Main-Stream Media. Out To Troll YouBy: Darren_v | November 8th, 2011
There was a time where the entire world relied on Journalists for the news. World news, local new, fashion updates, entertainment and sports, if you needed to know something about anything that interested you, you went to the media in its various forms to get the latest. The radio would give you the most up to date news in brief fashion, and the newspaper would give you the in-depth version on your kitchen table with your breakfast before work. Listening to your favorite sports club on the radio where the commentators described each and every play with great detail that it sounded like it was edge of your seat stuff for the entire duration of the game. The paper was marvelous for describing your favorite players skill and how he could glide about the opposition without ever being touched. They told you all you needed to know, and it the masses were firmly situated in their grasp while the words rolled off the tongue and pan, all of us hanging and believing each and every word.
And then the Television came into existence, and slowly but surely each and every game was starting to be broadcasted into everyone’s home. Millions were then able to watch the 32342 games of major league baseball (poor souls) and entire seasons of basketball and hockey were on the tube to be watched by anyone. The NFL made it into a billion dollar business where the whole USA was actually worried they would shut down the season this past summer, that’s how large an impact the revenue make. In a game where the clock runs for 60 minutes and the game can last for three hours, the amount of actual playing time is only 11 minutes. Then came the glorious invention of blogs and twitter and the many other various online options out there where regular fans could easily communicate and spend time discussing their favorite past times, Sports. People would listen to their favorite and not so favorite pundits of their sports, and when something sounded odd, there was a place to ask what those in the main-stream media said and if it made sense or not to others.
I follow my local hockey club closely (but not as closely as Arsenal, mind). The Edmonton Oilers are a club I grew up with and everyone I knew listened and watched and talked about them, and hockey in general. I read column and column in the local newspaper with my cereal every single morning, pouring over any stat possible and imaging how the greats stars played. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jarri Kurri, and my all-time favorite Paul Coffey were names I heard all the time, and it was a childhood joy. We all have our childhood heroes where we blissfully lapped up every word of praise about them. Then I started watching the games, and I noticed an annoying trend. No matter what, the local media was always praising the management, and the players. Even when things were clearly going sideways. And if a player would get criticized by the club, every single person in the media would churn out articles and discuss how terrible this player was. No one ever disagreed with the club, or with each other. In my youthful rebellious state in my teenage years, I simply started liking those players all the more as a result. Rasheed Wallace in the NBA remains one of my more favorite basketball players, as he had so much passion for the game, and everyone derided him for it. And its the same with every sport, and with every club and their local media. Nicklas Bendtner remains a relatively unliked player in the Gooner world, and why is that? Because he is cocky, and the media do not like that, nor his pink boots.
So why do I bring this up? Well the admirable shit that is TalkSport produced an article stating the current Manchester City club is a better squad than the Arsenal Invincibles of 2003/2004. Despite only being 11 matches into the season, they decided to compare that squad with the best squad ever assembled, The Invincibles. It was a shocking read, and full of terrible ‘journalism’. Let’s refute some of it:
Lehmann vs Hart:
They claim Lehmann would struggle to get a game ahead of Hart, which is clearly true right now, but is it true of the Lehmann of 2003/04? Using the metric of clean sheets for one season like they do would suggest so, but then let’s all remember that even Manuel Almunia had one very good season as well, racking up an impressive 15 clean sheets with a leaky Arsenal defense in front of him. A keeper’s worth is not dependent on one season, but many. While Hart is a very good keeper, Lehmann proved his worth over many seasons, something Hart still needs to do.
Lauren vs Richards:
How anyone could pick Micah Richards over Lauren is simply baffling. Let’s be clear about one thing, Micah Richards isn’t even the best right back at his own club, as OilCity has Pablo Zabaleta with that distinction. While solid defensively, Zabaleta offers very little going forward. Are you really telling me Zabaleta is better than Lauren?
Campbell vs Lescott:
We all know Sol Campbell and what he did for Arsenal. You could put Sol up against OilCity defender and he wins every time.
