Back in the "olden days," most people didn't get news about the New York Jets until they read it in the newspaper the next day. Of course, this is obvious, but it bears repeating. As talk radio and SportsCenter became more popular, the news moved to a twenty-four hour news cycle. As the Internet, and specifically, Twitter, has become more popular, it's become a second-by-second news cycle.
Along with the increasing speed of news (and, subsequently, opinion) transmission, there has also been a massive increase in the number of voices out there seeking to be heard. Blogs, and again, Twitter, have given a voice to thousands of people that would otherwise not be able to share their opinion farther than their barbershop the ability to share it with the world. As the number of voices have increased, it has also been increasingly difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. Again, I'm stating the obvious here.
The most notable example of this, and perhaps the most frustrating part of this movement, is the necessity to rush to judgment and stake absolute opinions on whatever the issue is, regardless of how little information is available. I'm certainly guilty of this. What recently happened with Geno Smith and IK Enemkpali is a perfect example of this.
With nearly zero facts that have actually been confirmed by a named source, seemingly everyone in the western world has an absolute opinion on whether Smith or Enemkpali was wrong. Furthermore, it isn't surprising to see truly insane opinions, on either side, based again, on nearly no confirmed facts. In the rush to stake our claim to the conversation, we've created this atmosphere where you need to be the first one to have an opinion, and if you want it to get noticed, it had better be outrageous.
Of course, this isn't limited to fans. We see it amongst the main stream media all the time. Heck, there are programs such as First Take that are quite literally devoted to this. We see it constantly with the beat reporters who rush to post how "the team" feels about something that's happened, and then we read the actual quotes and, you know what, you kinda stretched what they said to make it sound more outrageous, or they took one person's opinion to apply it to everyone. In the quest to be heard, the media too has to ensure that they are not drowned out and rendered obsolete.
There's no way to put the genie back in the bottle, and perhaps over time some semblance of order will be restored to the chaotic sports-take conversation, but it's something to be aware of. Not every factual event, regardless of how insignificant it is, needs to have an absolute opinion, nor an immediate one. Nuance exists and it's worth considering before giving an opinion. This blog exists specifically so we can hear your opinion, so we of course are looking forward to it as the season progresses. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.