Collin Cowherd appears on ESPN radio and television. He uses these mediums to say dumb things. Ben writes about the dumbest of these things.
And yes, before you ask, this is going to be a regular feature.
I work from home, and during the day I use a variety of sports programming as background noise. I hear a lot of illogical things said during the course of an average day, but it is rare that someone says something so idiotic that I am forced to stop working for a moment. Usually these gems come from Colin Cowherd. If you aren’t familiar with the man, imagine the average idiot who posts inflammatory nonsense in the YouTube comments section of a Natalie Merchant music video, and now imagine that guy given an education and a bunch of air time. To those of you familiar with Colin, don’t worry…I’m not going to write a post every time he says something a little off base just for a reaction. I simply don’t have the time for that. No, this feature is reserved for the kind of statements that remind me just how irresponsible and ridiculous mainstream sports journalism has become.
Today’s nugget is an observation he had about the NFL draft a few weeks ago, and re-iterated this week. Cowherd, in an attempt to explain why he would stay away from drafting certain wide receivers, explained that if you see highlight videos of a wideout making catches (even spectacular catches) in traffic that you should pass on them. His reasoning is that if you don’t have the ability to separate, you aren’t going to be good in the pros. Is separating from a defensive back important? Of course it is. But that’s like saying that you want to avoid running backs who break tackles because they should have juked the defender in the first place.
When Calvin Johnson goes up and does this is anyone concerned with his lack of separation? In college football the talent gap between the great players and the rest is significantly larger than in the pros so a lot of good receivers get open pretty easily. But because of the skill and recovery speed of many of the cornerbacks in the NFL, even if you run a perfect route defenders will still be in the area when the ball gets there. How many big third down conversions can you think of off the top of your head where a wideout is being blanketed by a corner but the quarterback sticks it right in there and the receiver makes a great catch? If you watch a lot of football, you have seen too many of them to count. It is obviously an important skill to be able to make catches with defenders draped all over you.
My point is not that Colin actually believes this theory; he just needs stuff to talk about. He took a player that another analyst liked (in this case Michael Floyd) and made up a completely illogical reason to disagree with them and then tried to package it as logic. This is a pretty good summary of what sports radio is, Cowherd is just more prominent (and unbearable) than most. ESPN doesn’t care – people listen to Colin just because they love to hate his irrational bullshit.
At least now I have this feature as an excuse.