Look, we see it every year at Ohio State.
Some hotshot comes into spring or fall camp and one highlight is seen of that player or one quote is made and the media latches on to him like remoras on a great white shark of hype.
You can set your watch to it, if your watch hasn’t become a cell phone, that is.
It gets boring talking and writing about the same players from last year, and so lazy media types look for something new to write about, whether it merits interest or not.
This year, one of those topics is freshman running back J.K. Dobbins. Both shiny and new, Dobbins performed well in the spring and got the hype train rolling. Once head coach Urban Meyer proclaimed Dobbins as one of the freshmen who would play this year, the locomotive really began to pick up speed.
But let’s be serious for a moment and slow things down. Let’s not get burned by media hype again.
Remember the hacks who wrote about Dontre Wilson in 2013? Or those easily-distracted-by-a-pie-pan dolts who did the same in 2014 with Curtis Samuel?
Wilson put up 983 total all-purpose yards as a freshman, which was only good enough for fourth on the team. Based on what the media was saying, he should have been first!
And don’t even get me started on Curtis Samuel in 2014. Shooting his way up the depth chart as a freshman running back, and even earning a start. It was a media fairy tale.
So yeah, when I see people writing about J.K. Dobbins right now, I have to chuckle. And when Dobbins ended up being the first freshman to have his black stripe removed last week, I shook my head because now even the Ohio State coaches are buying into the hype.
I still have the red mark on my knee from where I slapped it laughing as Urban Meyer told me on Monday that Dobbins was named a Champion for his performance in the scrimmage two days earlier.
His first fall scrimmage? As a freshman? A champion?
“He graded a champion in the scrimmage,” Meyer said. “We had a scrimmage, when was it, Saturday, and we had champions. He graded a champion, had his black stripe off. Still early to anoint anybody, but he’s one of the freshmen that will play this year.”
Yeah, okay Urban, sure. Maybe you should stop reading the papers and actually watch what’s happening on the field.
Keep trying to hype up another high-profile decoy. And don’t worry, like pigeons flocking to handfuls of hype-buttered popcorn, the media will swarm down to write about another freshman who can’t possibly live up to his virtual press clippings.
I wasn’t born on a turnip truck, sir.
Obviously, I’m not going to believe anything a head coach says about his players because I have seen the media led astray by deceptive descriptions before. Like sheep being led to a shearer of hype, reporters are herded into a media pen in order to get their words of whoa buzzed into piles of perpetual propaganda, and then they’re put back out to pasture to consume more of the aggrandizing gruel that coaches feed them.
That’s why I ask other people about Dobbins. Because I don’t want coachspeak, I want the truth.
Following practice last week, I asked former Buckeye and NFL receiver Brian Hartline about Dobbins. Hartline is now working as a quality control analyst for the Buckeyes. What did he have to say about Dobbins?
“Oh, he’s incredible,” he said. “I think he’s an awesome player, but he’s an even better person. Anytime you have those two mixed together, it can be a very special situation. He can be great.”
Even Hartline is buying the media hype. Apparently one of the prerequisites for his job is to read the internet a lot.
That’s pretty sad.
Clearly, once Urban Meyer welcomes someone into his fold, that someone has to then fall in line by being part of the the media hype cycle.
So that’s why I also went and asked somebody who has no fear of reprisals — senior left tackle Jamarco Jones — for his honest thoughts on Dobbins. After all, Meyer needs Jones, so Jones can say whatever he wants and he doesn’t have to worry about getting in trouble.
You can listen to his own words in the video below.
Hearing or seeing Jamarco Jones talk about J.K. Dobbins today conveys things better than words could. pic.twitter.com/00PcwGjhUw
— Ozone Communications (@theOzonedotnet) August 7, 2017
“Choo. He’s gonna be good. He’s fast and he’s gonna be good. Explosive.”
Really? What does “choo” even mean?
And you expect me to believe the words of a Millennial? Not bloody likely. They read more stupid crap than anybody!
It’s a sad state of affairs when we can’t trust the media to tell the entire truth because the players and coaches being talked to are consuming too much media to even know what the truth is anymore.
So, as for me and my house, we’re going to sit this one out.
We won’t be writing about J.K. Dobbins every week like some outlets. The brainless hordes of hypetypers will produce enough for all of us combined. Instead, we’ll wait until there are some actual results to report.