simple. They played 7 of the statistically worst offensive teams in the NFL to start the season.


Not only would this be an unfair comparison---it's just flat out, completely, unequivocally wrong.


Alas--the problem is not limited to the NFL. Not even close and the perfect example comes to us just 4-days after the date I write this (today Nov. 5th, game is Saturday Nov. 9th).


Saturday November 9th brings us a regular season College Football game with a lot of implications on multiple levels: LSU goes to Tuscaloosa to play the Alabama Crimson Tide.



Does this mean no game will top it for the next 80 years?

Yup, you guessed it, it's "The Game of the Century, this week, this year" according to people who's job it is to hype such matchups.


Listen---I'm old and sometimes a bit of a crank when it comes to people blowing shit way out of proportion. I'm also a professional journalist and have been one for a very, very long time. I get it. You have to make things a big deal and take on importance that may--or may not exist.


In the world of College Football, the winner of this game will likely be the SEC West Champ and will square off with Georgia for the SEC title in December. If the game is close--it could determine the second SEC team in the College Football playoff (which would be an abomination--but that's another story).


The point here is "Hype" and this game has been hyped for weeks. People have been complaining because it's being played at 2:30 local time (3:30 eastern) because CBS gets to pick their SEC game first and only get one "Prime Time" game a season. The 'Bama/LSU game has been that game for several years.


Listen, I get it. You have to promote, promote, promote. Realistically it is not something difficult to do when you have a matchup like Alabama vs. LSU in 2019. They are two extremely talented teams playing a very important game.


But it is also malpractice to proclaim a team the "Best Ever" or player the "Best Ever" before they complete a season. Any hack with the ability to do research could tell you the New England Patriots defense while very good--is nowhere near "The Best Ever". I went and looked at their schedule and need I say more.


Please take Sports and Sporting events in perspective. Please don't go too crazy or let it dictate or control your day. Enjoy them for what they are--athletes and coaches trying to perform at their best to entertain you and to win games for them. That's all they are.


It's the same game most of us played as a kid only with bigger financial stakes for the people either running or playing the game. Which is there issue--not yours.


Enjoy your football and have fun at the games or watching the games but remember, they are games--they are not life. Don't lash out against people because they didn't do what you wanted them to do--sometimes it isn't possible. Athletes always try their best---sometimes it is successful, sometimes it isn't but they are playing, you aren't. If you could perform anywhere remotely close to the level they are, we wouldn't be having this conversation.


With that all being said---I will get off my hi-falutin' horse and stop lecturing you. Thanks for reading this rant and understanding it comes from a place of love.


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