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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Welcome to the Age of Information Anarchy

    I am old enough to remember (fondly) a day when the morning sports page was the primary source of news. Sure, we might have to wait a day for the box scores from the late games. Sure, coverage of non-local teams was limited.

    But, at least you could be pretty certain that if it was in print, it was true.

    Now, we have 24 hour access to sports "information" from sources ranging from national sites, to local sites, to blogs, to message boards, and so on. Everyone is trying to do the same thing: break a big story before anyone else does. The consequence: information anarchy.

    Yesterday was a perfect example. Some beat writer in Philadelphia, who apparently has covered the Eagles for one year after being a High School and local college sports reporter, gets a "tip" about a possible trade between the Rams and the Eagles, and he runs with it. Within hours, dozens of sites have repeated the story as if it is credible, and the message boards (including ours) are buzzing.

    Never mind that the deal doesn't really make sense. Why would the Rams trade for a QB right before Sam Bradford's workout? How could the Rams offer O.J. Atogwe - who is currently unsigned - in a trade? Never mind... the story is just plausible enough to get people talking and evaluating the imaginary trade.

    By the end of the day, the best possible source (Billy Devaney) completely debunks the rumor. There is no ambiguity in his statement: the Rams have not discussed a trade for McNabb (or any other QB) with the Eagles.

    So that's the end of the story, right?

    Wrong.

    Some fans are calling Devaney a liar. Some fall back on the cliche that "where there's smoke (apparently, even when its smoke blown up our collective posteriors by a local beat writer) there must be fire. Some argue that Devaney is telling the truth, but that the Rams will definitely be talking to the Eagles about a trade soon.

    Are you kidding me?

    Now we're debating a hypothetical trade that Billy Devaney called "utterly ridiculous"?

    The abysmal state of sports "journalism" is undeniable. If we can't be part of the solution, let's at least not be part of the problem.


  2. #2
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
    PeoriaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Welcome to the Age of Information Anarchy

    Again. We pay Devaney to lie, or more specifically, to repeat the official truth according to the Rams. However, it is quite likely that the official truth and the actual truth are not the same. That's why you can't fully trust him whenever he speaks to the media. Think of Devaney as a writer for Pravda.

    For further examples of this, see the official defenses of Pat Shurmur that insist he knows what he is doing.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Welcome to the Age of Information Anarchy

    Devaney isn't paid to lie. He's paid to make good football decisions. If you want to think he was lying and that there really was a McNabb trade in the works, that's your choice. Paranoia is often voluntary.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -03-27-2010 at 08:15 PM.

  4. #4
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
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    Re: Welcome to the Age of Information Anarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I am old enough to remember (fondly) a day when the morning sports page was the primary source of news. Sure, we might have to wait a day for the box scores from the late games. Sure, coverage of non-local teams was limited.

    But, at least you could be pretty certain that if it was in print, it was true.

    Now, we have 24 hour access to sports "information" from sources ranging from national sites, to local sites, to blogs, to message boards, and so on. Everyone is trying to do the same thing: break a big story before anyone else does. The consequence: information anarchy.

    Yesterday was a perfect example. Some beat writer in Philadelphia, who apparently has covered the Eagles for one year after being a High School and local college sports reporter, gets a "tip" about a possible trade between the Rams and the Eagles, and he runs with it. Within hours, dozens of sites have repeated the story as if it is credible, and the message boards (including ours) are buzzing.

    Never mind that the deal doesn't really make sense. Why would the Rams trade for a QB right before Sam Bradford's workout? How could the Rams offer O.J. Atogwe - who is currently unsigned - in a trade? Never mind... the story is just plausible enough to get people talking and evaluating the imaginary trade.

    By the end of the day, the best possible source (Billy Devaney) completely debunks the rumor. There is no ambiguity in his statement: the Rams have not discussed a trade for McNabb (or any other QB) with the Eagles.

    So that's the end of the story, right?

    Wrong.

    Some fans are calling Devaney a liar. Some fall back on the cliche that "where there's smoke (apparently, even when its smoke blown up our collective posteriors by a local beat writer) there must be fire. Some argue that Devaney is telling the truth, but that the Rams will definitely be talking to the Eagles about a trade soon.

    Are you kidding me?

    Now we're debating a hypothetical trade that Billy Devaney called "utterly ridiculous"?

    The abysmal state of sports "journalism" is undeniable. If we can't be part of the solution, let's at least not be part of the problem.
    Very well put. This kind of stuff drives me absolutely up the wall, more so than anything else in sports.

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