Friday, April 24, 2009

Stop with the Speculation Screeds!

There is much in the way of myth generating in regard to the figures that rule over the DC sports landscape. It seems that certain players, coaches, front office types, and owners around here make statements without even saying them, plan to perform actions that are never performed, and have certain personality traits that have never been completely accounted for. While they attempt to keep their personalities/decisions/feelings about whatever completely under wraps, the dilligent sports reporters and analyzers attempt to unearth these completely secret aspects of their lives in order to compose screeds on how terrible these people actually are at their jobs. Now, we don't want to discount the intrepid work of these writing professionals. Their thankless job provides the conversations we all enjoy having more than the conversations about Susan Boyle. Yet it becomes frustrating when the unknown decisions, feelings, and actions of these figures receive what amounts to a complete and utter bashing despite those feelings not being correctly interpreted and subsequently rebuked once truth or results prove these bashers wrong.

For example: the Wizards recently had what amounted to an aberration of a season (meaning the whole roster was hurt, not just a key cog or two). They realized that with the opportunity to re-assess their needs, they could address the lingering concerns while simultaneously staying the course of their ultimate structure. So they hired Flip Saunders, the most decorated coach in the market, which, unless Phil Jackson was available, isn't exactly brimming with proven ability. Saunders ran teams similar to the Wiz to great success. Sure, he didn't win a title, but only four active coaches can claim that anyway. Maybe his lack of title would be more motivation to make this squad run on all of its cylinders.

Yet, there were echoes of doubt from the analyzers and writers of sport, all of whom were doubtful Flip Saunders would ever wrangle in that insane clubhouse killer Gilbert Arenas, whose zany ways would drive any coach batty. How did they determine that Gilbert would be a problem for any coach he didn't choose via flipping coins? Not through any statements from Gilbert, or any actual proof of his past issues with coaching, but through speculation. Naturally the union of Arenas and Saunders is already off to a fantastic start, with Flip commending Gilbert, and Gilbert lauding the new constructor of his plays. What happened to the impossible-to-coach Gilbert driving every coach insane? We don't think many coaches would hate having a guy who can drop thirty, dish out ten-plus dimes, generate free throws instantly, and hit massive game-winning shots, yet sports analyzer Michael Wilbon figured Saunders would not be able to generate results from this mercurial player, and as a result, the hiring was terrible, awful, laughable, dump-onnable, etc.

Yet yesterday's formal introduction of Flip went with tons of mutual appreciation from Saunders and his new point guard, who will obviously transform into a quicker, more dynamic Chauncy Billups under this new tutilage. Speculation was wrong there, which made the immediate hating of the hire, transcribed through panic-ensuing screeds problematic.

We have the same problem with the sports reporters' treatment of the Redskins' upcoming draft. Now, we aren't going to go all Larry Michael and ask for the heads of these NFL Sources that keep reporting the impending doom and gloom eminating from the unwanton desires of Dan Snyder. We just find it troubling that far-reaching results of player transactions have already been documented despite any sort of genuine happenstance of a Mark Sanchez selection. The skins haven't made any trades, haven't formally swapped any contracts, nor have they stitched together any uniforms with these new players' names on them. So why, again, does Mr. Wilbon tap out another screed about the Redskins' front office inabilities, when none of these crippling transactions have actually been made? Sure Wilbon crows about how idiotic the skins are for not trading down, like they should, yet he fails to mention that the skins did in fact trade down last year. They have traded down to acquire picks a number of times. Just because the skins wine and dine a potential prospect (the same way they wined and dined another potential prospect) doesn't mean that their decision has been curly-R stamped in burgundy and gold. Plenty of speculated skins selections have not happened in the past, why must we assume the ravenous desires of the owner will always be sated, even if no official statements of these desires are ever actually made? If the supposed loud overtures of desire for a rookie quarterback are never actually resulting in his selection, why should you, Denver, Colo ask Jason La Canfora (of all people) for a new team to root for? And what happened to the last quarterback Dan Snyder supposedly lusted after?

We just ask that you all try to save your imminent frustrations for actual football/basketball play. Or consider this extremeskins thread created by DCO homeboi da#1skinsfan. That is, if you are in the mood for more speculation.

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