Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pointless sport articles

Most feared? Maybe. So what?

Tom Brady almost started shaking when he first faced Joey Porter? Hmm. Guess it did not last given how the Patriots carved us up in two AFC championship games.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad Porter got some recognition, but this is one of those pointless exercises that magazines use to go after the generation raised on Madden and ESPN. It's all about the big hits and highlight films. It has very little to do with winning football.

The emphasis on yapping and BAM-BOOM-CRUNCH obscures just how good Porter is. His performance in 2005 deserves comparison to Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher. They are equally adept at blowing up plays behind the line of scrimmage. Porter created more turnovers (four forced fumbles and two INTs versus BU's one fumble.) Both can cover as well as knock heads (four passes defensed by JP and five by Urlacher.)

Even Porter's yapping has an element of strategery to it. The Seahawks made sure that he did not beat them in SB XL. But their focus on shutting down JP let Haggans wreck havoc on the other side of the line.

Finally, what the drive by media misses is that JP is a great leader in the locker room and a great teammate. When the defense arrived in Detroit wearing Jerome Bettis's Notre Dame jersey, that was Porter's idea. He was the one who told the Bus to run out of the tunnel first so that his hometown crowd could give him the farewell ovation he deserved at Ford's Field. The defense even honored their coach (coach!) before the Lions game. Again, Porter was the one who had the idea of wearing Dick Lebeau's old jersey.

No comments: