I don't really get fans who feel disrespected by the picks and rankings of sports journalists. Peter King goes through some of the mail he got in response to his early NFL rankings. Among my favorites:
Keep on hating the Patriots, Peter. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady thrive on being underdogs and not getting respect from writers like you. This will motivate this team all season. See you in Dallas...
Tennessee at 27? You'll be sorry....
You put the Cowboys at 10? We are talking about a final eight team that finished with the number two offense in the league and added a dynamic WR. All the starters outside of two are returning to a veteran team. Maybe you should spend more time researching the Cowboys and less time on the amount of foundation make-up used.
I think it's perfectly fine to say it's ridiculous to rank teams this far out. But what we have here is quite the opposite. The logic here is that a ranking in March means something. So with that in mind, King has to rank somebody 27.
As a Cowboys fan, I didn't feel disrespected by Tony Dungy saying we had no chance at beating the Saints. I felt disrespected by Roy Williams smiling after dropping an easy pass. I get the point of bulletin board material. But the constant umbrage-taking in sports is grating.
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power