Sometimes I’m appalled at what passes for “analysis” on national sports sites. It seems to me very often that most of the really insightful commentary comes from passionate fans rather than from the professionals and semi-professionals who are featured writers on sites such as The Bleacher Report.
Even though TBR is one of my favorite sports sites, their commentators very often seem to me to fall victim to the syndrome that suggests that because my byline appears on article on a website with lots of eyeballs, that somehow proves my capability.
Along came Jeremy Sickel today to provide my latest example of the lack of truth in that belief. Speaking about Sunday’s 49er win over New England, Sickle actually said this:
“Kaepernick proved on Sunday night that he is the guy who could get this team to the next level by beating the rest of the NFL’s elite.”
Come again? He beats one admittedly elite quarterback on a miserable night after blowing a 28-point lead and against a defense that never did get into sync the entire evening, and suddenly he’s a superstar? Ridiculous!
CK, as I’ve said here several times, is destined, if he stays healthy, to be one of the finest quarterbacks in the NFL. But he’s not there yet and I still think the Niners will pay a steep price for throwing him to the wolves before he’s really ready, just as they did with his deserving processor Alex Smith when his career began in San Francisco.
Hyperbole is a natural part of the sports writer’s vocabulary. Traditionally, it’s what made writing sports more vital, fun and interesting than covering politics, society, and other mundane topics in the news. Some of the best journalists in American history began their careers on the sports desk, and many of them stayed there for long, illustrious careers.
But that does not constitute a license to commit shallow analysis in the interest of developing a reputation as an insightful observer of the sports scene.
No doubt Kaepernick will someday deserve the accolade bestowed on him by TBR this week. But, exactly like the move that put him in the spotlight, that judgment is decidedly premature.