ESPN's John Clayton published a story yesterday about players who would especially benefit from a quick end to the lockout. As predictable as clockwork, Dez Bryant is on the list, at number five:
5. Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant: Bryant has hung around some of the Dallas Cowboys' informal team practices, but he needs the structure of organized team activities to keep him from wandering into trouble. Extra time on his hands probably isn't good for Bryant. It's hard enough for coaches to get him to be on time for meetings, but if there are no meetings because of the lockout he's on his own.
Now, John Clayton is not just any hack with an internet access - he is a senior writer at ESPN.com and his signature prominently displays that he is a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting - but he acts like one.
So Dez Bryant "hung around some" practices? According to Clayton's colleague, ESPN's Calvin Watkins, Dez Bryant hasn't missed a workout with his teammates except for the first one. But why bother fact-checking a story?
And really, the umpteenth rehash of Dez Bryant's "trouble"? Gimme a break.
But it fits the general theme of the list which seems to have been quickly thrown together based on which players' names were in the headlines recently. Aqib Talib, Plaxico Burress and Albert Haynesworth make the list largely based on their legal situations, Chad Ochocinco belongs in any story if you want to generate clicks, and the rest of the list is made up of players with big name recognition who will also draw attention. Even Michael Vick gets a mention in the intro to the article.
If this had been an attempt at a serious look at which players would benefit from a quick resolution, the article would have contained a look at the situation of undrafted free agents, some 2011 rookies as well as players on teams with coaching changes. But how boring would that be?
Clayton also writes in his article that this week's secretive owners and players meeting "prompted bored front-office execs to start thinking about a return to football". It clearly also prompted a bored writer to put together a top ten list that regurgitated stories that had long passed their sell-by date.
Now, can we please talk about Romo's wedding or something equally important?