...or so you might believe watching the mainstream Sports media.
As I write this, I've had NFL Network and ESPN on in the background for over an hour. I DVR'ed back through to check - since, I've been flipping back and forth and am able to confirm two things:
1. Both channels (obviously NFL Network) have been talking nothing but pro football.
As I have checked both channels over the past 75 minutes or so, I have counted several stories: the big one, Cowboys over Redskins (NFLN has aired the same Jerry Jones interview at least twice), Next, Philly over the Bears. We've gotten two Sal Paolantonio reports from the Eagles facility and no mention of Arizona. Further, there was more discussion about the upcoming NFC East and NFC North-determining games next week. A bit of coverage on the Packers game, a lot on Tony Romo and what this means, a small bit on each channel about Candlestick Park and the last game to be played there, which is tonight, a conversation about Manning's record and the Broncos and a small discussion on NFL Network about who should get the last AFC wildcard spot (Correct answer: Arizona).
I get it. Manning's record deserves coverage. So does the last game at Candlestick. So do the Cowboys winning (although not nearly to the extent that they're giving them), so do the Packers and Bears who are still alive. So does Cam Newton.
But this is insanity. Dallas is a garbage team that beat a garbage team to stay alive. Philly looked impressive, but how much can you talk about a 54-11 blowout at the expense of other good games that were played Sunday? Wilson had what was probably the worst statistical game of his career, was handed his first home loss, and is a strong MVP candidate still. A historic performance by the Arizona defense which held Lynch to 71 yards total and 11 in the second half! As I'm typing this, ESPN is talking about the 7-7-1 Packers and their game versus the 7-8 Steelers again. ESPN First Take on ESPN2 is talking about the Cowboys, just checked. FOX Sports Channel is talking about a women's MMA Fighter.
Did any of them get the telegram saying that the Cardinals beat the Seahawks 17-10 in Seattle? I guarantee you if the Seahawks had beaten us, as expected, the game would've gotten more coverage. You know it, I know it, and they know it. Why? One more way for them to say "We were right, as usual" and trot out the same old tired stereotypes, that they, the media have themselves invented or latched on to and blown out of proportion, such as "The Cardinals never win anything important and don't matter" and a more recent favorite "Nobody can beat Seattle at home, especially not 'bad' teams like Arizona."
Going into this game, we heard nothing other than how Seattle is unbeatable at home and hadn't lost there in over two years. You'd have thought such a big upset (check here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/picks) would have generated a little more publicity and attention, but alas...I guess they really are about the man behind the curtain trying to manipulate his own image. Can't draw negative attention to yourself when you bill yourself as "experts" and nearly unanimously pick against the Cards with a few laughs thrown in.
Oh, and since I started writing this post? All of the above has been mentioned on both channels at least one more time, plus small bits about Rex Ryan, Andy Dalton and the Chiefs. Nothing. Try and tell me that's not a concerted effort to avoid talking about the Cardinals and a result that neither caters to the larger Eastern fanbases nor makes your experts look good. The lone highlight on our game last night on ESPN before the SNF game was, predictably: Seahawks lone TD, Interception that wasn't overturned and an ensuing audible laugh at the full speed replay of that play from Tom Jackson and a morose "17-10, Cardinals" from Chris Berman. I kid you not. It took me longer to write that sentence than it took them to talk about it, and make it look like the Seahawks were robbed and the Cardinals are literally a joke (cue laughing).
That was a big result in the NFL world and everyone knows it - it's not as if it was one of those wins where we were 3-11 and beat some 6 seed destined for 9-7 with a sloppy win. Guess we'll just have to make the playoffs.