The Art of Making the Stronger Team the Weaker

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The only coverage of the interminable lead-up to SuperBowl XL that I can stand is Gilbert Gottfried and Kermit the Frog on ESPN's Cold Pizza Chuck Klosterman's "blog" for Page2 of Say what you will about their ugly habit of tucking most of their really insightful writers behind PPV walls, the one thing that does right is Page2, where they hire writers to write.

Anyhow, ChuckK's coverage of Tuesday (Media Day! Media Day! Gather ye sound bites while ye may!) was pretty darn good. Exhibit A is his breakdown of the logic by which the Steelers, a 4-point favorite this week, are actually victims of that most heinous (not to mention nebulous) of treatments: disrespect.

As I write this, Pittsburgh is a four-point favorite to win Super Bowl XL. As you might have heard, the Steeler players are nonetheless viewing this prediction as a sign of disrespect. And Hines Ward spent part of media day explaining how being favored is (covertly) a criticism of his franchise.

I will now attempt to illustrate his five-pronged logic, even though I remain semi-baffled by its abstract complexity; I have a feeling Hines read a lot of Jacques Derrida while attending the University of Georgia. But here goes ...

Premise 1: Earlier this season, the Steelers were not given much credence from the mainstream media. Moreover, they struggled when Ben Roethlisberger was injured.

Premise 2: Conversely, Seattle was exceptional all season. The Seahawks finished as the NFC's No. 1 seed.

Premise 3: By favoring Pittsburgh in this game, the oddsmakers are negating Seattle's success.

Premise 4: Since Seattle's greatness has been quietly negated, the media is premeditating a circumstance in which a Pittsburgh victory would be less impressive than raw evidence would normally suggest.

Premise 5: Ward believes the Steelers will win in a major upset that the world is not recognizing; as such, the Steelers have been disrespected in advance.

Wow. The weird thing about this is that it actually makes a Bizzaro World kind of sense. More to the point, it makes me wonder if we shouldn't be teaching Hines Ward in our contemporary rhetoric courses.

That is all.


Here's the really weird part. Hines Ward HAS been teaching YOUR RHETORIC COURSE this semester.

THAT, my friend, is why the Burgh is only a 4 point pony.

And in the end, after all the hoo ha, what really matters is: We Deserve It More! Go 'Hawks!

The even better item from Media Day, IMO, was Joachim's antics, recounted on Mike and Mike the next morning (which I was gratefully tuned into, as I surfed the hotel channels in search of non-State-of-the-B*** coverage). Joachim had some first-rate Seahawks answers to the question "Would you forego a year's sex in order to play a round at Augusta?" It was perfect commentary on the (non) value of Media Day, and a perfect antidote to the post-State-of-the-B*** coverage. And makes a lot more sense than Hines Ward's argument. Go Steelers!

Klosterman's hilarious. Although, this is the first of his ESPN articles I've liked. This is classic. This is the only interesting thing that's been said about the whole argument over who an underdog is (in any sport) in a long time.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on February 2, 2006 2:55 PM.

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