Blog Entry

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

Posted on: June 16, 2009 12:06 am
AUSTIN, Texas -- John Bianco's phone blew up at dinner. That was the first sign -- of a Texas football apocalypse.

You should know that Bianco is the football SID at Texas. One of the best. Sometimes it seems he knows something has happened at with the football program before it actually happens. Not this time. Silly him for thinking that he could have a nice, quiet dinner with friends at a trendy Austin fish place on Monday night.  

His cellie began buzzing with cryptic texts as we were looking over the menu. Something about Colt McCoy's compound leg fracture. TV and radio guys were calling. If it was true ... well, no one around here wanted to think that it was true. Texas' promising fall would have turned into a nuclear winter. Still, when you're the SID at a big dog like Texas you don't ignore even the flimsiest of rumors.

Believe me, this one was flimsy. I might not have this right but apparently a radio production assistant in San Antonio had heard from a guy who had it on good authority that Texas' quarterback had broken his leg. That was news to Bianco and other three of us gathering around our fish. But in this instant information age, a message board post can become like a wildfire. You have to put it out.

By the time the check came, Bianco had it under control. No one of substance was going with the news that proved to be false the moment we stopped by Monday's seven-on-seven drills. There was McCoy, Heisman hopeful and Texas' leading career passer, zipping passes to his mates.

As he came off the field, we kidded him about how good his leg looked -- considering.

"Iced it up," McCoy said. "Shot me up, I'm good."

What was troubling was that five of McCoy's teammates had come up to him inquiring about his busted leg. This literally could have been something someone made up. For a couple of hours, it had Texas Nation trembling. That's what scares me. Wherever this came from, someone is likely to blame "the media."

This was not a media creation. As Dave Simon said last week at the National Press Club, "I don't believe in unprofessional journalism. I don't believe in bloggers." Simon is the former Baltimore Sun reporter who created the HBO series "The Wire". You should read and listen to him. 

Simon rails against the idea that Joe Six Pack sitting in his underwear can post his thoughts on the internet and be considered credible. His point is that real journalists take years trying to perfect their craft. Ours is more of a vocation than a job.

I blog. A lot of us at blog. The difference is our names are on our work. There is someone, somewhere in the company who thinks what  we write is worth paying for. That's professional.

Persons with no formal training in how to communicate -- or how to write -- can become celebrities because they are able to spew a blog. My point is, that's essentially what happend Monday night at Texas. There is a lot to like about what the web has become. Example: A post on a Texas A&M message board led to the breaking of the Big Red Motors scandal at Oklahoma.

There is a lot to hate too. We Twitter, we blog, we gossip, we report facts. There needs to be a separation. You need to know where the line is drawn. Take the time to know and believe in Simon's professional journalism. Newspapers have cut staff, shrunk news hole and increased the price of the product. We're supposed to believe newspapers are better? They won't be until someone figures how to re-invent an entire industry. 

That saddens me because there are fewer watchdogs these days. That's why the media exists, to have an adversarial relationship with those in power. That will never change. This website has spent 14 years establishing itself. It is part of the CBS empire. It is accountable. Whoever vomited that rubbish about McCoy deserves a punch in the face from Dave Simon. He (they) diminished all of our lives a little on Monday.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Texas, Texas A&M

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2009 12:55 pm

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

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What people like you have to realize is that what you do.  Anybody can do.  You get paid for it, So what.  Who cares?  You don't know anymore than most sports fan out there. And since you think you do probably means you know a lot less.   And who cares who is blogging this or that.  It is up to the public to figure out who is a good credible source and who is not.  But to say enough is enough, come on.  Get real it is 2009 not 1993.  And BTW last time I checked it is a SID's job to get the story straight for his program that is what he gets paid to do.  He should be happy people are giving him something to do.  Since being an SID is so hard.  Come on.    
   It is 2009 and people have access to everything anytime anywhere.  A perfect example is Wall Street.  You have professional traders who show up each day and trade on the exchanges.  Then you have day traders who sit at home and trade.  Who is better?  It doesn't really matter who is.  It is a free country.  You can do whatever you want.  If you don't like bloggers then move to Iran.  They have the same views on freedom that you do.  You sound like a sore loser to me.

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: June 17, 2009 5:41 pm

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

I do not think you can blame outsiders for making claims on McCoys leg.  In fact, look at Brandon Marshall who is making all his opion on his blog.  The blog has become a tool not just for fans, but also for Players as well.  If Dave Simon was smart he should twitter McCoy and ask about his leg.   McCoy should know more about his players than anyone else.

Brandon Marshall is putting his own conference on a blog and not even talking to Josh McDaniels.  So, What I am saying the blog can be a problem  for players and coaches.

In my opion blogging is an important tool, you can relate with people better plus it gives everyone a chance to become educated.  This country needs people to understand the real world.    

