By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You know, the state of media these days is maybe a bit chaotic. Fox Sports just laid off its writing staff and will become a video-reliant website. Paywalls are stopping many folks from reading some sites. Overbearing advertisements are stopping some folks from reading other sites. Everybody’s chasing clicks and looking to make things work. It’s not necessarily the brightest time in media.
But, given that background, you look at this article on Yahoo, and you have to wonder.
What are we all really doing here?
The article argues that Peyton Manning is better than Tom Brady, which is an argument that was laid to rest shortly after the time that “Gangnam Style” was hot in the streets.
Yet with Brady earning the top spot on NFL Network’s list of the league’s best players — as voted on by the players themselves — there’s always going to be someone looking to carry the torch for the dissenters.
Unfortunately for that group, the writer — Ben Pfeifer of “Cover 32” — didn’t do a great job. It’s too long to break it down by every point, but here are some spotlights.
–Pfeifer argues that Manning had better stats, which is true in some cases. Yet he conveniently left out Manning’s ranking of ninth on the all-time interception list. Brady ranks 57th. He also overlooked the fact that for most of his career, Manning played at least 11 games per year either indoors or in a favorable climate. Brady, on the other hand, has played just 20 games indoors in his career, and he instead plays a guaranteed 10 games per year in Foxboro, Buffalo and New Jersey. It’s a significant distinction that never gets mentioned in the argument for volume stats.
Brady has also started 30 fewer games — nearly two full seasons — and has thrown 1,156 fewer passes. Both are slightly important notes in the volume stats argument.
–Pfeifer argues that Manning owns more records, including “largest touchdown to interception ratio.” That is … false. Manning’s career TD-to-INT ratio is 2.15. Brady’s is 3.00. Aaron Rodgers’ is 4.13. When it comes to the single-season record, Brady just set that at age 39 with a 28-touchdown, 2-interception season.
But here’s where it gets awesome: “The 14 time pro bowler [sic] is also one of two quarterbacks to defeat all of the teams in the NFL, along with Brett Favre.”
This is, technically, true. Though frankly, it would have been very difficult for Brady to have beaten the Patriots during his career. That blemish on his resume perhaps should not be held against him.
–In one breath, Pfeifer says that “many forget about the 52 other players on the team.” In another breath, he writes, “Against the Seahawks, the Pats won due to a bad play call and an improbable last second interception by Malcom Butler [sic].”
Many people forget the other 120-plus plays in a football game, during which Brady threw for four touchdowns and 328 yards against a historic defense. Many people also sometimes forget how to spell “Malcolm.”
Pfeifer insinuated that the Patriots beat the Falcons because “Julian Edelman made maybe the most incredible catch ever off of an errant Brady throw.” Many people seem to forget that Brady set a Super Bowl record for passing yards in leading the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
–Another factual dud: “Brady failed to defeat the Giants with arguably the best team ever, finishing 15-1.”
The story goes on to make a few more bad points and maybe even makes another factual error or two. Who can say, really? But the most self-crushing part of Pfeifer’s argument comes from his own bio on Medium:
Diehard Colts fan? You don’t say.
But the issue is not with Pfeifer. He likes the Colts, and he likes Manning. Whatever. Peyton was awfully good at slinging the pigskin for a while.
The question, though, is this: Why did Yahoo take an article from a site with under 2,400 Twitter followers, fail to correct some glaring factual errors, fail to clean up some simple typos, and publish it in the hope of making a real ripple in the sports world?
What are we all really doing here?