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The curious case of Sports Media versus Braxton Miller

HotSauceCommittee's picture
September 3, 2014 at 9:54am
18 Comments

I know, I know......not another Braxton thread.

Johnjy78 pointed out something in the comment section of Ramzy's latest article worth discussing a bit more IMO. It is funny how the media (and many Buckeye fans actually) were quick to nitpick at Braxton's every faults. Heck I will admit it, I put myself in this category from time to time. "He cant throw accurately, he cant make the proper reads, no touch on his passes, he is an athlete, not a QB". But as soon as Braxton went down the media made him the messiah of quarterbacks, an accurate, strong armed, Gruden QB camp graduate, a Trent Dilfer-approved Buckeye quarterback legend. Perhaps more accurately Braxton's injury became another angle to criticize the Buckeyes. Heck, even the Big 10 Network has seemed to jump on this train.

Braxton was never those things. He was a growing leader, an athlete capable of a highlight at any given second. Sure he struggled with reads, but he could make an offensive line look good by escaping. He could throw a hell of a deep ball and will be a Buckeye legend and fan favorite for the rest of his life.

I heard it time and time again this weekend while watching teams like A&M, Bama, Clemson, Wisky, heck even VT (all breaking in new QBs) - how it was an exciting time for these teams and that we as TV viewers were watching the future of A&M football. The hypocrisy of the sports media over Braxton would be an interesting study. According to the media, Braxton made the Buckeye's great, but Braxton himself wasnt great. Hell, even Mark May (in his pink satin bikini panties) has made Braxton Miller out to be the Buckeye version of Russell Wilson.

 

osu07asu10's picture

So your point is that the media is bad for saying Braxton is good? But is also bad for saying that Braxton was bad? Or because they aren't all on JT Barrett's train yet, they are also still bad?

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

bleedscarletpissmaize's picture

Hypocrites. That's the point of this thread. 

AndyVance's picture

I generally don't get in on the "media conspiracy" threads that we seem to be so fond of (understandably, given the hatchet jobs that have been foisted on us in the post Tatgate era), but I have been pondering the Braxton paradox myself. As you correctly noted, prior to his injury, Miller was not treated with nearly the respect shown other top-shelf QBs in the FBS, including any of last year's draft picks, the infamous Jameis Winston, etc., but now Barrett is being compared to Miller unfavorably because the narrative has shifted in such a way as to make one think that Miller was Winston or Manziel.

As Kenny Hill has proven in The Lone Star State, one player does not a team make.

+3 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

As Kenny Hill Kevin Sumlin has proven in The Lone Star State, one player does not a team make.

There ya go.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+6 HS
AndyVance's picture

Can't argue with that.

+1 HS
mh277907's picture

I think some of the criticism that Braxton received as a quarterback was warranted. I just think that as Buckeye fans, we have gotten quite sensitive to anyone saying anything negative about our program. It is a simple business model - write something negative about OSU and watch the millions of OSU fans click on your site to read it. The sooner we stop caring about what the Mark May's and Clay Travis' of the world say, the sooner they will go away. 

buckeyebobcat

+5 HS
steveoz49's picture

Mark is still butt hurt that the Buckeyes stomped on his Pitt team.  Too many of these a-holes can't do their jobs without bias and that's a shame.  I've given up on watching ESPN as they rarely have anything positive to say about the Buckeyes.  I used to love Gameday, but the crew just irritates me and Desmond makes me want to jump thru the screen.  So now I just cut the grass before the Buckeyes games.

osu07asu10's picture

I also think there are two different issues here.

The first is what Braxton means to the team, not his ability as a true QB. Braxton was excellent in this offense, he WAS the offense the last 26 games. That doesn't make him a great QB though.

Prior to his injury, nobody said Braxton wasn't electric or he didn't run this offense at a high level. The negative criticism was as a passer, which was more than warranted.

Now, they are talking about what Braxton means to the team and our offense, not necessarily that he was a shoe in 1st rd pick as the next Peyton Manning. I think the two are very different and although not mutually exclusive should be separated for these discussion purposes.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

To be fair, Braxton was our entire offense in 2011-12, and even with Hyde's breakout last year, he was still basically half of our offense.

Count me among those who are excited to see a more balanced offense this year. And I'm even more excited to see Braxton come back next year and lead a more refined, balanced attack.

