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Blog Entry

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

Posted on: January 17, 2008 3:58 pm
 

First, I must say that I posted this on the NFL threads before I realized it sounded more like a blog entry. This is my first time using the sportsline blogs. My apologies to anyone who has already read this on the NFL boards...

So much is made of "distractions" during an NFL season and its effect on a team. For instance, we hear debates on whether a player like Chad Johnson and his publicized TD dances are a distraction to his team or not.

Last week, the media focused on Tony Romo and his trip to Mexico. In the AFC, Tony Dungy and whether he would remain the choices was dubbed a "distraction."

Do you think these "distractions" effect the players while they are on the field in the heat of battle or are they just something the media brings up if the "distracted" team losses?

I suppose "distractions" may enter a teamates mind after a mistake during the game. For example, if Romo made a bad read, a teammate may think to himself that perhaps lack of focus prior to the game is effecting his performance now. Even then, is that because the media made so much of the distraction?

This week, the Randy Moss alleged assualt/battery issue has raised a media debate on whether Randy Moss and his "distractions" will be a detriment to the Patriots.

I want to hear member's opinions on whether these "distractions" really come into play on the field or if they are a media sensation off the field. If you think they are a factor on the field, do you think they affected last week's game (Cowboys v. Giants or Colts v. Chargers)? Do you think "distractions" will play a part in this week's games?

Comments

Since: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2008 7:45 pm
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

The media loves to play with the players' minds.  I'm sure Romo wan't thinking "Oh Jessica's going to kill me" when he threw that interception in the fourth quarter against the giants.


confederate
Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2008 5:45 pm
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Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2008 8:25 am
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

Their issues but when are the player going to understand thats why they get paid so much money so there is no issues during the season.



Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2008 3:51 pm
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

It would seem that there can be no pat answer to this question. It would depend on the individual player, and the exact set of circumstances.

For example, when Brett Favre's father died, that could have been termed a distraction. Instead, it became a motivator and led to possibly the greatest game in his career.

A similar argument could be made for the Redskins' overall play as a team this year after the Sean Taylor tragedy.

I don't think the Jessica Simpson vacation made one bit of difference in the Cowboys-Giants game. Sadly for Romo, he can never prove that to the naysayers since the Cowboys came up short.

Some 20+ years ago Jack Nicklaus learned on the eve of the British Open that one of his sons had been arrested for DUI. He understandably went out and shot two of his worst rounds ever in a major and missed the cut. There is no question that the 'distraction' bothered him in a significant way that week. Similarly, Tiger missed the cut in the US Open following the death of his father. Tiger and everyone else acknowledged the distraction his grief raised.

Here's an interesting question: Just how much of a distraction is being put on the cover of SI to a team? Seems like a big one considering the history of "the Jinx". LOL

 




Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2008 12:41 pm
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

These players have dealt with distractions from the press at one time or another throughout their professional, college and, for some, even their high school careers.  The majority of seasoned players have the ability to focus on their game and their responsibilities without regard to any outside "distractions".  Romo may have been bothered more by his sub-par performance in the Washington game than the referrences to his current relationship.  A bad game has more affect on a person's mental acuity than bad press regarding personal life.  There are plenty of examples of players who have been roasted by the press during the season and have had stellar performances in games on Sunday.  Perhaps its an individual maturity factor and the more seasoned players have learned to deal with outside distractions.  

As for the playoff games, I think the media was a "non" issue.  The Cowboys lost to a team that was heating up in the last weeks of the season while momentum was lost by the Cowboys weeks earlier.  Two teams had to lose this week and they lost because their opponants played a better game, not because they failed to play theirs.   

I do suspect, however, that when media attention is placed on a franchise because of an individual's actions, then the distraction becomes a much more potent factor.  Case in point: the Atlanta Falcons and their "imploding" following the Vick investigation and subsequent legal issues.  In their defense, this "distraction" was not a one time incident.  It remained constantly in the press as every day or week during the investigation more details emerged and then months later, additional attention was garnered with the trial and plea deal resulting in the incarceration of their star player.  They were forced to live with the media attention all season, not for one weekend (Romo) or late in the season (Moss). 

For the most part, I believe media "distractions" are a factor more for the fans and sports message boards than for the players themselves.  The word "distraction" itself borders on trivial.  Yet, there are times when the behavior resulting in the media exposure is so explosive or sensational that it can't be relagated to the back pages of newspapers and remains week after week in the public's eyes.  In these cases, it becomes an "issue", not a distraction.  




Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2008 1:59 am
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

I agree that Romo didn't wasn't smiling and having fun like usual. That could be the media and the Mexico trip. It could also be last year's playoffs lingering in his mind. Hard to say.

How do you think Randy Moss will play this weekend with the legal issues hitting the media?



backinthis
Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2008 11:01 pm
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Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2008 10:11 pm
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

I don't think the media coverage of Romo's trip to Mexico contributed to Cowboys' lost.  He was in the playoffs last year and he choked, and no one cared who he was sleeping with then.


backinthis
Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2008 9:48 pm
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Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2008 4:11 pm
 

Are "Distractions" a real issue or a media issue

Very good point about Barret Robbins. I agree that hurt the Raiders a lot. There is a difference between a player being AWOL and a player who is on the field but has their dirty laundry aired by the media.

I've seen articles about Philip Rivers and his trash-talking being a distraction to the Chargers. Personally, I think Rivers plays better when he's mad. Kind of like that guy in the movie Dodgeball .  I don't Rivers is a distraction that will hurt San Diego.

 



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