When the Media Circus first came to life in fall of 2005, the primary concern was whether or not we would have enough "material" to write a column solely dedicated to the sports media every week.
Two years and roughly 100 Circus' later, we've realized how naïve we were. The sports media has been incredibly gracious in providing us with ample material for all to enjoy and as a tribute to their top shelf performance over the last 52 weeks, we've once again compiled a recap of the previous year in media buffoonery.
We had a big party planned to celebrate complete with a 2,010 foot red carpet – ten feet longer than the awesomely record setting one that the Best Damn Sports Show unveiled at last year's MLB All Star Game – but sadly it didn't come in on time. Rather than sulk, we hit the keyboard and the result is the 2007 version of the Media Circus Craptacular.
Crap that actually came out of somebody's mouth – Brett Favre Edition
When Brett Favre retires, we anticipate that the Media Circus will immediately go from around 1,500 words per week to roughly 800. Safe to say, the Gunslinger has cast quite the spell over the national media. This year Favre coverage hit an all-time peak, reaching the point where a nation of football fans was forced to listen to his wife recite a love poem to her husband before a Monday Night game in Green Bay.
In what is becoming a Craptacular tradition, before we get started, we must first reflect on the year in Favre.
"I love how Favre announced he was coming back on the Friday of Super Bowl week, and told the local paper in town. That is so classic Favre. He picked the time where the world would be most focused on something else, so he could get the minimum amount of attention. Beautiful."
– Peter King
"And you know what? I don't care whether people are Packers fans or whatever, I'll reiterate what we said: rooting for Favre is like rooting for America."
– Chris Berman
"Brett Favre is going to be 38 October 10th. October 10th should be a national holiday."
– Chris Berman
"I mean, we don't see him do a thousand commercials so when we see one like Wrangler, I say he must really like those jeans. He must wear them. It's refreshing."
– Terry Bradshaw on Foxsports.com
"On his bye Sunday, Favre did not chart any passes. My guess is he spent a long time cutting the grass, edging the front lawn where it meets the state highway in front of his house in Mississippi, then, for fun, watching the History Channel until he fell asleep."
- Peter King, presumably typing from his laptop inside the tree house he had built in Favre's backyard.
When Favre wears Wrangler jeans and watches the History Channel, he does it for America.
Hubert Davis Needs Some Conference Flash Cards
"You talk about Derrick Byars, he had to be in the running for Big 12 player of the year."
– Hubert Davis, ESPN speaking about Vanderbilt (SEC) star Derrick Byars.
Don't sweat it Hubert. You're on TV, lights are flashing; no one can blame you for one slip on what conference someone plays in...
"If (the Cardinals) draft Adrian Peterson, then they just don't get it!"
– Sean Salisbury
"He's a disciplined guy. He's done it the right way."
- Rich Gannon on Marvin Lewis - the same Marvin Lewis who coaches the Bengals - and his loads of discipline
"Go ahead now, name 5 players on Jacksonville. Okay, name 2, and no, Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't count as two. The Jaguars are anonymous."
- Tony Kornheiser
"(Drew) Brees had his 11-year-old Chow mix Alexis on a leash. After a few minutes, Alexis put her nose in the air, went to work, and defecated on the grass. The big test of a man followed... Second in the MVP voting, first in the all-pro voting at quarterback, and he picks up dog doo. That's what I call a heck of an American."
– Peter King
"I'm not sure if he's the best receiver in the league, but you watch him on the field and he's second-to-none."
- Mark Schlereth on Steve Smith
"I have two words for him: Advil."
- D'Marco Farr
"We talk about Reggie Bush and we already acknowledge that Reggie Bush is not your every down back anyway... Reggie Bush is definitely effective, just not tonight."-
Emmitt Smith discussing Reggie Bush's lack of effectiveness in a game that Reggie Bush did not play in.
"In some instances, I believe Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he would've killed a human being. The way he is being persecuted, he wouldn't have been persecuted that much had he killed somebody."
- RL White, Atlanta NAACP being completely and utterly ridiculous
Madden being Madden
"When you can give a body part to a teammate, you're a real teammate."
"If you don't have a (helmet) on, you're going to get hurt."
"(The Colts) hope he's Stokley. So far he hasn't been."
– on rookie Anthony Gonzalez at the 4:46 mark of the 3rd quarter of Anthony Gonzalez's first NFL game
"I think if (Randy Moss) has a chance to win, he's a pretty good team guy."
Joe Theismann will not be doing Juicy Fruit commercials any time soon
Based on his comments about Brady Quinn on NFL Draft day, it's safe to say that Joey T just doesn't dig on gum...
"The only thing I was disappointed in with the young man, and I hold his agents responsible for this, was to me, when you walk out on stage in front of millions and millions of people, that's a job interview. You don't go to a job interview chewing gum. And I felt like he could have presented himself in a much more professional manner. It looked like his tie was the first time he ever tried to tie one. It looked like his hair, he had just walked out of a shower, and he stands there, relieved as all get-out, chewing gum. And to me, that's not a professional image. And maybe I'm reading into it, but when it comes to drafts, when it comes to analyzing players, I think you have to look at everything."
Sophomoric Humor at its Finest
"Tom Brady can stick it in some tight spots."
– Phil Simms
"Quite honestly, the Falcons receivers are dumping all over Joey Harrington."
– Ron Jaworksi
"(Nick Barnett) likes the back door."
- Darryl Johnston
"Cedric Benson has got to start stroking it up in there."
- Merril Hoge
"(Travis) Henry has moves on moves in the hole."
- John Madden
"They really don't want to see TO all night just lined up and getting banged by Al Harris."
– Chris Colinsworth
"If you think he's hard now, wait until the fourth quarter."
– John Madden on Marion Barber
"(The Lions) will win a Wild Card."