As for ESPN's treatment of Miller and the Buckeyes, it's important to realize that he was a Heisman frontrunner and 3-year starter who went down a week before the season was set to begin. That's a huge story, and filling his shoes with a guy who hadn't taken a snap since October of 2012 in high school is something that, on the surface, we should have been at least a bit concerned with.

I'm over the whole "OMG ESPN HATES US" mentality that many here seem to have. Maybe that's because people on /r/cfb always complain about ESPN hating their fanbase. The truth is that ESPN makes up controversies and overanalyze everything because they need to fill airtime, and it helps them get ratings.

Every #HotTake on ESPN should be taken with a grain of salt. By complaining about everything that they say, you're validating their ridiculous business model.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+2 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Braxton was our entire offense in 2011-12, and even with Hyde's breakout last year

Hyde wasn't exactly a slouch during the '12 season. He had over 1000 yards of offense and 17 TDs.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
braneli's picture

To me, I feel that when Braxton was in active running for the Heisman a few years back, the media was all about how he isn't good enough, and in no way should he be counted apart of the running, and blahblahblah, so on and so forth... Now, "OSU is nothing without Braxton". Sigh.

Let's just call it what it is – the media, by large, despises Ohio State. Every year, as far back as I can remember, there was an anti-message hating on OSU. Sigh.

#sooverit

"You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

The truth of the matter is that OSU = ratings. It's pretty simple. Aggravate the fan base and they will tune in just to see what you will say next. The one thing that OSU has going for them is that ESPN loves Meyer. So, once he is successful at winning titles, they'll be all in on OSU. However, when OSU does finally get into the playoffs and championship games, get prepared for the "built like SEC teams" statements and continual discussions about how easy of a road OSU has through the B1G. That will always be the narrative until other teams in the league win some big games and get publicity.

Also, remember that very few news media outlets are actually in the business of reporting news. They are in the business of providing opinions and whipping their viewers into a frenzy over said opinions, regardless of whether the opinions are actually based on facts. If you don't believe this, try watching even the "real" news on cable. It is the way of the world now. If you don't like it, they have created two great buttons for your TV - Off and Channel Up/Down. And you also have the choice to NOT click links on the internet.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+1 HS
MassiveAttack's picture

Well said, brother.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'll try to tread carefully (i.e., generically) in drawing an analogy that pertains to the political realm: the media also seem to pseudo-lionize politicians of a certain stripe when those politicians are dead and gone. At that point, the same guy that media used to criticize as being crazy and dangerous becomes a paragon of reasonableness compared to the insane and evil crop of current politicians of the same stripe.

In other words, the now-lionized (because he's dead) politician isn't really a person, in the context of this type of media analysis. He's more like a foil of sorts - an abstract creature that's dragged out of his grave to be used in backhanded, passive aggressive ways.

I sense some similar dynamics at play with the sports media treatment of the "dead" (for purposes of the 2014 season, anyway) Braxton - but I can't quite tease it out fully.

+3 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

I get your anaology. To make it simple. When the Elephants are in office the country is horrible. Time for change, bring in the Donkeys. When the Donkeys are in office, the country is horrible again. Bring back the Elephants and so on. As Americans, we are trained to learn, over scrutinize, but then forgive (i.e. passion for redemption).

The sports media does the same. Only now with 24/7 sports coverage, twitter, among other outlets, they are just in your face that much more. As a sports fan, you cant hide from stories - Tebow, Johnny Football, OSU tattoo scandel, and perhaps the most annoying one of all - anything related to Mr. Brett Favre.

TheBadOwl's picture

This isn't a great comparison on my part, but I bet we'll see similar segments on ESPN next year about "Will the Yankees be good after Derek Jeter," neglecting to mention that he's been one of the worst, if not the worst starting position player in the major leagues this year.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+1 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

I think this is a good anology of the situation, but not a good one specifically for Braxton.

I would say LeBron-Heat would be a good example. However, Miami will get no love after the start of the season as they turn into a mediocre franchise once again.

-1 HS
buckeyelindz2004's picture

I gotta say, I was hypercritical of Braxton a time or two myself. However, after watching our offensive line against Navy, part of me is very glad he got hurt this year so he can return next year (not that I WANT anyone to get hurt, but still, I feel like this is better timing). Now, when Braxton returns next year, our offensive line should be stronger and make Braxton look even better.