The headline says it all - this is a pure, unadulterated rant session. I was going to post this on James' article about the SB Nation Power Rankings after week 2, but decided to bring it here rather than going off and getting all long winded over there.
I'm completely baffled as I was reading through the comments. I just don't understand how people, evidently a LOT of them, get all worked up over a ranking relative to other teams after two weeks of regular season play. Hell, I don't get why anyone would get worked up AT ALL, regardless of when a poll (that's what it is...a POLL) is released. And here I am, again, watching literally dozens of fans, "pro football fans" mind you, berate the ranking outright (We're better then that!!!) or because of our position relative to another team (We beat so-and-so and they're ranked higher than we are!!!). Who really cares??? I mean REALLY?
Here's the bottom line from where I sit. The world of Professional Sports is a business, and the NFL is a BIG business. I get that. There's money to be made from literally dozens of angles, and sports writing and sports broadcasting are two important vehicles in creating and disseminating a brand to the consuming public. I'm not saying that anyone has any preconceived agenda or anything - it's just that everyone has a role. I get that, too. And in order for there to be any money in the aforementioned industries (if you will), there HAS to be a consumer. Period. If you have a product you want people to fork over money for, it's kind of mandatory that you have people to sell to.
It's the last group that I just don't understand - the fans. The one thing about sports that, to me, is the purest and best thing in the world is there is a WINNER OF A COMPETITION. I must be in the huge minority on this particular point. One of the main reasons I don't watch a lot of college football is precisely because there isn't a final outcome based on competition. It's all based on the subjectivity of a group of people, which all claim to tie their opinions directly to the "overall performance of a team". It sucks. SUCKS, I say!!! What has defined Pro Football, along with every other major sport at every level, is that there is nothing else that determines a winner other than winning, pure and simple.
Polls are fed to the hungry consumers as a way of keeping the sport in the news while there isn't any competing going on!! Take a look at how great of a job the NFL has done in keeping the sport in the news 24x7x365. The Draft (capital D). The Combine. The Playoffs. Look at all the sports networks, blog sites, publications. There's a consumer out there and it's hungry. And that's why these irrelevant, useless, completely subjective, and totally MEANINGLESS polls are pushed out there!! TO SELL!! And, I guess, to fuel your argument and ground it in some kind of "fact" that your 0-2 team is better than an 1-1 team. WE ALL KNOW THAT IT ISN'T!!! EVEN THE POLLSTERS KNOW THAT!!! MY DOG KNOWS THAT, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
GET THIS POLL CRAP OUT OF PRO FOOTBALL!!! I say screw the polls and the "pollsters". It's all just marketing and a complete waste of time, along the lines of wrestling with a pig. And to the fan, I say just don't feed the animals, and they'll go away.
Call me silly, but I'd rather see people COMPETE to pick a winner, which is what the NFL is all about.