At last check, I have 3,154,000 fewer twitter followers than Adam Schefter. I do not approach his “tireless work ethic” when it comes to covering the NFL. (Hell, I even took a NAP during this post!) I do not have the “bully pulpit” of ESPN, and I am certainly not the “most prolific news breaker in America’s most popular sport.”
And yet…. even I KNEW about the jaw-dropping Percy Harvin trade on Friday, at exactly the same time Mr. Schefter did.
When Jay Glazer of Fox tweeted it out.
So much for this quote about Schefter “knowing everything…”
From a media standpoint, the NFL is covered unlike anything else in American sport, and somehow Schefter’s reporting rises above the din. He’s perfected the formula perhaps better than any NFL reporter who’s ever preceded him: a tireless work ethic, the bully pulpit of ESPN and the leveraging of information from sources as a commodity to get more from others.
“He’s crucial because he basically has become sort of this omnipresent guy who seems to know everything,” said Peter King, the veteran Sports Illustrated writer and proprietor of the site TheMMQB.com. “And if he doesn’t know everything, it takes him only 10 minutes to find out what he doesn’t know.”
Now look, this is not a slam on Schefter – per se – but rather another reminder that the whole notion of NFL “Insiders” is a complete joke. How can a bombshell trade like this, fall out of the sky without ANY one of the so-called “insiders” ferreting out smoke signals along the way that something was terribly amiss with Harvin and the Seahawk locker-room?
Even Glazer – who nominally gets “credit” for the “scoop” – didn’t so much “break” this story, as he just beat the official NFL transaction wire by about 30 minutes.
Full credit to Pete Carroll and John Schneider for keeping tight “operational security” around their locker-room. It’s a far cry from several grumpy 49ers running to Uncle Prime Time to air their petty greivances with Jim Harbaugh. But that said, these are the kind of things that the “Insiders” like to claim they hear about and know about.
Maybe they DID have a bead on this Harvin trade, but were afraid to move on it? Maybe they were protecting future access to the Seahawk locker-room. Maybe ol’ Gum Chompin’ Pete is such a charmer, that he convinced somebody to “sit on” the deal, in order not to scuttle it?
Who knows. But so much for all these guys with their cell phones tucked under their pillows, double-fisting their iPhones and blackberries while riding in town cars to and from the TV studio. Nobody heard nuthin’, saw nuthin’, or suspected nuthin’ until the Seahawks had hung up the phone with Idzik and the Jets and said “deal!”
It needs to be noted that I don’t necessarily NEED to have these things broken like the Watergate scandal when it comes to my enjoyment of the NFL. In reality, the full truth comes out eventually, on it’s own time frame. Sometimes it takes years.
I just laugh when the Mort’s, Glazer’s, and Schefter’s of the NFL media world get lauded like oracles of league information.
They’re not. And the Percy Harvin story should put that to rest for good.
“Back to you… Boom…”
What irritates me about these guys is they talk about injuries as if they have some sort of medical training, but that could be just a me thing.
Czabe, you gotta check Norman Chad’s column in WaPo today about sports announcers. My personal favorite line is:
NBC’s Peter King, an alleged “NFL insider,” is a career .262 hitter in a profession in which you should bat close to 1.000.
The whole thing is ridiculous. If they are breaking the sports equivalent of Watergate then it is noteworthy because its something of interest that won’t come out on its own. These guys get their panties in a wad over who was the first to report a trade which is something that will become public knowledge whether or not they report it. Nobody care but them.