Almost certainly, political punditry on cable networks has a pernicious effect on public opinion. The need to fill a 24-hour void yields to contrarian “balance” and the propagation of stupid arguments for the mere sake of their existence. But at least it has a point.
The intersection of politics and government in a democracy is public opinion. Whether negatively or positively, public discourse directly impacts governmental outcomes (of course, the degree of its impact is debatable, but that it exists is undeniable). However, this is absolutely untrue for sports punditry, which is arguably the most pointless and irrelevant enterprise ever undertaken by a consciousness, however you define it.
For example, I’m watching Marshall Faulk attempt to answer the question, “Will [the] Lions Win a Game?” How about, “Why is Marshall Faulk answering a question to which his opinion bears literally no impact and will moreover be resolved as simple matter of fact in the coming the weeks?” Or, even more inane, how about ESPN’s “Power Rankings”, which offer a subjective take on a completely objective matter of fact. Who’s the best team in the NFL? I’ll tell you: it’s the Tennessee Titans, they have the best record; this would remain undeniably true even if ESPN decided the Titans were the worst team in the NFL. The only possible purpose of these insipid rankings is to excite idiotic banter about the rankings themselves, an exercise so layered in stupidity, Taco Bell could sell it as a dip.
And for the sake of clarity, I’m not talking about analysis, which uses objective fact to explain past events or forecast future outcomes. This is like predicting the weather; meteorologists use objective measurements to make an educated guess about what will likely occur. By contrast, sports pundits answer the equivalent of questions like, “if it rains tomorrow, will it be sunny in two weeks?” or, “how hard do you think it’s raining?” And of course, the inanity coup de gras, “Power Rankings” answer the question “did it rain?” by instead answering the question, “how you feel about the rain,” all of which are completely irrelevant to both past and future outcomes. It’s blisteringly stupid, but even more frustrating that an entire industry is predicated almost entirely on its own self perpetuation.
Tell me I’m not the only feels this way.