Who Made Experts Experts?

I hate to say I told you so, but then again… do I really? I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but flatter me for a minute.

Let me commence with a Facebook comment I posted last month on May 15 at 7:13 p.m. I said, “I know I’m basically the only person alive that feels this way, but I don’t think the Raptors series will be a cakewalk for the Cavs. They’re a scrappy bunch; the Atletico Madrid of basketball for the soccer fans out there.” Meanwhile, “experts” such as Stephen A. Smith were boldly proclaiming the series as over before it began, laughingly exclaiming that the Raptors contingency would be lucky to even push it to five. Well, who was laughing after game four?

Again, this article is in no way supposed to imply that I’m an expert (because I’m clearly not), but merely to ascertain that perhaps I (and especially people who know a lot more than me) could hold my own against some of those who are wrongly classified as such. Obviously, the Cavaliers were still the team that went to the Finals. However, no “expert” had the Raptors series being even vaguely competitive, not to mention the fact that nobody picked the Cavaliers to beat the Warriors. (That’s not really fair though – that was a once-in-a-decade type of series.)

Let’s just say that I had a significant stake in game three of the Raptors series. And even though I had only an emotional one in game four, I think that teams without any of the NBA’s poster children are routinely not given a fair shake. I also think that the term expert is used somewhat rashly when being thrown around ESPN studios. If so-called experts were actually so knowledgeable, why wouldn’t they put their money where their mouth is and live off their prophetic visions in Vegas instead of antagonizing athletes over Twitter who they likely couldn’t look in the eye face-to-face?

Just to prove my point, allow me to give some specific examples (and these are just some of many) and quote some tidbits that individuals who actually make a living off of giving their opinions on sports have said via either social media or in real life. I’m sorry to pick on First Take, but then again… am I really?

-Skip Bayless

  1. Derek Fisher will prove to be a much better NBA head coach than Steve Kerr.
  2. The Houston Texans will forever regret it if they do not take Johnny Manziel with the No. 1 overall pick. He will haunt them. (From a Daily Snark article entitled ‘The 10 Dumbest Skip Bayless Tweets of All-Time’)
  3. Manti Te’o: the next Ray Lewis

-Stephen A. Smith

  1. I thought I’d heard enough despicable lies about myself… Some people are beyond despicable. No end! Sad what extent people will go to (On Onion article) (from bleacherreport.com ‘The 20 Dumbest Things Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith Have Said)
  2. http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/must-watch-montage-of-stephen-a-smith-incorrectly-picking-6-nba-champions/ (This is the greatest thing ever.)

So the next time you are coaxed into giving your opinion or need to make a prediction for your office pool playoff sweepstakes, remember that he who hesitates is lost. Besides, if you’re outspoken about your loss, maybe you’ll just end up on an ESPN morning show. (Dear ESPN, if by some miracle you read this, know that I use your app more than any other and would retract all my statements if offered employment 😉 )