The Most Useless Poll Is So Overrated

Welcome back to the Pregame Flyover, the only NFL column that comes with its own sniffing salts. 

Before we get to this week’s slate of games – and tell you which games will Probably be worth watching, which games will be of Doubtful worth, which games will be of Questionable worth, and which game will be of no worth – let’s talk about the stupidity of “most overrated” polls.

Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez are not overrated

According to the dictionary, overrated means (wait for it) “rated too highly.” Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t encountered a single NFL observer this season who gives respectable ratings to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. In fact, most people think that Sanchez rates higher than Ryan Leaf and lower than every starter currently plying their trade in the NFL. And yet according to a player poll in Sports Illustrated, Sanchez is the second-most overrated player in the NFL, behind his teammate, Tim Tebow. 

Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow: When will people stop bringing them up in MVP discussions, right? 

Meanwhile, their coach, Rex Ryan, was voted the most overrated coach in the NFL by a player poll in The Sporting News. Yeah, Rex Ryan is overrated. Maybe in his own mind. And maybe on But he’s not exactly in the discussion for coach of the year. He’s not overrated and neither are his quarterbacks. What’s genuinely overrated is the ability of lazy, crap-stirring polls like these to reflect something meaningful and true.

Do you know what Sanchez, Tebow and Ryan share? A zip code – they’re all based in New York City, the media capital of the world. Consequently, they’re overexposed, at least relative to their successes. In turn, NFL players resent them. But instead of conducting a poll that reflects equally on the respondent – “What NFL player or coach do you resent the most?” – publications like Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News will chicken out by asking who is the most overrated. 

“As always in our midseason poll, players were not allowed to name their teammates or head coach for any of their answers,” says The Sporting News

Yeah, we certainly wouldn’t want players to have any first-hand knowledge about any questions they might respond to. Better to have them speculate from afar.

Can’t wait for The Sporting News poll that asks, “Which active NFL player is the most likely to come out of the closet?”

Because, yeah, it basically is of a piece.

We interrupt this broadcast …

By now you’ve probably seen the Chevy Volt commercial in which owners of this hybrid discuss its benefits; in particular, its remarkable gas mileage. The commercial ends with one woman gushing, “I go to the gas station such a small amount, that I forget how to put gas in my car!” This stops me short every time. Chevy Volt: The preferred car of the conscientious and the moronic? Very confusing.

The Weekly Best

Best team in the AFC: Steelers.

Best team in the NFC: Niners.

Best organizations that have never faced off in a Super Bowl: Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

Best reasons you’d elevate them over Houston, Chicago and Atlanta: Pittsburgh’s quarterback and San Francisco’s defense.

Best record in football: But Jason Lisk cogently explains why Atlanta is the worst 8-0 of all time.

Best statistical promotion: “Stats are for losers” (Bill Belichick) has now been replaced by “Stats are for girls” (Hakeem Nicks).

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Cameron Martin's Pregame Flyover column on the upcoming NFL weekend runs each Friday. He may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @CameronDMartin.

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