Armchair quarterbacks just can’t be held accountable
Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2014
While watching the New Orleans Saints game Thursday night, I took a glance at an online message board, which had a play-by-play game thread full of comments and opinions from other Saints fans.
The general consensus from the fans was that the Saints were playing well and had a very good chance to win despite some early mistakes.
There was one post, however, that criticized Drew Brees about his first quarter interception and offered some advice about preventing the next one.
An Internet message board user offered advice to Super Bowl XLIV’s Most Valuable Player about playing football.
Allow that to sink in for a moment.
These message boards are generally anonymous, so it is impossible to say with any certainty if the user had ever been an elite NFL quarterback in his past, but the sheer odds of the situation suggest his advice probably didn’t come from personal experience.
So if this anonymous person had never been in a similar situation, why give advice as if he had?
Social media, for all its benefits and positive contributions to society, has also aided to the evolution of the armchair quarterback, a term defined on dictionary.com as a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement.
Having the platform to criticize openly and anonymously has given a voice to an often-uninformed crowd.
Now to be fair, these armchair quarterbacks are ultimately harmless.
They are the proverbial ants at a picnic for guys like Brees, and I doubt Brad Pitt will lose much sleep if an online movie critic rips on his new film.
But it seems only fair that criticism should be constructive, informed and discreet, if it must be given at all.