Considering the millions, or even billions of dollars many sports media corporations make, it’s ever-more surprising to me how desperate some of the media is becoming. Rather than focusing on the interesting stories many athletes have to offer or analyzing film and statistics, oftentimes journalists and NFL analysts choose to pander for clicks, usually doing so by spamming social media and creating click-baiting headlines.
And because I love to make fun of these headlines, and the people who come up with them, I present to you the first ever installment of the “Horrible Headlines” series.
Simms likens Eli Rogers to mini-Antonio Brown
Found on the home page of Bleacher Report on August 20, 2016
I’m honestly not sure why B/R has this story on the front page more than a week after Week 1 of the preseason, but I’m pretty sure it’s because the click-baiting headline has earned the story hundreds of thousands of clicks. In the video (embedded above), Simms says Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was raving about second year, undrafted receiver Eli Rogers, who Chris Simms quickly compared to Antonio Brown.
Haley compared Rogers to Wayne Chrebet earlier this month, also noting he hasn’t had a slot receiver like Rogers in his time with Pittsburgh. But while Chrebet was one of the best of few slot receivers of his era, he wasn’t nearly the superstar Brown has become with the Steelers. Chrebet went undrafted in 1995 and eventually made his way to the Jets via a walk-on tryout.
Haley’s comparison of Rogers to Chrebet makes sense, because like the former Jet, Rodgers wasn’t drafted. The comparison also fit, because Chrebet was never the best wide receiver in all of football. Haley’s comments regarding Rogers were certainly high praise, but not once did the offensive coordinator suggest he could become a premier wide receiver like his teammate.
But, Simms’ comparison of Rogers to Brown is glorified clickbait. His joke about the second-year wideout looking like Brown (who, for what it’s worth, averages 3.9 yards per carry on 28 career rushing attempts) on an end-around fell flat.
When you forget you're supposed to laugh at your co-worker's joke to be nice https://t.co/ECHc3rHnV2— Connor Howe (@HoweNFL) August 20, 2016
It’s also worth mentioning Rogers only gained five yards on the play, also only making one catch for eight yards in Pittsburgh’s Week 1 matchup with Detroit. Again, why is this headline on the front page of Bleacher Report? It’s been eight days, write a new story already.
Found on the homepage of NFL.com on August 20, 2016
I used to want to work for NFL Media, and then this happened... pic.twitter.com/oBlCsYTMdV— Connor Howe (@HoweNFL) August 20, 2016
You didn’t read that wrong. Daktacular? Yeah, this actually happened. Side tangent here for a second, but what’s the new deal with posting videos of EVERY SINGLE PASS a quarterback makes in a game? We get it, he completed 12 passes — two of which came in the first quarter, by the way. Prescott looked great last night, but you know who looked even better? Dez Bryant, who absolutely shredded Byron Maxwell and got wide open for the quarterback’s first touchdown — which was underthrown, by the way. That’s not to say Prescott didn’t make a couple of great passes. The backup QB was dominant all game long. But the media’s hyping of a backup quarterback who Cowboys fans hope doesn’t have to take a single snap all season long is just downright annoying. At least we get to see the return of preseason Cowboys fans, though.
Le’Veon Bell suspension reduced to 3 games by NFL
Found on the homepage of Cincy Jungle on August 20, 2016
Nothing against Jason (or Cincy Jungle), I’m just still bitter about the fact Vontaze Burfict’s unprecedented suspension was upheld and yet ANOTHER player was able to appeal his suspension and get a one-game reduction. Who cares that it was Le’Veon Bell who had his suspension reduced? I’m just angry about the fact that the suspension to Burfict was a PR stunt rather than the league actually taking a stance on player safety and personal conduct within the NFL. Call me salty, I won’t take it personally.