When NFL players talk to the media and manage to say something interesting or with an unusual descriptive touch, it is a welcome break from the cliches and relatively useless sounds just waiting to be made into a montage. It used to be fun. Now, it seems like one of the last good things we could enjoy in 2020 without thinking cynically or considering that all of the quotable quotes were actually part of a devious quest for content cooked up in a late night show's writers room.
The glimmer of sunshine has been obscured by the dark clouds of Jimmy Fallon's growing and entirely concerning influence. Because apparently, he's the puppetmaster and our nation's biggest, strongest athletes are mere marionettes in his diabolic narrative-shaping end game.
Fallon peeled back the curtain to reveal that he is, in fact, the All-Powerful Wizard of Oz responsible for several turns of phrase that pierced through the ambient noise in recent weeks. Somewhere, some online detective who had been working on this for a year reacted with shock that the funny man had simply tweeted it out.
This is like the end of The Usual Suspects when Chazz Palminteri gets a case of the fumbles. Striking to see it's all been a ruse. Unmooring to see how easy it is for the powerful to shape narratives.
Go back and look at each one of these quips and how they garnered media coverage. From Travis Kelce to Dalvin Cook to D.K. Metcalf to Rob Gronkowski, so many of these got play. Now we learn it was all nonsense.
Many of the reporters involved are taking the reveal with good humor, which is a real deviation from a few TBL bloggers who are upset they were tricked into sending links into the internal Slack channel.
There's an argument for both sides here. On one hand, who really cares and there are much bigger fish to fry. On the other, this is all adding up to a giant waste of everyone's time and a fairly stunning rebuke of the media ecosystem if a person were willing to tap into the more critical, possibly stoned synapses of their brain.
So maybe this all says something. Or perhaps our team's consensus is set to Scrooge this morning. Either way, there's even more reason to be skeptical of anything interesting being tweeted from remote media sessions over the next few months lest Fallon go full Borat and trick us all a second time.