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Habitual Criticism

by Justin Brisson on March 09, 2011
Sophomore > Journalism > University of Missouri

Many football fans find information every day on what is going on in the sport’s world.  They go to ESPN, FoxSports, or NFL.com for their daily dose of knowledge.  Often they go to these websites or watch these television programs habitually and somewhat mindlessly.  When it becomes a habit, however, it can become potentially hazardous behavior.  All people have bad habits.  Watching SportsCenter and reading news updates on ESPN.com without thinking critically about the information you are digesting is a bad habit.

I would at least like to think that almost every football fan desires to be intelligent and critical when discussing and analyzing what occurs in the realm of the sport.  If that is indeed the case, it is only logical for us to take in as much information as possible from a diverse amount of sources, and form opinions for ourselves based upon our own judgment.  Do you think that if the President of the United States listened to advice from one man, and then made decisions based upon what that one man said, that he would be conducting his decision-making process effectively?  Of course not, and that is why the president has many advisers.  Do you think that a research paper would look good with one source — probably Wikipedia, if we’re being honest — as a reference?  Hell no. 
You cite many sources in order to give your research proper credibility and completeness.
Listening to SportsCenter every day and just accepting Adam Schefter’s opinion as fact would be ludicrous.  Obviously, Schefty is the first to know about just about everything in football, and he has earned his position.  But I guarantee you he’s been wrong on predictions just as many times as he’s been correct.  Schefty is only human.  He does his job to the best of his ability and he does it damn well.  But his opinion is just an opinion.  You should simply weight Schefty’s opinion more heavily than you would your college buddies.
Keep this in mind as the NFL Labor Negotiations continue as well.  The NFLPA and the owners have two vastly different opinions on things.  ESPN’s experts on the topic, Andrew Brandt and Lester Munson provide great insight into the process.  You will hear dozens of different opinions on which side should concede what to the other.  You’ll probably hear my opinion soon, too.  But you should listen to all of these opinions and, ultimately, decide for yourself.
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