Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday 10/22 A.M. Quickie:
Rays in 5, Favre Scandal, NBA Rooks, More

Rays in 5. And, unless you're from Philly, I cannot imagine that you can't root for the Rays. This is one of the great turnaround stories in sports history -- on the cusp of the superlative "greatest."

Here is a reality of the sports-media dynamic nearing the end of 2008: You cannot ignore a story and pretend it isn't there. There are too many outlets. Fans are too informed. It erodes credibility.

If the Favre story came from some random source with no track record, we could dismiss it as some no-account attempt to link-bait one's way to some short-term page views.

Jay Glazer is arguably the most intrepid NFL "info guy" on the beat today -- he wouldn't put his rep on the line with a claim like "1,000 percent" certainty of his story if he wasn't...certain.

And it's not like Brett Favre has a history of straight talk -- he talks, to be sure, but he ensures it is almost always with Favre-friendly folks.

(Here's a question: What will Peter King do when it turns out that Favre lied to him to his face -- or, at least, through a text message? Will he still have blinding, journo-undercutting fealty?)

Regardless: It's a story. (And now it's also a story about a story, what political campaigns and media call "process stories" -- inside baseball, rather than the game itself.)

Meanwhile, if you can set aside the presumption that Greg Oden has NBA Rookie of the Year locked up, the three leading candidates were on display last night: Derrick Rose (30 pts); OJ Mayo (28 pts); Mike Beasley (19 pts). I still say Kevin Love is the best rookie.

(Oh, and nothing will hurt the start of the NBA season quicker than a knee injury to its No. 1 star, Kobe. Presumably, he'll be fine. But it's a reminder.)

I ask a fair question in today's column: What's the bigger game -- Texas vs. Oklahoma State or Penn State vs. Ohio State? I default to the former (two unbeatens, with the winner worthy of the No. 1 ranking both in the polls and the BCS?), but I'm willing to entertain that it's the latter: If Penn State wins, they have a near-lock on the BCS title game; if they lose, the BCS dream is over. And Ohio State is playing better than they have all season -- and the game is in Columbus. If Penn State wins, they will boost their cred -- and, playing in the weak Big Ten, they'll need it.

More to come later. Complete SN column here. Root Rays.

-- D.S.


Qwagmire said...

Is Winslow the only one on the Browns with the BALLS (pun intended)to openly discuss a serious medical issue?

Jen said...

And if the team management discussed his medical issues, Winslow would have cried "privacy issues"...he needs to stop being such an ass and play ball.
Oh wait, he's always freakin' hurt or sick said...

For fear of beating a dead horse (or a dead story), I must clarify a few points regarding the Favre/Glazer thingy (not sure what to call it, really). Some may be picky but if you’re going to accuse someone of something like Glazer did and base your entire story on unnamed sources, Glazer’s story deserves to be “picked” at.

I addressed #1 as a comment directly on your sporting news column. the remaining points are the rest of my reasoning why perhaps people should be looking at Glazer's character a bit more closely - and why "journalists" like you, Shanoff, shouldn't write.

1. There’s one point I keep seeing in the press that came from Brett Favre's press conference Wednesday morning. Tom Pelissero's Inside Blog on (which was a pretty fair summary of the events up 'til now - nice job, Tom) echoed what I found in many articles that reported on the press conference (including your column Shanoff) - that Favre's admission that he talked to the Lions was, "a far cry from Favre's initial reaction to Sports Illustrated's Peter King that Glazer's report was 'total B.S.' "

But that's not what Favre texted Peter King. According to King, "he (Favre) texted me before the Jets-Raiders Sunday to call the story 'total BS ... not true and pretty ridiculous. I'm telling you it's not true. What the hell is their [Fox's] problem?' "

Doesn’t anyone see the difference?? Favre's quote was non-specific. It's not in reference to talking to anyone OR to the content of the story itself. He just states it without directing it to any one thing. Since Favre stated Wednesday morning that ex-Lion Pres. Matt Millen called him, I'm to infer that Brett's text to King was in reference to the content of Glazer’s story, not whether or not he talked to anyone from the Lion’s organization. It doesn't matter if you THINK Favre denied talking to anyone and now he said he did - because he never actually said "I never talked to anyone from Detroit - it's B.S." in his text to King.

