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One-sided arguments

Sports analysis supposed to include both sides of story

June 16, 2012
STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

A little bit goes a long way. I entered that quotation - in quotations - as a Google Internet search the other day and got a funny answer as the No. 1 result -, which represents a group that encourages people to save money instead of spending beyond their means.

Now I wish national sports pundits would take that advice to heart when they make predictions about upcoming big sporting events.

I'm sure at the prodding of their bosses at places like ESPN, every "expert" analyst has to tell us why Oklahoma City or Miami will win the NBA finals, or the reason that Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or Rory McElroy will win the U.S. Open.

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Or a couple hundred dozen other predictions in the course of a year.

Sure, sometimes it's fun to watch these guys - I've noticed that it's almost never the women making these outlandish predictions - squirm as their pick starts going down the drain in the third game of a series or the second day of a golf tournament.

But if I bother to take the time to watch these shows, I'm doing it because I want information, the latest news, maybe an interesting tidbit only the insiders know.

A prediction would be fine once in awhile when somebody is really sure about something. Instead, every prediction comes with evidence that only supports it instead of true analysis of the situation.

I'm blaming the "prediction-aholics" for annoying me into male-pattern baldness. I'm sure if I think about it for a few minutes, I can come up with some convincing arguments that might sway you.

Still, that doesn't make it true.

If you guys could really convince me that one team is a lock, then I wouldn't watch the darn event. As I've said once or twice here before, if I wanted to watch a coronation, I'd wait to see who the new king of England will be.

Don't tell me the Thunder have too many weapons for the Heat to handle, tell me which weapons will be the most important and what Miami will have to do in order to overcome that.

I'm sorry I can't give you a better detailed example of this prediction business, but lately, every time I hear the newest one-sided argument, I immediately turn the channel or start up one of my many VCR tapes of something else.

As I was thinking about this, it reminds of watching a political debate. I hate it when the only guests they bring on to talk about a complex subject are the extremists for each side of the argument. All you hear is dogma and criticism of the other side.

I'll turn that off in a heartbeat in favor of someone at least trying to be neutral who offers both sides of the argument and explains what the toughest sticking points are and what the solutions could be.

With the exception of stories like the Penn State child molestation case, sports is a whole lot more lighthearted, so a little chest thumping is certainly OK.

Just remember my initial point - a little bit goes a long way.

Just ask the hair that's fighting a losing battle to stay on top of my head.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is



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