Christmas in freakin’ June! On Friday, the NFL announced it would be releasing "All-22," or, coaches’ film for the 2012 season, which opens a whole new world for analysts and fans everywhere. Now, instead of only being subjected to watching the person with the ball, everyone can have several in-depth looks at every single player on the field. This is incredible news.
Of course, the drawbacks to this are that access to the film costs $70 per year. It’s a pain in the butt and yet another barrier, but it’s still a massive step forward that the league took during a time when there are so many information-hungry people.
Additionally, I’ve always viewed more information as a good thing. And in a field where I’ve heard repeated demands of All-22 going public, I expected that the NFL’s recent announcement of doing so would be embraced by everyone from media moguls and upstart bloggers alike. For the most part, it was. But I was still amazed by certain "experts," (who I’ve decided not to dignify with a mention) who via their Twitter accounts, cringed at the idea of lowly peasant-like fans who would think they’re experts just because of new information surfacing.
This is about the worst mindset that someone in the field could ever have. Is it so bad that people without credentials have supreme information available at their fingertips? Why would it be such a bad thing if people think they’re experts even if they aren’t? Why can’t fans and analysts alike be entitled to their own opinions even if it may be "wrong"?
If people truly don’t know what to look for in the tape, then they can learn; plain and simple. It’s not the be-all-end-all tool for understanding, but it is a powerful supplement in educating people who want to better their knowledge of the game.
Yet, for a group of elitist analysts whose jobs revolve around informing the people, John Q. Public actually being informed is a horrible thing. Right. Got it.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the hard-working beat reporters, columnists and bloggers of big and small media outlets alike, as long as they strive to put out quality content and make real contributions instead of pumping out masturbatory material while their noses are tilted at 45-degree angles. Those who think it’s a bad thing for people having the resources to become smarter should hang-up their credentials right now. There is no credibility in what they do.
If that’s the mindset, then this just further exemplifies that with certain entitled media members, there is no real desire to want to inform people. They’re content on their perch, and if anything can bring them closer to the ground where all those underlings stand, then it’s a travesty in their eyes.
And if it’s really a problem that the gap is being bridged between the common man and the self-anointed gurus of the sport, here’s a thought: Get off of your snobbish, complacent butt and do useful work that will actually separate yourself from those "idiots" with keyboards that are surely boarded-up in Mom’s basement.
And as for you, readers, I encourage every single one of you to never stop thirsting for information. Engage each other, ask questions and interact with writers who make themselves available. Challenge me too if you wish (I understand from Ken and Kevin that you will). Lastly, don’t ever be afraid to be wrong. If you are, all it means is that you learned something.