– Skip Bayless
"The Chargers are stunningly bad. Norv Turner has done a stunningly awful job... Last night was an embarrassment. This was a Patriots team that was ready to be had."
- Bill Plaschke after Week 2
"This is unbelievable. We've watched an entire team, an entire franchise, just falling apart out on the West Coast."
– Kevin Blackistone on the Chargers, after Week 3
"(Tony Romo) has been the MVP thus far."
- Jay Mariotti, after Week 4
"(Tony Romo) is still growing as a quarterback. He's not in the same league as a Tom Brady, a Peyton Manning."
– Mariotti, after Week 5
Peter King, early October: "(Reggie) Bush had better show something pretty soon. He's looking like el busto."
Peter King, early November: "Reggie Bush is playing better and running more physically this year than last."
"(Drew Brees is) horrendous, and he's not getting any better."
- Bill Plaschke (uh, Bill, he set the all time record for completions with 440 this year)
"Vinny Testaverde: Story of the Year."
– Peter King
Most Valuable Media Member 2007
We figured that since we're 3,000 words in, we might as well hand out a meaningless award. The criteria for the award? Who was the best at making this column easier simply by doing their jobs.
Honorable mention goes out to Steve Phillips of ESPN for his role covering baseball for the Worldwide Leader. When John Kruk knows you're an idiot, you've accomplished something. But even Phillips' insane rants about steroids or Barry Bonds weren't enough to land him the award for Most Valuable Media Member of 2007. That distinction goes out to the one and only purveyor of the Monday Morning Quarterback, SI.com's Peter King.
Week in and week out, even during the offseason, Peter King brings it with his unique mix of hero worship, name-dropping and completely bizarre personal details. Perhaps no other member of the media was counted on as much to produce this column in 2007 as King. He delivered. And that's why he's your 2007 MVMM.
Congratulations, Petey. Let us know how the next colonoscopy checks out.
When you try and encapsulate an entire year's worth of media crap into one convenient, readable column, you want to make sure to end it the right way. We figured we'd let 2006 Media Circus star Sean Salisbury sum up everything in one sentence.
"Don't read or listen to anything we say."-
The Media Circus is written by Josh Bacott and Patrick Imig. They listen to everything Sean Salisbury says. E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well folks, we're now a week+ deep into 2008 (interpret that however you want). And even though it's cliche to recreate some of the highs and lows of 2007, we're offering up our final piece. Consider this the epilogue to the Media Circus Craptacular
. It's three of the oft-repeated themes which the average sports fan likely saw or heard over and over again.
Oh, and our good friend Jeremy Schaap will stop by to bid a fond farewell to that plucky, gutty thoroughbred.
** The Greatest Show on Turf **
Ladies and Gentlemen, the mainstream sports media is proud to beat a dead horse 6 feet further into the ground. The beaten-to-a-pulp horse carcass: the "Greatest Show on Turf" cliche, the magical phrase describing the 1999 through 2001 offensive juggernaut that was the St. Louis Rams. Allow us to demonstrate it in action some 6 years after it seemingly ended, in a season which the Rams went 3-13.
It's the Michael Meyers of sports nicknames – it's just won't die.
Step 1 – Announce that the Rams may once again be "The Greatest Show on Turf"
"The Rams could be headed for their most explosive season offensively since the "Greatest Show on Turf" tore up the league."
– Bill Coats, St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Are we looking at the Greatest Show on Turf Part II? I don't know; stay tuned."
- Bonnie Bernstein
"Free agents Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael, both shunned by their previous clubs, figure to get the catchphrase of "Greatest Show on Turf" echoing inside the Edward Jones Dome again."
– Tom Weir USA Today
Step 2 – Watch the Rams start out slowly and realize their offense isn't anywhere close to where it was from 99-01
Rams fall to 0-8 after 8 weeks of football, averaging 12.4 points per game.
Step 3 – Lash out at the Rams and fans for thinking St. Louis was good enough to be compared to the Greatest Show even though no one but the media themselves suggested it.
"Check the emotions of the principals with the St. Louis Rams in what is supposed to be a renewal of "The Greatest Show on Turf" offense."
– Gerry Fraley, San Francisco Chronicle after Week 2
"This is how you know "The Greatest Show on Turf" is six feet under: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger completed 17 of 26 passes against Tampa Bay for 116 yards. Former Rams receiver Kevin Curtis had more yards receiving (132) in one quarter Sunday than the Rams did the entire game."
– Clark Judge, after week 3
"What was the Greatest Show on Turf needs a rehearsal."
- Kenny Mayne after Week 6
Rinse and Repeat (following a 37-29 Week 10 win over the Saints)
"The Greatest Show on Turf may be back in production or at least, pre-production."
– Kenny Mayne
"This was the team we expected to see from the start of the season. Too bad The Greatest Show on Turf waited until halfway through to strut its stuff."
– Bob Glauber, Newsday
"Sunday at the Louisiana Superdome, the Rams produced a blast from the past, a three-hour reprisal of the "Greatest Show" era. It was reminiscent of a time when the coach called daring plays, a Pro Bowl quarterback zipped precision passes to graceful receivers, and an undersized defense buzzed with energy."
– Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Rams would go on to finish 3-13.
This is not the Greatest Show on Turf anymore. All you people out there who thought otherwise are obviously wrong.
** In Memoriam **
Barbaro Coverage Euthanized
Take it away, Jeremy Schaap...
"He will live in the memories of millions."
"In his moment of anguish, Barbaro touched a nation... he was beautiful, swift, and invincible."
"He leaves no offspring but his legacy is clear."
"More than anything else, he was a horse who affirmed our humanity."
Thank you, Jeremy. We couldn't have said it any better.
God bless, noble steed.