Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m glad to be back.
My good friend Ken Noe suggested I write a column on the sometimes inane, ridiculous and meaningless comments and statistics frequently made by sports commentators and sports writers.
If you are like me, you are annoyed by it. So, here goes. I will begin with one of the newest and probably stupidest comments I’ve ever heard.
In a regular season football game I was watching in which Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens had several great runs, the comment and statistic was how on four of his runs he reached a maximum speed of almost 15 mph.
And in the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert had averaged 13 mph on each of his big runs (or something like that).
We as fans were supposed to be impressed with how fast that was.
We were to think “Wow, 13 mph is awesome!“
But if you are a normal, regular person, 13 or 15 mph is not very fast. We imagine a car going 13 mph and think that is unbelievably slow. We see ourselves in stop-and-go traffic on the freeway.
We will never equate that with fast.
We can see for ourselves how fast Jackson or Mostert or Derrick Henry are when they outrun everyone.
A more meaningful comment would be to tell us that they are exhibiting Olympic sprinter speed on the carries. We all know that that is fast!
Then there is this QBR. Most of us have no idea what that even is.
They love to tell us all about something few of us understand. They compound the useless measure by saying things like “(Packers quarterback Aaron) Rodgers has a QBR of (fill in the number, good or bad) in the last two minutes of the first half in four of eight games played at home.
And this insanity isn’t restricted to football. I saw one comment about how it had been three hours, 42 minutes and 27 seconds since LeBron James did something (it was so ridiculous I don’t even remember what it was) in a game.
Recently there was a big deal made in a game where Kemba Walker, a player for the Boston Celtics, hadn’t beaten LeBron in 28 straight games. So what?
Plus, Walker wasn’t playing LeBron, the Celtics were playing the Lakers. Additionally, I think the big deal made of triple-doubles is way over the top, too.
Baseball has its own plethora of stupid comments, most notably the ones regarding the last time a player hit a home run while batting in the cleanup spot when his team is behind. How does this enhance understanding of the game? (Oh, for Vin Scully to be announcing every game that is ever played.)
It even extends to the studio commentators in post-game analysis. Their ignorance is embarrassing.
In the 49ers-Packers playoff game after the Packers scored to cut San Francisco's lead 34-20, they decided to go for two on the PAT. This was an unbelievably stupid decision. If you succeed, it gains you nothing, you are still 12 points behind. If you kick, you are 13 points behind and two scores wins the game. However, if you fail you are 14 points behind and two scores only ties. If you fail and the 49ers score a field goal, you are 17 points behind — three scores.
If you kick and the 49ers score a field goal you are only 16 points behind — two scores.
Well, they failed and San Francisco kicked a field goal, putting the game out of reach.
First of all, how come an entire NFL coaching staff (Packers) didn’t see this? How about the veteran quarterback Rodgers? And our intrepid announcers never considered it either. Plus, on NFL Total Access the next day, the in-studio group reviewing the game said the two-point conversion, if successful, would have made things interesting. How dumb.
So, I’ve started muting most games and just enjoy watching the action. Listening to superfluous, nonsense commentary detracts from the game.
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Greg Sarkisian has coached high school athletics on the Central Coast for over three decades, spending 30 seasons as St. Joseph's head cross country coach and 35 seasons as the school's head track and field coach. At St. Joseph, Sarkisian's track and field athletes won 24 individual CIF championships under his tutelage. He also taught mathematics for 38 years at the high school level and for 27 years at Allan Hancock College.
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