FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is brought down Shaun Ellis #92 of the New York Jets on December 16, 2007 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the New York Jets 20-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Over the years, the American public has largely become immune to the way that the 24-hour news cycle and constant stream of information on the web can take a non-story and turn it into a cause celebre simply to fill time until something actually important comes along.
It happens, people yell and scream about it and then we all move on to something else.
It doesn't make it any less ridiculous when a day is spent trumpeting a story like Monday's five-alarmer about Tom Brady not liking the Jets. The Patriots quarterback appeared on a Boston radio show Monday and he was asked if he was watching "Hard Knocks" this summer.
"Honestly, I haven't turned it on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show. I'm sure it's great TV. I'm glad people are liking it. But that's just something that I have no interest in watching. I'd love to say a lot of mean things, but I'd rather not do that, either."
You'd think that everyone would have better things to do than pay any mind to a man who considers "Entourage" quality viewing, but you'd be wrong.
There may not be an easier way to define a slow news day than to read that quote and then type Tom Brady and Jets into Google and start counting the results. If this story was a meal it would have the nutritional value of pixie sticks, yet it was covered with a disturbing level of intensity. Hopefully this hearkens a new day for American journalism where they will use the same kind of searing spotlight to uncover the truth about the economy, the wars and myriad other things that, you know, matter.
Is that really what we've come to? It is news when a player from one team admits to not having warm, fuzzy feelings about a rival team? We already know the answer, obviously, because we've seen this coming from the second that the Jets hired Rex Ryan.
The coach's every utterance touched off apoplexy because he deigned to say what he actually thought and felt rather than speak in the canned platitudes that pass for extemporaneous discourse. It's still unclear why anyone thinks that adult human beings who traffic in cliches and catchphrases are shining examples of anything other than blandness, but they do and nothing positive has or will ever come from it.
Hate's a strong word probably best reserved for things more meaningful than football, but good for Brady for refusing to play the game and saying what he actually thinks. And good for the Jets that they avoided the bait and simply said that things are as they should be. As for the rest of us, it doesn't say much for where we are as a people when unvarnished truth is seen as something shocking.