Saturday, December 22, 2012

ACCORDING TO SOURCES...

As soon as Mark Sanchez was benched by the Jets and Tim Tebow got passed
over by Greg McElroy to be the new starter, it officially became the silly season
for the New York media.


With countless newspapers, radio and television stations, in addition to those
who earn their living on the Internet, competition is fierce in the New York-
Metropolitan area. Reporters must find a way to stand out, be relevant, and keep
their bosses happy. To do that, they create some kind of story with sizzle,
dig up some kind of dirt and use what has become the biggest crutch in the
business: according to sources.

So, of course, a New York City tabloid "broke" a story that the Jets, "according
to sources", were going to try to trade Sanchez and release Tebow after this
season, which has been an unmitigated disaster for the Jets. First of all, any
football fan with a pulse knows Sanchez is finished in New York and the
Tebow experiment had about as much success as the Bobby Valentine one
in Boston. It was a debacle of epic proportions. Both are as good as gone
"according to sources."

Trust me, there are no "sources" on this one. None are needed because this
is pin the tail on the donkey, or Rex Ryan if you will, without the blindfold. It's
like saying, according to my sources, the New York Mets are going to really
suck next year. Duh. Hello? It's a no-brainer.


This is much like the situation in Kansas City. The Chiefs are pathetic. They
can't score, can't win, and can't draw fans anymore. To the ones who care,
GM Scott Pioli is considered the anti-Christ and Romeo Crennel is a nice guy
who can't coach a lick. Their "Patriots Way" led the storied franchise into
the gutter.

Last week, some reporter "broke" the story Pioli and Crennel have been
informed "according to sources" that they won't be back next season.  Not
exactly going out on a limb, but it created a buzz even though the story didn't
have one quote attributed to anybody within the Chiefs organization. Even
more comical were the NFL and Chiefs beat reporters who shot down the
report, saying it wasn't true, 'according to sources."

If the reporter is wrong with the story, they can just blame it on his sources
being wrong, not him. And, of course, a good reporter never reveals his sources,
which 90 percent of the time, really don't even exist. But that's how journalists
protect themselves and their credibility.


The New York City tabloid didn't care about credibility with the Sanchez-Tebow
story because it was used to create a buzz, sell more papers, get more hits
on-line, and hopefully, trend on Twitter. Nothing feeds the frenzy to Jet
fans that the words, Sanchez and Tebow. Both have long been lightning
rods and any story about them, especially ones that include, "according
to sources", is going to have some juice.

This whole, "according to sources" thing,  is just media-driven hogwash
that gives some sort of credence to the story. Without it, the story wouldn't
be worth the paper it's printed on. Can you imagine if all these "insiders"
like Chris Mortenson, Adam Schefter, and Peter King weren't allowed to
use the phrase, "according to league sources"? Good grief, they wouldn't
have any stories or be able to tweet themselves to death.


Newspaper editors have always known this country is full of people who believe
just about everything it reads and the football fans, especially those in New York,
bought this hook, line, and sinker.

It's almost laughable that anybody would give the Sanchez story any credibility,
but if you listened to sports talk radio the following day and heard Vinny from
Staten Island celebrating the possibility that number six would be 86-ed out of
town, than you know it had an impact.


On Saturday, ESPN, who worships Tebow at the altar, reported that it's a "virtual
certainty" that Tebow will be in Jacksonville next year because, after all, they
got their information from "league sources", which is just a juiced up "source"
and attempt to give the story more power than if it just had the usual "according
to sources."

And really, what does it matter if "league sources" say Tebow is going to Jacksonville
when those "league sources" have absolutely nothing to do with the decision making
process for the Jaguars? It doesn't.

ESPN isn't exactly going out on a limb with the Tebow to Jacksonville story
and realize this one is like shooting fish in a barrel. Tebow is from the Jacksonville
area, the Jaguars stink, draw no fans, don't have a quarterback who can play,
and no other team wants the former Florida Gator. They don't need "league
sources" to tell them that Tebow is nothing more than the freak show at
the circus. Jacksonville is the ONLY possible landing spot for Tebow, other
than say, Toronto or Saskatchewan of the CFL.


And of course, ESPN pimped the story during the Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions
contest for "SportsCenter" after the game. Tebow to Jacksonville? Really, who
gives two cents? He played only a few more snaps than I did for the Jets and there
isn't a general manager in the league who thinks he can run a pro-style offense.

But hey, if "league sources" say it's going to happen, then by golly, the fans in
Jacksonville and Tebow worshippers should be at the ticket office bright and
early tomorrow morning.

According to my sources, Urban Meyer will be there to buy season tickets and
go watch his former quarterback after coaching Ohio State on Saturdays. But
according to my sources, "league sources" say that won't be any kind of NCAA
violation or anything.

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