Everyone has something to sell. Everyone. Me? I'm trying to sell the idea that I might indeed have a clue as to what I'm writing about...not everyone buys, particularly not my wife.
At least retail is honest about it. For the rest of us...well, let's just say you have to pay closer attention to what's being sold...
Let's go through some of the people and groups making sales pitches out there -
Scott Boras/Alex Rodriguez - A-Rod is the car that Boras is trying to sell. He's like a Jaguar- a sleek, pretty bauble of a car with a 12 cylinder engine that has a tendency to crap out on you at the worst possible moment. In 2004 when the Yankees needed a $30 million bat to save them from Mo Rivera's struggles, A-Rod disappeared like J.D. Salinger from the public eye.
Buyers need to beware of the slick, used-car salesman Boras, and his shiny toy of a product, A-Rod. Consider - even in a (contract) year in which A-Rod set career highs in RBI's (156), OBP (.422), and slugging (.645), hit the second most homers (54), and third highest batting average (.314), Boras is going out of his way to get potential buyers to NOT look at his client's post-season failings in that same career year - in a year in which A-Rod led the league in RBI's, he knocked in one in this year's post season.
So during a season in which A-Rod averaged an RBI per every 3.7 at bats, he had one in 15 during the postseason. Even adding in the 8 he had during the 2004 playoffs, this is what he has done in baseball's second season since then - 9 RBI's in 94 at bats, or one for every 10.4 at bats. For his career he has knocked in a run for every 4.9 at bats in the regular season, that has dropped off to one for every 8.6 at bats in the postseason, a number that has gotten progressively worse with each passing season.
This doesn't include the following facts that I have mentioned in other posts - for the first three seasons after A-Rod left Seattle, the team averaged in the vicinity of 10 more wins per season; after he left Texas, they averaged eight more wins per season; the Yankees have average almost four fewer per season, decreasing from 111 wins per year to 94 this year. And, here's the kicker, he has failed to help any team he has been on advance to the World Series. Buyer beware.
The first half of the Patriots schedule - What they are trying to sell? Professional football. How? By complaining that the Patriots are doing things they shouldn't be...like scoring a lot. The people who need to beware? The fan-bases of the Jets, Dolphins, Cowboys, Chargers, Bills, Bengals, Redskins and Browns. Really, the fans of the Cowboys, Jets, Dolphins, and Redskins in particular.
Those teams, those four mentioned at the bottom of that last paragraph, were the ones that started the complaints of how the Patriots are playing offense this year (well, the Jets complained about something else, and maybe they should be more worried about what's happening on the field than on the sideline - if this were European soccer, they and the Dolphins would be well on their way to playing in a semi-pro league). One Redskin, who shall remain unnamed in this post, accused the Patriots of disrespecting the game in an effort to deflect attention from the fact that what the Patriots really disrespected was the Redskins highly regarded defense.
As just about every former coach, player, and most pundits have said - there's no mercy rule in the NFL, if you don't like a team scoring on you, then do something about it. Rolling over and playing dead when you get down by a couple of touchdowns is what really disrespects the game.
The National Press - The national press, in an effort to build up this weekend's game between the Pats and Colts, are trying to sell the Patriots as the evil empire with the merciless coach who won't take his foot off the pedal once he's driven the opposition into the ground. The Colts are the perennial good guys of the league with the owner doing everything he can to make a stadium happen in his host city, and the brilliant, but nice head coach in Tony Dungy.
Let's look at some of the facts in this - yes, the Patriots are running the score up on people and annihilating their opponents. However, it's not like the Colts under Dungy have never done this. The following was ganked from the Boston Globe's Eric Wilbur, via Dave at The Coffin Corner -
That quartet of one-sided scores comes to you courtesy of the 2004 Indianapolis Colts from a November-December period during which Peyton Manning and Company annihilated the Texans, Bears, Lions, and Titans, respectively. And, you know it's funny, I don't remember one person whining about them running up the score.
Tony Dungy, the good-guy coach in all of this, did not call off the dogs. Dungy has also publicly associated himself with groups that have well known anti-gay stances (but I suppose that's okay, because everyone knows that on one is gay in the locker room). Focus on Family, the group with which Dungy is most closely associated has been referred to by a number of people as "rabidly anti-gay." Last I checked, Bill Belichick has never aligned himself with any hate groups that hide behind a thin veil of legitimacy by claiming to be family advocates.
Let's look at Jim Irsay - still public enemy number one in Baltimore. Still the only owner that gets more of a rise out of Baltimore fans that Peter Angelos. For those who have forgotten, Irsay, the so-called nice guy owner, packed the Colts up in the dead of night and broke his lease with Baltimore County in an effort to move the team to Indy. Irsay did this against league wishes. Yeah, he's a good guy.
I have no personal issue with the Colts on the field. Manning is a supremely talented quarterback (please take a cue from Brady and cut back on the public endorsements - its annoying enough to make me look forward to seeing you get your head handed to you). The team is talented. However, the general manager and owner have whined whenever things didn't go their way, the head coach is a bigot, and the press is selling a serious double standard here.
Once again...buyer beware.