Tom Brady will retire, someday
And why the disparaging Tweet about baseball?
Good morning, all and Happy New Month! Hope your week is off to a splendid start.
Is Tom Brady going to retire? That seems to be the dominate question across the sports world. But like many, I was puzzled that the story broke on a wintry, Saturday afternoon on the eve of the NFL conference championships. And that the story did not come from Brady made it even more puzzling.
Within minutes after the story broke, Brady’s father was telling the Boston Globe his son had not made up his mind about retiring; Brady had contacted the Tampa Bay Bucs GM to say the same thing, and the media was forced to do some back pedaling.
This is the media world in which we now live. I am not being critical here, just telling it like it is. A reporter allegedly gets a scoop, breaks it on a website, then turns to Twitter, hoping the tweet goes viral. The objective is to drive traffic to the website for which the reporter works or in some cases owns. Other websites - particularly sports websites - then pick up the “breaking story,” give mild attribution to the website that broke the story by including a link, then blast the story out on social media in the hopes of driving traffic to their websites for the so-called “exclusive,” “breaking” story. Mind you, the other websites didn’t do the legwork to snag the original piece, they just picked up the story, rewrote it and made it appear as if it was their own. (Something any website owner can do with a tablet from a comfortable couch.) More traffic to the website leads to more ad revenue from Google ads, etc.
If it turns out the story isn’t true, meh? Who’s going to remember? And just to be sure, do a follow up story and twist it like a pretzel to make it appear as if the story on on the website was accurate, so as not to stain credibility. Again, I am not being critical here, just being observant of our media culture in the 2020s.
That said, will Tom Brady retire? Someday! Will it be soon? Perhaps. And when he does retire, even if it is this week or next, all these websites can boast, “we had the story first.” And it all started on a dull, Saturday afternoon, with a captive audience in the millions, weather-bound in their homes, glued to their smart phones and tablets. What better way to drive traffic, clicks and ad revenue to a website. It’s this era’s “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
I like Bill Madden but…
I always have enjoyed reading Bill Madden, from his columns to baseball books. I even met him once at the baseball winter meetings in Anaheim. I’m sure he remembers. Heck, he’s even in the writers’ wing of the baseball Hall of Fame. But during the NFC Conference Final on Sunday he sent out a puzzling tweet.
All due respect, Bill, but football has had “a firm foothold as our national pastime” for decades. Baseball - and I love the game - has become a niche sport. And there is nothing wrong with that. Does the game need tweeking? Absolutely. Can the game generate mass appeal? With innovative changes that relate to Generation Z - and permitting gambling on games is not one of them - and prior generations baseball has the ability to return to the conversation. Will it regain the prominence it once enjoyed as the nation’s number one pastime? Not in my lifetime. But that doesn’t mean the sport cannot be enjoyed and grow in popularity. I’m just perplexed as to why a notable writer decided to throw a knockdown pitch at a certain sport, because another one dominates the national narrative.
And the winner is?
I have yet to formulate my Super Bowl pick, so the nation will have to wait. But why am I leaning toward Joe Burrow and the Bengals? I know the Rams will be playing in their home ballpark, second straight Super Bowl for this rare occurance, after never happening until last year, but there is something about Burrow and the Bengals. We shall see.
That’s it for this edition. As always, thank you for your support and have a tremendous week.