What more can you say about the New Orleans Saints quarterback? The guy epitomizes what those of us with children hope our kids become. Not only is Brees successful and will probably go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, but he does everything with class and is one of the most respected people in his profession.
Monday night, on the national stage, Brees broke one of the NFL’s sacred records. Dan Marino’s 1984 mark of 5,084 yards in a single season was surpassed when Brees hit Darren Sproles for a nine-yard touchdown in the waning minutes of the Saints 45-16 trounce of their NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons. Brees finished the game with 307 yards and his season tally stands at 5,087.
Some members of the media, like CBS Sports columnist Pete Prisco, said Saints head coach Sean Payton’s decision to throw the ball late, with the game well in hand, was classless and lacked sportsmanship. Others, like Fox Sports columnist Alex Marquez, said the Saints owed the Falcons nothing and Atlanta should have stopped the pass plays if they were so upset about it.
This blog is not to agree or disagree with either point one way or the other. This blog is to point out a misconception that the media are these evil, deceptive misfits that purposely attempt to turn a positive into a negative.
A journalist’s job is to examine all angles of a story — good or bad, agreeable or disagreeable — and present them. Some journalists are even allowed to write editorial pieces and give their own opinion on a particular subject.
More often than not, a journalist’s opinion will be shared by a plethora of people who will read the piece. More often than not, a journalist’s opinion will be disagreed with by a plethora of people who will read the piece.
Was the sportsmanship angle supposed to simply be ignored? With 5:08 to play and up 38-16, the game was over. Brees needed just 30 yards to get the record and he still has one game to play, the season finale against the Carolina Panthers. His first pass Monday night was a 38-yard strike to Lance Moore. Conceivably, Brees would have had the record within the first few plays against the Panthers.
Feel free to disagree with a take or a stance that anyone has, but for Christ’s sake, don’t hang the journalist.
Most people really have no idea what journalism is, but they are quick to call journalism out for an opinion they may disagree with. Everyone is allowed to disagree with one’s opinion, but you’re not allowed to discount the entire media. Hell, it’s probably safe to bet that the same people who crapped all over Prisco’s piece, praised Marquez’s piece.
It’s the same media, folks.
The media do not exist to tell you what you want to hear. The media do not exist to work as a public relations agent for your favorite team, actor or political candidate.
Instead, the media are here to take a story, dissect it every way possible, find an angle you weren’t even thinking about, and give it to you — even the unthinkable angle that Payton and Brees were classless in their pursuit of Marino’s former record Monday night in New Orleans.
“Someone is going to ask this question,” Payton said in the post game press conference, “so I am going to answer it before it’s asked. Typically, would I be throwing there? Probably not. In fact, the answer is, I wouldn’t be. But I thought it was appropriate to get (the record) and we did it.
“You go with your gut,” Payton said Tuesday. “I thought it was the right decision last night. This morning, I thought it was clearly the right decision. I felt overwhelmingly that most people that are involved in this game, and know a little bit about this game, probably felt the same way. The great thing about our game is that you can have an opinion about it.”
Next time you read a piece that infuriates you to no end and you feel like writing the media off forever, keep in mind that that journalist is only doing his job. He is presenting you with an angle that had not even crossed your mind when you were on your couch, watching one of the most respected men in his profession break one of the NFL’s most sacred records, not even wondering or caring what a guy in Atlanta was thinking.