I wrote about the redundancy of saying a perfect 16-0 record in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever (pick up a copy, will ya?), so I won’t repeat that here. Even if the redundancy were to stop being used by announcers and fans (not likely), we’d still have the problem of our obsession with the topic.
I would hope that when a couple of teams start the 2008-2009 NFL season with 4-0 records, we’ll remember the lessons taught to us way back in the 2007-2008 season and not start obsessing over whether one of the teams will go 16-0. I know that was a long time ago, but if you’ll recall, fans and announcers spent an inordinate amount of time talking about whether New England would win every regular-season game. They did, but this supposedly momentous accomplishment has not been mentioned since New England lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Maybe we could remember how insignificant it seemed in the end before we start with that again this year.
There was almost as much obsessing going on about whether Miami would have an 0-16 record (which, to make a parallel redundancy, should be referred to as an imperfect 0-16 record) last season, which might make more sense since there’s no chance of that team ruining their flawless record in the playoffs. Regardless, I don’t remember as much attention to such trivial matters even five years ago, and I’m not sure why it’s become so important recently. My guess is that it has something to do with our need for drama.
All I know is that I hope that all 30 teams are 1-1 heading into week three so that we can pay attention to the games at hand rather than some trumped up historical drama.