Tuesday, May 17, 2005

We're going to town today. . .

Message boards - the 21st century's bazaars (to paraphrase from another message board denizen). They're often not for the faint of heart. And unfortunately, they're all to often populated by bozos. Like the ugasports.com board, for example. Nothing personal to anyone there (not that they'll ever read this. . .), but who cares if Matthew Stafford is just a top 10 quaterback?

Yes, the latest controversy threatening to tear the board's social fabric asunder is because Stafford, mentioned by many services as a top 3 or better guy, was called a top 10 guy by the rivals main site after he signed with Georgia. SO FREAKING WHAT? Does the Rivals raiting somehow diminish his skillset? Is his talent ceiling lowered because some fat guy who never played sports and does nothing but watch highschool game film, someone who I should point out is hardly an expert, decided to use an inexact ranking system to put 6 other guys ahead of Stafford? Or was the statement just made somewhat generally - as in "he's definately one of the top 10 QBs in the nation; we're not ready to finalize the top few".

That's the thing, most of the people on the board didn't appear to bother to research the context of the quote. This is just a reflection of human nature - too often we get caught up in the sensationalistic. And guess what? Any declaration about Staffard is going to be sensational. Rivals makes money by getting people to pay for their services - information & articles about top prospects. I'm not saying Rivals will just rearrange rankins based on sales projections. What I am saying is that generally speaking, they're going to make every article sensational where possible.

I like the people who wortk for UGA sports.com; they remind me of the Braves announcers (though I think poor Skip is really losing it). The Braves announcers usually have nothing but glowing praise for the other team and other managers. It's annoying at times - they sometimes overlook obvious faults, but you're going to get a somewhat balanced game presentation for them - and they're hometown announcers. I've had minor experience with other team's rivals sites, but what little I had I didn't care for. Warchant made every player seem like they had shrines to FSU set up in their back yards. The UGAsports articles are rarely like that. I'm sure they aren't the only "local" guys doiung a good job, but they're the only ones I see in action often.

The board residents? They fret about the things that all college football fans fret about. And it gets distorted somewhat in this medium. I love reading posts during game weeks. Someone invariably posts the "I'm worried, we're overlooking team X!" thread that gets 70zillion replies. Hey, maybe that person is on to something. Maybe the fans, who have absolutely no control over the game whatsoever, taking the other team lightly is going to cause the hometown boys to lose. And maybe I'm Mary queen of Scotts.

So really, guys, stop worrying about what Matthew Stafford's ranking is. By all accounts, Georgia just signed a helluva prospect, one that is sure to garner some national attention for the school.


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