Sunday, November 20, 2005

I like Sean Salisbury

by BH

I love Sunday mornings. One of my favorite things to do is offer to get my wife some coffee, get in the car, and drive around listening to the NFL on ESPN Radio. I even find work to do outside so I can roll down the windows in my car and listen to the show. It's not that the show is good or anything, I just find that listening to Sean Salisbury and Erik Kuselias is one of the most entertaining things I do during the week. Kuselias, as I have demonstrated in previous posts, has no idea what he's talking about yet maintains the confidence needed to sound like he does. Salisbury seems to be a grouchy yes man. He acts as though he's real tough on players, ready to dish out criticism. Really though, he has no backbone. It's fun to listen to him try to cover all his angles when criticizing a player. He'll say something very similar to: "I really like him but he's not getting it done and a change might need to be made."
Salisbury will usually follow a somewhat coherent evaluation of a player with a personal endorsement, then follow that with more critique. Seriously, you'll hear it five times a show, at least. Yeah Sean, I don't care that you want to feel good about what you say. If you have to throw in a meaningless, pointless defense of a player in order to feel okay about something you've said, then a) you are not going to feel okay about what you said, and b) you aren't really gaining any credibility.

This morning, after Kyle Boller evidently missed an open receiver in the Ravens/Steelers game, Kuselias described Boller's throw as one that a capable NFL quarterback has to make. Salisbury followed by saying, and I'm trying to get this as right as I possibly can, "That's just what you get with Boller is the lack of consistency. You see that with Boller, Joey Harrington, and David Carr." The quote continues, but I want to take a short time out to say that I think anyone who has followed the NFL over the past few seasons knows exactly what the next part of this quote is going to be. Okay, onward. "All those guys are Jeff Tedford guys. I don't know what it is, if it's the system. And I like Jeff a lot. He's a friend. But something's not working there." You know, I like to throw all my friends under the bus. I'm sure the SonDog would feel great if I were to say, "His posts haven't been that great lately. Really, I think it's something that just shows he can't produce quality efforts. I really like the SonDog, I do, and he's a friend, but he's just not getting it done." Hey SonDog, feel like coming over for Thanksgiving?! Hey SonDog, How does it feel to have a big Greyhound tire track on your back?! Maybe Salisbury feels like if he balances a dig with a compliment (by the way, I'm not sure if Sean Salisbury liking a guy is something that really makes guys feel good or should be the compliment he thinks it is), it cancels the whole thing out. Really though, I think it has to do with Salisbury not being ready to simply evaluate the game for it's own merits. He can't separate the player from the man. It's okay to say a guy made a bad throw, because you're not insulting him. You're making an evaluation. When you say things like, "I like him as a person, but," you are telling listeners that you feel like you're insulting the guy.

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