Now that the Brees signing is done, and we’re still waiting for training camp to start, we’ve entered the silly season.
Over at Canal Street Chronicles, they’re still guzzling the bubbly and laughing hysterically. Last night, the topic of conversation was Whitney Houston’s enis-pay. (Forgive me for the pig Latin, but I DO NOT want to show up in any Google results for that phrase. And no, I’m not giving you a link.)
Silliness of a much greater order of magnitude was shown by Jason Cole of Yahoo. I pointed this out Saturday and smacked Jason around a bit, but then moved on. Later that day, though, Grandmaster Wang utterly and comprehensively demolished him. Most of you, by now, have no doubt read that thermonuclear ass-reaming; if you haven’t, go immediately to Wang’s site and do so, because it is remarkable. Years from now, they’ll still be studying this in graduate-level journalism courses: what happens to a columnist when he grows so lazy, stupid, and self-important he thinks he can get away with anything.
And they should thank us. Seriously, the golden age of journalism wasn’t the twentieth century, and it certainly isn’t now; it was the eighteenth, when the English-speaking world witnessed an explosion in the number of regular newspapers, and the quality of both reportage and commentary was head and shoulders, waist, knees, shins, ankles, and metatarsals above what it is now. We’re talking about men like Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, and Benjamin Franklin—none of whom had or needed a journalism degree (there was no such thing). All they needed was a desire to speak their mind in public, the talent to do so well, and a venue. What they were, was bloggers, but without the web.
The web. Which AngryWhoDat celebrates every chance he gets. Hell, I’m not anti-Internet; I think it gets taken way too seriously from time to time, but it’s what I’m doing now, right? And now that I think of it, maybe I was too harsh on Twitter and social media the last time me and AWD went a round on this subject. I mean, those eighteenth-century scriveners had quite a reputation for holing up in their rooms, living off drippings and crust, coming out only to purchase more ink and paper (and gin), never having any real interaction with the people of their day. And they gave us some unmitigated classics, like “The People’s Ganymede: Being an Inquiry into Certain Vulgar Practices Among the Monied Interests, Along with Some Remarks on Widgeons.” Maybe there’s just more of them now, and they’re living off pizza and beer, coming out only to…well, not coming out. But still, it’s a legitimate lifestyle, if that other one was.
Andrew Brandt, writing on what ESPN is pleased to term a “blog,” provides us with a breakdown of Brees’ contract—and this is good, solid information. At least he doesn’t feel the need to editorialize over every detail, as though he’s smarter than Mickey Loomis and Tom Condon put together. In fact, consider the way he ends his post:
Brees, who was discarded by the Chargers in 2006 and turned down by the Dolphins in free agency that year, now becomes the highest-paid player in the history of football. And no one is arguing that he shouldn’t.
In other words: Mickey was pretty smart to sign Brees in the first place. Smarter than Yahoo in signing Jason Cole.
Another significant article was published by the Los Angeles Times, but as an op-ed…in other words, by non-journalists. (“Kevin Hassett is director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where Stan Veuger is an economist and research fellow. Neither is a Saints fan.”) Turns out that the rate of injury among opponents of the Saints during the “bounty” period was lower than the rest of the league:
The Saints appear to have injured far fewer players over the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. The numbers are striking. From 2009 to 2011, the Saints injured, on average, 3.2 opposing players each game. The rest of the teams in the league caused, on average, 3.8 injuries per game. This difference is highly statistically significant, or in other words, it would hold up in a court of law or a fancy academic journal.
My my. Fancy that. News to me.
And finally, there’s a truly significant point made in Bert Bartlett’s latest blog post at SoulsOfTheSaints. He reminds us that Drew’s contract is nearly ten percent of the worth of the Saints—but he also points out that it would be a signficantly higher percentage of the team’s worth if it hadn’t been for the success the Saints have enjoyed over the past six years. They are now one of the most valuable franchises, in a small market that has gotten smaller since Katrina, for no other reason than the fact that they’re good, that they’re fun to watch. Put out a crap product in a big market (like Los Angeles) and people will ignore it to the point that two franchises abandon the city, and aren’t missed. But give the people a championship, and they’ll flood your vault with money—money enough to keep the dynasty alive. It’s a blueprint for success that other teams would do well to heed.
On the Jukebox
Stu hasn’t been around lately. I hope he shows up today, or he’ll miss this.