I love sports and mostly everything that comes with each game.
There’s essentially no comparison to the emotion, drama, camaraderie and strategy that comes in some shape or form during every event. On the field, it’s hard to find too many faults.
But there is one thing that I’ve noticed increasingly throughout the past few years that has become pretty much laughable for me now. It revolves around the talking heads on TV, who feel the need to offer up hot takes each week during football season, especially early in the year, as if what happens in Week 1 is what will hold true throughout the entire season.
After the opening weekend of the NFL, several writers, analysts and TV personalities across the country jumped to conclusions and wanted to deliver ultimatums about teams and players based off of one game.
One player who was the victim of many hot takes was Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. After a Week 1 performance, in which Manning went 24-40 for 175 yards and no touchdowns, almost all of the conversation leading up to the Broncos’ game against Kansas City last Thursday revolved around whether he was done.
Is Manning what he used to be? No. But he certainly isn’t finished because of one or two performances, which is the narrative that was painted throughout this past week.
Manning responded to the questioning with a 256-yard, three-touchdown performance that included a late fourth-quarter drive to tie the game. All of this came on a short week and in a tough road environment, elements that certainly would’ve proved tough for a player who didn’t have it anymore.
Now, just one week after all the scrutiny, there’s essentially no talk of his career being done.
This is all reminiscent of what was happening this time last year regarding the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. After a 2-2 start, the Patriots and Brady were being written off ahead of their Week 5 matchup with Cincinnati. Brady was considered on the downside of his career and the Patriots were no longer favorites to win the AFC East.
Again, writers and TV personalities felt the need for these hot takes. Instead of just letting the games play out and offering analysis on what was happening on the field, everyone wanted to be the first to proclaim the dynasty was over.
But as we all know, what happened was New England trounced Cincinnati 43-17 and went on to yet another Super Bowl run.
Manning won’t be the last player or team this year to get written off — it’s happening to the Philadelphia Eagles right now.
But he and Brady are prime examples of why there’s no point in offering up the hot take because most of the time it will be wrong.
I’m all for giving opinions and analysis on each week’s games, that’s fine. But it becomes exhausting when it turns into a new narrative or ultimatum on a team or player each week.