Many of you have probably already seen the comment made by Pat Kirwan, former NFL General Manager and current radio personality for SiriusXM Radio, as well as part of CBS. He made mention to "fake [football] guys evaluating players" who "never played coached or worked in the NFL."
Tim Ryan & I are tired of all the fake FB guys evaluating players.They never played coached or worked in the NFL.. enough&stop listening!!— Pat Kirwan (@PatKirwanCBS) May 24, 2012
This, understandably, rankled many people. There are countless men and women who put a lot of time and effort into following this sport and it's players, and a good many of them focus on scouting aspects. I wouldn't even count myself in this category as I don't spend nearly the time that so many others do.
More after the jump...
The point is, people work hard and do their homework. Sure, maybe they don't have the benefit of having worked for an NFL personnel department. Sure, maybe they haven't played the game at the highest level. But plenty of people HAVE done one or both, and those people have shared their insight over time to the rest of us.
Part of the tireless work these "fake FB guys" put-in is studying what former players, coaches, and personnel people say about prospects...what they're looking for, aspects of their physique, technique, natural skills, etc. They strive to be as accurate from an NFL personnel standpoint as they can be.
Granted they're only getting bits and pieces wherever they can, but they're doing their best. Like it or not, a lot of "fake FB guys" make a lot of money for a lot of websites. We don't have insight into the minds of many current/former NFL people. We have no choice but to do our best to come up with educated content on the sport we so love.
To me, it's part of being a fan. I learn as much as I can and discuss what I think I know with others. I'm clicking links, reading articles, watching video...paying someone's bills along the way. The whole NFL industry isn't just the "pro's", the big-time media outlets, etc. I guarantee if bloggers and "fake FB guys" went away in a flash, the rest of the NFL media would greatly suffer.
We're generating discussion, desire to learn more in order to debate or be able to hang in a conversation. We're pointing people to other sites to see research, comments by other football fans/media, statistics, etc. We write entire articles piggybacking on what some major media pundit wrote or said (like this one).
All the while the exposure is funneling back into the NFL itself, and guys like Pat Kirwan. Maybe we're not always accurate in our evaluations. Maybe we're not "real FB guys". But we're fans, we have a right to discuss and interpret our sport, and we're the biggest reason that sport makes money in the first place.
I respect Kirwan from a NFL personnel standpoint, but I think he's biting the hand that feeds on this one.