2. Glazer's article contained information that wasn't sourced to Jay himself, but by unnamed sources. Regardless of this being the norm in journalism, that’s equivalent to hearsay. Brett Favre's account of the same information in Jay's article comes from Brett himself. Brett’s source – is Brett.

3. As far as Glazer saying he backs his story 1000 percent, he can’t say that because Favre refuted two points: First, 1) Brett said his conversation was maybe 25 minutes, compared to Glazer saying it was 60-90 minutes. Also, Glazer made it sound like all Brett talked about for 90 minutes was “prepping” and “nuances”, but nothing specific – as if Favre were going page-by-page through an old playbook. Secondly, Brett said Matt Millen from the Lions called him. Glazer reported that Brett called Millen. Now I suppose one can say Brett’s lying or fibbing. Go ahead…but once again, Brett’s his own source. Until Glazer’s sources step forward, the responsibility rests with Glazer to prove his story is true – NOT for Favre to prove it wrong.

4. Another minor point but it goes to the credibility of At 12:10 p.m. Wednesday after Favre’s press conference (unless it was a joke), posted a poll (see attached A) that was put up along with the article ran after Brett’s press conference (half of which was devoted to regurgitating what Glazer already said in his piece). “WHO DO YA TRUST – JAY OR ESPN?” And the choices for readers to click on are (a) Jay, or (b) Jay. If that was a joke, it’s not funny. Not when you’re accusing someone of something and attacking that person’s credibility. If that isn't a blatant admission of FoxSports' biased and slanted reporting, what is? Also, it's pretty brazen...showing that they don't really care about their reader’s opinion when asking them to vote on their stories because either way you’re casting a vote for “their guy”. I called FoxSports here in Los Angeles and left a message chastising them for it. Others did the same by commenting on the article online.

Then magically…sometime before 4:01 p.m., a NEW POLL appears on the same article (see attached B). New question: “DO YOU BELIEVE BRETT FAVRE GAVE INFO TO THE LIONS?”. Someone at must have realized what a bunch of idiots they looked like. Talk about "character" and "truth" and "non-biased reporting". More importantly, it should call into question Jay Glazer’s reporting, as well as itself.

5. and never addressed the issue. We all read ESPN’s statement so if ESPN says their unnamed sources refute the story why can’t anyone believe that? Everyone seems to want to hang Favre based on Glazer’s unnamed sources. What’s the difference?

6. Glazer stated he didn’t bother contacting Favre to get his side of the story because Glazer surmised (isn’t that like “alleged”?) Favre would run to ESPN and ESPN would publish a watered down version of the story to shed Favre in a better light, THUS beating Glazer to the bunch – and his breaking story. Glazer said this. I suppose the byline would mean less if it wasn’t Glazer’s story in the first place. Glazer’s byline over “fairness in reporting”? That’s credible journalism?

7. Lastly, Tom Pelissero of states in his Insider’s Blog on October 20th that Glazer said when he first got wind of the news, he was told that Favre may have been helping several of the Packers' opponents. "I did not find that to be true," Glazer said. "But that was the original tip I was given." Yet Glazer stated in his article, “In addition, there have been rumors that Favre has spoken to other teams giving them information, but most of those teams insist they have not heard from the famed gunslinger.” So if Glazer found this information to be false, why did he mention it? “I’m sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury – please disregard what Mr. Glazer just said”. Am I to assume that is now in the habit of publishing stories based on rumor and innuendo?

People are asking questions about Brett Favre’s integrity and character, but aren’t these points enough to question the integrity and character of Glazer’s and’s Or should people continue to follow whatever they say blindly? My name is Jeffrey Ircink, Milwaukee native living in Los Angeles, who is naming his source – ME.

(and if you don't approve this comment, shanoff - then i can question what you're hiding)