Since it is the nadir of the offseason, football coverage becomes sparse and difficult to produce. This is just a fact. And, I think, some good things come from this fact. One good consequence is that it promotes articles from us blogger types that engage more heavily with traditional media type than we normally would during the regular season or during the draft. When games are actually being played, I want to talk about the games, you know? That just makes sense.
But, during the offseason, there's more room to write articles like Fooch did about ESPN's future power rankings, James Brady did about NFL.com's head coach power rankings and SI's offseason grades, and like I did about SI's podcast discussion of the NFC West. These sorts of articles promote an ongoing discussion about football and how we evaluate the sport.
That discussion, I think, is valuable. The articles also contribute to a greater dialectic concerning the traditional media / blogger binary. Both sides of the binary-if you will allow me to even label the distinction as a binary, which I recognize is a bit tenuous since reality is more complicated than that-bring important strengths to the table, but also distinctive weaknesses. Thus, this ongoing discussion, which I've been discussing longer than I intended to before getting to the main point of this article, helps keep both sides in check. Hence the value of calling out traditional media articles that might misrepresent facts or engage in haphazard analysis.
But, it's likewise important to praise good work when we see it-or, at least, I think it's important for bloggers to do this. That's why I want to highlight this video from NFL.com. You can find it here.
In the wake of all the recent Jimmy Graham news, there has been some tight end discussion. Naturally, as one of the best TEs in the game, Vernon Davis has gotten pulled into some of the discussions. And, this video sees a few men answer the question "which TE would you want for one play to win the game?"
In answering the question, Solomon Wilcots makes the important point that should, I hope, be obvious to all of us: Vernon Davis is the complete package. He can run block and catch passes. When he is in the game, the defense has no idea what the 49ers are going to do. Because of his versatility, the offense can do just about anything.
Don't get me wrong; there's not really a wrong answer to this questions. When the next guy chose Jimmy Graham as his answer, I didn't do a spit take all over my keyboard. That's a legitimately smart answer. I would have no problem making it myself, even as a 49ers fan (though I do think Davis' versatility brings so much to the table that it's hard to turn down, especially considering how deadly he is as a pass-catcher).
But, ultimately, I want to highlight this video because it shows traditional media guys getting things right. They have a hard job. I don't envy them their job. National media types, especially those who work in formats that don't allow time to stop and do research, like on TV, have to know so much information about every team. That's really difficult to do. And the men and women who do it well are truly gifted people.
Yet, I still think it's important that each side of the traditional media / blogger binary hold the other accountable, no matter how hard anybody's job is. It's by having this continuous discussion that we can sharpen our understanding of the game we all love.