We’re deep into the NFL off season now. That’s never a time to be looking for football excitement. Nothing is happening but that doesn’t stop the modern twenty four hour football media machine. Sure ESPN and other such radio and TV sports channels have other sports to cover at this time of year but these days there is a dedicated NFL channel and they have to fill up their programing day with all sorts of football nonsense.

The biggest bit of silly noise on the NFL Network is something they started last year. It’s the “Top 100 Players of 2012”. It’s allegedly the players themselves voting on who are the best players in the league based not on past performance but how well they will do in the upcoming year. NFL Network stretched the countdown out over six weeks or so. I’m not really sure how many weeks because I didn’t pay attention that closely to it all but I think they released twenty names a week for a bit and then ten names a week as they got closer to number one. Oh, the drama. Who would be number one? Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers? It made me yawn.

Talk about programing that was invented just to fill up airtime when news was slow and this is what you’re talking about. After each week’s part of the list was revealed there was a second hour long show with some commentators discussing the list. Who was too high? Who was too low? Who was missing but deserved to be there? I flipped by that show a couple of times and didn’t stay long but a least some of the commentators agreed with me and thought the list was dumb too. It didn’t stop them from talking about it but at least they didn’t take it too seriously. There was a lot of killing time going on in that show.

The NFL Network also broadcasts old football games at times. They’re doing this weird thing with some of the games. I think it’s on the show named “NFL Classic Games”. I’m one of those people who doesn’t have an HDTV and so am still watching everything in old fashioned standard definition. Lots of things are letter-boxed these days and that’s no big deal on an SDTV but for these games they’re using a different box. It’s got the old 4:3 standard TV ratio but is shrunken down. I guess it’s for broadcasting in HD but on my SDTV the picture is about 20% smaller. It’s annoying and makes the games less watchable but it’s an HD world out there now.

Oddly enough where I could use some NFL HD it’s not available. I have an iPad 2 which, while only about ten inches on the diagonal, has more resolution than my 27 inch SDTV. How’s that for nutty? Recently I bought some old New York Giants’ highlights from iTunes. They’re a couple of bucks per game and I got a few of my favorite games from 2008. The problem is that they are only in SD so they look blocky and pixelated in my iPad. Hard to believe that I can’t get a good clear picture on my old SDTV because things are formatted for HD and I can’t get a good clear picture on my HD iPad because things are formatted for SD. Strange.

I also frequent blogs and websites about the NFL. ESPN’s site is my least favorite because they want you to sign up with them before you can read the articles. Their articles aren’t good enough for me to bother especially since other sites don’t make you do that. My favorite is the CBS Sports NFL page. I think it’s because it has the simplest and easiest to navigate design. It’s more pleasurable to read than the NFL’s own site which tends to get busy and is filled with Flash video that I prefer to avoid when reading on my laptop. Flash video slows things down too much for me.

Of course this time of year there is not much on the websites of any substance to read since there is nothing going on but I still check them out. Occasionally a feel-good story like some little kid sending Brandon Jacobs his piggy bank to get him to stay with the Giants pops up and there can also be some interesting analysis of the upcoming season but all too often there is filler nonsense. Somebody said something fairly innocuous about somebody else and then others twist it into something barely controversial. There is a vacuum of NFL news that demands to be filled. And it’s filled with non-stories.

The most boring non-controversy is the constant “Who is the best quarterback in the league” talk. I mean who cares? I don’t. As a Giants’ fan I didn’t care that Eli Manning wasn’t considered elite. I don’t care now that he is considered elite. Next year if he’s not considered elite anymore I still won’t care. I care even less about if someone likes Rodgers over Brady. It’s not choice anyone will ever have to make for real and either way you pick you’ve got a good quarterback. I think I’d rather hear about choosing between Sanchez and Tebow. That’s a real choice with real ramifications. It would take some real analysis too. You can flip a coin with Brady/Rodgers and never be wrong.

I’m also tired of seeing Roger Goodell’s face this offseason. Any time we all see the football commissioner’s face this much can’t be good for the game. It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the New Orleans Saints and the bounty scandal that’s been going on this year. I don’t care much about the scandal except to say that stuff like that shouldn’t be allowed to go on but I don’t even know what really went on since the NFL isn’t releasing a lot of their evidence. That makes the whole thing even more annoying. Read one article and it says the Saints are monsters and the next says nothing unusual happened. And two thirds of the articles come with a picture of Goodell’s face.

So there you have the doldrums of the NFL’s offseason. Lot’s of fake controversy with “Best Players” and “Best Quarterback” lists, some real controversy with the Saints and bounties, and my own little HD versus SD non-controversy. How is that for offseason thrills and excitement? It almost makes me wish I cared about baseball season.