Saturday, May 16, 2015

Touchy About Feeley

You can pretty much anticipate the reaction of sports fans to any piece of news to come down the pike. At this point, the data set is large enough and the behaviors visible enough that you can generally skip the story and already know what the comments sections are going to be like.

Take, for example, the minor bombshell that former NFL QB A.J. Feeley* dropped the other day, namely, that he remembered the Patriots using weird footballs back in 2004, which, I believe, was in the days when players rode mastodons to get to the stadium for games. The actual story is irrelevant; what matters - to the vocal fans, at least - are the archetypes. And so you get responses like this:

25% - AJ Feeley never won a Super Bowl so he should just shut up
18% - AJ Feeley is just trying to get his name in the news again. Also, he never won a Super Bowl so he should just shut up.
11% - See, this corroborates everything that was ever said about the Patriots by everybody ever.
23% - Whatever Feeley said is obviously wrong because [insert ridiculously convoluted logic that is the equivalent of one of those things Wile E. Coyote build that included an anvil, a catapult, a balloon, a mousetrap, and sixteen pounds of ball bearings] and thus obviously he's lying.
13% - Tom Brady didn't need no special footballs to beat no A.J. Feeley no way no how
9% - How could he possibly remember what happened in 2004 when no one else does?
1% - Grooooooonk!

Which, if you boil it down, gives us a large majority that's really saying "AJ Feeley was no good at the foobaws so nothing he says matters". Which is exactly the sort of fine logic and careful analysis that we, as a society, need at any time of confusion or debate. 

God help us all. 

*I remember watching him in Philly. Feeley was the QB equivalent of the shortstop who made all the flashy plays but couldn't handle a routine grounder in the hole. There are worse things to be.
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