Toure vs Kompany:
They claim it was a close one, but give the nod to Kompany for ‘reliability and leadership’. Honestly now, if those were the metrics you are using for your center back, why are you not comparing Kompany up against Sol Campbell, the man who was the leader of the Invincibles back line? This doesn’t even take in account that I would be picking Toure over Kompany every day of the week to play alongside a defensive stud like Campbell.
Cole vs Clichy:
Arsenal have had both left backs at their club, and it’s pretty clear Cashley Cole is likely the best left back of his generation.
Ljungberg vs Silva:
They give this one to Silva, and it’s a toss up in my view as they don’t actually play the same position. Ljungberg was terrific on the flank, while Silva does his damage in the middle of the park. It’s hard to argue to be fair.
Pires vs Milner:
It’s surprising they put Milner in the line up as Na$ri is head and shoulders a better player. But Bobby Pires beats anyone anyways.
This is where it gets fun, and where you realize this who article is set to wind people up. They compare Patrick Vieira to Gareth Barry which is a clear landslide for the Frenchman, and then pair Gilberto up against Yaya Toure. This makes no sense to even the casual fan. Of the four players Gilberto and Barry are clearly the defensive minded two, while Toure and Vieira would be the men to go forward in their respective line ups. But if you compared Vieira to Toure, and Gilberto to Barry, Arsenal would quite clearly win both match ups. And it’s awfully difficult to justify OilCity as the better squad when you loose the battle in the middle of the pitch.
Henry vs Dzeko:
Even TalkSport wouldn’t attempt to troll Thierry Henry.
Bergkamp vs Aguero:
Now anyone with a half a mind knows that Dennis Bergkamp was one of the greatest players to every play in England. TalkSport say that themselves. They proceed to ignore that they are completely different players and then rely on stats of an out and out striker to award Sergio Aguero as the better player in this match up. It’s quite frankly football blasphemy. Bergkamp did so much more than score and garner assists. He made things happen, and he was graceful while doing so. As they said when comparing Henry and Dzeko, “let’s not kid ourselves he’s fit to lace the great Frenchman’s boots.” the same goes for this match up. If you say Bergkamp is one of the best to every play in England, how can you say Aguero is better after ELEVEN MATCHES?
The answer is simple, they are trolling us.
I would love to see Aguero do the things that Bergkamp did in his career…
Make a commentator loose his head? Dennis did.
Score one of the greatest goals of all-time? Bergkamp quite clearly did that.
How’s your first touch Aguero? Not this good:
Chip a keeper? A Bergkamp trademark.
Right or Left foot, doesn’t matter to The Iceman.
Touch touches, chipping over the keeper, with the ball never touching the ground? Dennis Bergkamp
No one doubts Aguero’s talent but come on…
How about a curler? Mr. Dennis Bergkamp
Some close control in the box? Only Dennis Bergkamp.
Dennis the Menace didn’t have his nicknames for nothing
Even in retirement, chipping keepers like nobody’s business.
How about world-class passing Aguero. Like this:
Want a long range beauty? Bergkamp’s got you covered.
Nutmeg a teammate as easily as waking up
Now here’s the thing. I actually like Sergio Aguero. I think he is a mighty fine footballer and was sad that he went to OilCity. But to go around saying things like a TalkSport do in this article is exactly why I rarely read the newspapers, and why I find most journalists just a load of hot air. It’s not just TalkSport either, its all of them. The day after the Chelsea win some guy (cannot remember which one) on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast stated that Alex Song was not a defensive midfielder. Not one of the others on the podcast even questioned him on this statement, despite Song only playing as a defensive midfielder his entire career, bar emergency duty at center back. Last year the Guardian was loudly clamoring on twitter that they had ‘an exclusive to reveal in a couple hours.’ The hype was huge. The exclusive?
Inter Milan are interested in Gareth Bale.
The late Leonard Koppett said:
“The secret of good reporting is simply being around. Hanging out, he said, is “how a writer learns to know what he needs, what and how to write about it, to evaluate relevance and fairness, and how to distinguish the important from the trivial.”
The problem is, reporters, journalists and pundits are concerned with building narratives that sound pleasing to the ear, with no fact checking. They are looking to draw hits and controversy in order get you to look at their piece. It doesn’t matter what you say really. Facts don’t matter, generating revenues for your company does matter however. Best way to do that?
Troll the fans.