Cracking into the Skulls of Sports Journalists

>> Sunday

Guys--I meant figuratively. And you thought I was going to advocate a bloody revolution against the sports media. That'll come later.

But for now, let's get psychoanalytical.

Anytime a good team suffers a really disapointing loss as the Bears did today, everyone in its fan base feels like a loser. To make us feel like winners again, each of us calls upon our own "defense mechanism" (a phrase I'm pretty sure I just coined right there) to get past the initial letdown.

Members of the sports media are no exception. And it's always fun to see these instinctive mental responses puffed out into a written column--especially in Chicago where fans have an excessive, yet fragile, sense of a pride on top of an incredible victim complex.

So here are, as I've observed, the general varieties of columns that follow these types of losses. Look for each of these in your Chicago newspapers over the next couple days.

"Those guys friggin' sucked." This is probably the most refreshing variety. Simple, direct, expulsive, emotional--it basically just says what everyone knows. There are no real grounds for disagreement because it's the obvious interpretation of obvious results.

"What the hell were they thinking?" It's the standard "Monday morning quarterback" response, usually questioning the coaching staff and its "gameplan." The primary goal here is assigning blame, and the primary message is, "You'd better not do that next time." Accuracy of the argument is a non-issue since it's not the least bit testable.

"These things just happen." This is probably the most accurate assessment, but it may also be the most annoying. It makes no attempt to shed any real insight on the situation, except to say that unexpected things happen sometimes--a fact everyone knows already. Also, it comes off emotionally detatched, usually to the point of sounding phony.

"You starry-eyed fools..." Actually, I stand corrected. This column is the most annoying variety and a Jay Mariotti specialty. It lectures us on having unrealistic hopes while telling us that the columnist saw it coming the whole time. Deep down, everyone knows that things like undefeated seasons are unrealistic to expect, but deep down, each fan also hopes and believes they can happen. When a columnist pretends to be one hundred-percent pragmatic from the start, he just sounds patronizing and transparent.

"Oh yeah? We're stll awesome." It concedes the hurt felt with the loss but spins it with defiance and defensiveness. It salvages pride by beating down the hurt with a string of positives differentiating the situation from comparatively unfavorable ones. At the same time, the negative feelings remain the centerpiece of this column.

"Hey! We're still awesome!" It's almost the same as the last type, except that it's more genuinely positive. The difference in the two is more a matter of tone than content. It takes a special individual to have such a positive outlook on life, and resultantly, the ability to pull off this column.

My guess is that we'll see the most of numbers three and five on this list, but I'm pretty confident that either Morrisey or Mariotti will treat us to something arrogant or patronizing this week.

For you fellow Bears fans, what's your defense mechanism?

Mine? I psychoanalyze other people to remind them how smart I am.

4 comments:

Mike 8:13 AM  

"Eh, the Bears are tired out from winning so much."

It's as good as any other in my book.

Vinnie 12:30 PM  

I forgot about that one.

Internet Creatures 7:06 PM  

Petition - Fire Jay Mariotti
Show your support.
http://firethefucktard.blogspot.com

the internet creatures
we're fighting back

Matt Zuchowski 3:35 PM  

While I may silently agree with Creaturs, I assure you that's not me. You know I'm not creative enough to come up with fucktard.

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