Let me begin by saying that you and Dan LeBatard (along with former LA-area talk show host Dave Smith) are (bar none) my favorite commentators .
The reasons for it are basic. You consistently make the most sense and routinely call out your peers in the media for short-sighted or slanted observations which don’t do justice to the topic under review.
In other, and fewer, words, I can’t get enough of your show(s). That said, I was dismayed to hear a sound bite of Peyton Manning’s that you played on Thursday’s show which was used to give the impression that he was something less than the universally loved gentleman that he’s made out to be by the EVERYONE in the media all of the time.
The sound bite caught Peyton Manning calling place kicker Mike Vanderjagt an idiot who talked too much, and the way it was used in your segment it would lead anyone ignorant of the original context (a context which you failed to mention) to think that perhaps Peyton Manning isn’t the apotheosis of graciousness and civility that the NFL (and everyone else, seemingly) has made him out to be over the past 15 years, give or take.
Now considering what you were trying to do in that segment (paint a different picture of Manning than the pristine, unsullied image that we’ve always had of him), I understand the use of that sound bite minus the original context. But because the context was missing I feel that the characterization is a tad unfair.
For those who may be reading this blurb, after the Colts lost in the 2002 playoffs, kicker Mike Vanderjagt criticized Peyton Manning for not showing enough emotion as the team’s leader. Manning, fed up with questions regarding the comment, unloaded on Vanderjagt in a sideline interview during the Pro Bowl, saying, “We’re talking about our idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off.”
The feeling I have is that if Vanderjagt hadn’t taken shots at Manning (and Tony Dungy) to the press after that playoff loss to the Dolphins for being passionless leaders, Peyton would NEVER have called Vanderjagt an idiot during the interview he conducted at the Pro-Bowl a couple of weeks later. And for you guys to leave that tidbit out of your rant–while understandable considering your objective–I think that was a bit irresponsible.
All of that said, I love and very much look forward to your show every day BECAUSE of its overall honesty, as well as the fact that you guys regularly question the pat assumptions your colleagues take as gospel in any number of areas.
Keep up the good work.
Filed under: NFL