MEMO TO BOB COSTAS:
Your self-important monologues during halftime of NBC's Football Night in America need to stop. In fact, itâ€™s time for you to stop showing up at the venue of each Sunday night game.
Your role screams â€œlifetime achievementâ€ and thatâ€™s fine. But donâ€™t treat your achievement award as a vehicle to preach like the super elitistÂ journalist.
Sports is supposed be fun. The idea that broadcasters are supposed toÂ wear suits is already kind of ridiculous. But you make it much worse with your pompous spewing of bigÂ words and bad metaphors.
Every freaking week, we have to watch and listen to Bob Costas â€¦ EL MAGNIFICO!
Itâ€™s really tough to stomach, Bob.
A football fan.
THE PROOF IS IN THE MONOLOGUE
BelowÂ are some samplesÂ from Costasâ€™s Week 17 halftime monologue about the Colts.Â We say â€œsomeâ€ because there was also a whole part about the Patriots that's just as bad.Â But we donâ€™t want you toÂ hurl your Flutie Flakes
Â orÂ Warnerâ€™s Crunch Time all over the computer screen.
Ahem (throat clear).
Lights please â€¦
â€œOn December 5th, Indy was 6-6 and racked by injuries. With Peyton Manning at times appearing to be playing 1 on 11, the Colts were on the verge of irrelevancy.â€
Stop. Think about what Costas is saying about every healthy player not named Peyton Manning. Itâ€™s hard to be any more condescending.
Even worse,Â Costas feeds the tired old belief that the talented Colts would go 0-16 every yearÂ if Peyton Manning did not walk on water. He ignoresÂ the actual problem with theÂ Colts. Before Indy "was 6-6 and racked by injuries
"Â Indy wasÂ 6-3 in spite of
Manning, who hadÂ played poorly
at that point of the seasonÂ (passer ratings below 70 in three of five games). It was Manning's worst stretch of football
since his rookie year.
Then, while Costas was preeningÂ in front of the mirror and missing entire stretches of theÂ season, it gotÂ really bad for Manning: he threw 11 picks in the next three games. The Colts lost all three, not because Manning appeared "to be playing 1 on 11" but because Manning wasÂ doing hisÂ best Ryan Leaf imitation.Â
It was only after this stretch of six bad games by Manning in theÂ space ofÂ eight weeks that the Colts found themselves at 6-6.
Yet in the eyes of El Magnifico,
the problem with the Colts was everybody else. It'sÂ a classic case of Spinal Manningitis
Also consider that â€œirrelevancyâ€ is that which is determined by Costas and his elite pundit ilk. In any real world situation, this scenario would result in a Bob Costas beating.
â€œBut then with Manning, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and a bunch of bailing wire and veteran knowhow, they patched it together and won the four straight games they had to, and made the playoffs for a record-tyingÂ ninth straight season.â€
Notice Bobâ€™s cute word play: â€œbailing wireâ€ and â€œpatched it together.â€ This is from the old school of broadcast that rewards clever word play and use of metaphors.
â€œThe Colts arenâ€™t blowing anybody out these days. In fact, it seems like they could lose almost every game theyâ€™re in - a far cry from a year ago when theyâ€™re biggest pre-playoff concern wasnâ€™t qualifying, it was whether injury protection shrunk the pursuit of perfection. But this time, by the skin of their teeth, theyâ€™re back again.â€
El Magnifico compounds his pomposity with factual inaccuracies, his belief that the Colts blew out everybody last year and struggled to beat teams this year.
The 2010 Colts won five of 10 games by 8 points or less
The 2009 Colts won eight of 14 gamesÂ by 8Â points or less
The 2010 Colts won five games by more than one score
The 2009 Colts won six games by more than one score
Going by our non-elite education,Â Indy'sÂ percentage of â€œclose winsâ€ was greater in 2009 than it was here in 2010. The number of blowouts was almost exactly the same.
Just because a team started out 14-0 doesnâ€™t mean they were destroying teams like the 1942 Bears. For a holier-than-thou sports journalist, youâ€™d think Costas would realize that the 2009 Colts won a lot of close games. But he probably didnâ€™t want to interrupt his masterpiece monologue.
â€œThis yearâ€™s version of the Colts have just been minding their Pâ€™s and Qâ€™s. With Professionalism and Peyton, theyâ€™ve Quietly Qualified. Weâ€™ll see beginning Saturday night against the Jets if they can make some noise from here.â€
Good Lord, that writing is unbelievable.
This monologue shines a light on a greater problem for Bob: He hasnâ€™t evolved.
In fact, heâ€™s devolved. Heâ€™s treating football conversations and highlights like itâ€™s the Cold War. Heâ€™d rather be Edward R. Murrow than a sports guy who has fun and actually (gasp) tries to enjoy the games.
KEEP IT UP BOB COSTAS
And weâ€™ll be forced to produce a monologue of our own discussing your â€œirrelevancy.â€Â Â Consider it done.
In the mean time, El Manifico, can the attitude.
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