Monday, January 28, 2008

Daily Super Bowl Hype Meme: The '72 Dolphins

As yesterday and today were travel days for this year's Super Bowl teams, reporters were even more starved than usual for column inch fodder. So, as has happened repeatedly over the course of this season, reporters turned their grateful dictaphones towards various members of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, in the mistaken impression that anyone is interested in Larry Csonka's thoughts on anything besides proper joust technique.
Zonk and the other members of that Dolphin team have been eating out for free on that season for more than 35 years now, but have really stepped up their collective game in the face of the Patriots' recent run. The Dolphins' reactions have run the spectrum from classy (cornerback Tim Foley complimenting the Pats' teamwork), to beligerent (Mercury Morris delusionally belittling New England), to frankly sorry (Don Shula damn near soiling himself on national television while rooting against the Pats against Baltimore). That said, most of the coverage has focused on the fact that the Dolphins are only grudgingly prepared to share the spotlight with another undefeated team.

But leave the specifics of their reactions aside and go back to the fundamental question that should be asked of all these pre-Super Bowl stories: Who the f%$# cares?

Learning what the 1972 Dolphins think of the Patriots does nothing to affect our understanding of the game of football in general, the Giants-Patriots matchup in particular, or even our understanding of any of the players who will play in the SB this year. Unless Bob Kuchenberg is planning to pull a Woody Hayes at some point (and we wouldn't put it past him), all these stories show is how easily the press can form symbiotic relationships with anyone or anything that might provide them with a story angle. Mercury Morris could light himself on fire outside the Delano tomorrow, and it would no effect whatsoever on this year's Super Bowl.

So lets let poor Mercury slide gracefully into the narcotized oblivion that swallows most former NFL players. and stop asking for his opinion on anything other than mustache styling. We'll all be better off for it, and maybe the press could get back to writing about, you know, the teams that are actually playing this year's game. Give this one a 5 on the hype scale. And remember, tomorrow we all bear witness to the skull-humping that is Media Day! Starting loading up on Advil now.

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