Then Photo-gate broke out.
For those unaware, a very, very mild controversy erupted last week around whether the Green Bay Packers were trying to exclude players on injured reserve from appearing in the team's Super Bowl photo, presumably because the injured guys wanted to go with the cool laser background, while the team wanted to go with the more modest "pool of light on a black background" option.
above at left: LAZ3Rz!!!
Then the Packers decided to let everyone be in the picture AND throw in a free wallet-size potrait to those who registered in advance, and everything was cool.
Except somehow it wasn't, because Green Bay's gravy-brained QB, Aaron Rodgers, for some reason decided to dredge the whole thing up again by taking his injured teammates to task for not being around more, we guess because if they'd have been around, they'd have gotten the photo day message in their cubbies after snack. So now we're apparently supposed to believe that there is enough dissention within the ranks in Green Bay that it will somehow affect their performance on Sunday.
We've debunked the dissention meme before around here, so we won't bother doing it again. But what really irked us about this meme is the way it was presented on SportsCenter this morning. ESPN talking neck Sal Paolantonio all but winked his way through his report, trying to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the story while further fanning its flames. This is the sort of cutesy stuff that droves us bonkers, because it involves an implication that ESPN is smarter than its audience. The attitude that comes across is "We know this is stupid, but so are you, so sit there and take it." It is, but we're not and we won't. Knock it off.
For getting Super Bowl week off to just the wrong start, we're giving this meme an 8 on the hype scale. If this keeps up, we'll have worn the Mute button right off of our remote by Wednesday.