Also, Kevin Love used twitter and told everyone that Kevin McHale was out as coach before aI nnouncing to the media.  In my opinion, citizens know more twitter and blogging than do players or coaches.  

The media can't be blamed and fans who spend money and feel part of the Longhorns should not as well.  The Longhorns make more money than any other school in college sports.  Most sports professional teams are not making money so, its easier for a fan of the longhrons to make sutre there qb is okay.

Personally, its important to look at facts and not take a computer and make opinions about players and come up with stories just to break in with a story. 

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: June 17, 2009 10:17 am

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

I have to agree that history has taught us that the responsibility for discretion is squarely on the reader.  Everything from organized campaigns like Hearst's quest to criminalize hemp to rush-to-judgement errors like "Dewey Defeats Truman" and NBC calling an election for Gore show us that being "professional" journalists does not ensure accuracy of information.  Frankly, by most definitions, Dodd works a lot harder than the average sports journalist, as he serves multiple roles at CBS.  He maintains relationships the way an old-fashioned beat man would, writes editorial opinion columns designed to engage arguments from jerks like us, and writes a blog which often breaks urgent news on top of it.  What I'm trying to point out is the irony of a man railing against bloggers IN HIS OWN BLOG!  It's just protectionist garbage, becuase if the unpaid bloggers (such as those CBS provides through Bleacher Report) become more popular than him, he's out of a job.

Dodd taps into one of the primal hate channels of the fan, and that's his arrogance that his connectedness to the game, his experience as a sportswriter, somehow makes his opinion more important than ours.  A major reason for blogger success is that their denial of access - to interviews, to press passes, to the locker room - breeds a humility that connects them to the common fan.  No sportswriter has perfect information, and while I wouldn't discredit the work that goes into building relationships with sources, knowing more information sooner does not acutally make one smarter than the fan.  Even Peter Gammons, the freakin patron saint of baseball writers, caught heck earlier this year from Le Anne Schreiber (the ESPN ombudsman) for not fulfilling his duties as a professional reporter back in February.  Simply put, bloggers often can't do the work of comfirming information from multiple sources, because they don't have multiple sources.  If they did, would they then magically become 'professional journalists'?

I, for one, happen to agree that rushing out inaccurate or incomplete information is a major problem with journalism today.  However, it's only by maintaining journalistic integrity that organizations like CBS are capable of keeping any separation from the blogosphere.

Since: May 27, 2009
Posted on: June 17, 2009 5:17 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: June 17, 2009 1:23 am

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

"That's why the media exists, to have an adversarial relationship with those in power."  
Tell me you didn't just write that with a straight face. You know you work for CBS....right?

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2009 10:43 pm

regarding professionalism

I'm not a frequent poster here, coming in mostly to check scores and maybe play a bit of fantasy football/basketball, but your definition of professionalism in journalism caught my eye. Professionalism ought never be defined by who is paid, and who is not paid; I know of many writers who are paid and yet conduct themselves in a completely unprofessional manner. I don't think Dave would agree with that definition, either; I think what Dave was trying to capture was the spirit of professionalism, rather than the outward evidences of professionalism. This is important because anyone can act professionally, and if people reading blogs had kept level heads, this issue would never have arisen.

I believe the real issue here is a lack of discretion, which I define as the ability to understand what is worth believing and what is worth spreading. Of course, most of the onus for discretion lies on the readers -- you make that point when you say that people have to understand the difference between gossip and fact -- and that also means that the content of your average Joe's blog shouldn't affect as many opinions as this one did. Gossip about Colt McCoy is obviously important enough to check before reapeating, and that's what should have happened here. This means that your heated words about average people blogging are unecessary, because their blogs aren't the problem.

Perhaps that's what I'm trying to say. You should see unpaid bloggers as being on your side, because they'll continue to blog come hell or high water. Media needs to respond by providing guaranteed sources of accurate information, and working to discover how they can help bloggers be as accurate as possible. In the end, that's all you can do to prevent messes like this one.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2009 10:23 pm

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

It's funny how people are letting their personal dislike of Dodd scramble their reasoning.  People passing themselves off as sportswriters, journalists, bloggers, whatever, that report rumors and made-up BS as facts are a problem.  No, not a problem on the level of North Korea threatening nuclear war - but in the sports world (which you care about, or you wouldn't be reading this in the first place), it's a problem.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2009 2:16 pm

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

The world needs all of those things. I never said sportswriters were the cure. But they do provide an important service. Without sportswriters, ESPN and Fox lose much of their ability to get news to you fast. That news matters to most people.

Your view of the world without sports is an impossible utopia. Humans aren't wired like that. They'd find another way to waste their time. As much as you don't like to admit it, the world needs quality sportswriters.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2009 12:25 pm

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

Just because dd has opinions that differ from yours or he said or wrote something you didn't/don't agree with doesn't make him a bad journalist. 

I'm sure these writers on this site LOVE the fact we can post our opinions, rants, and our two cents on these articles...

I personally think it's funny when these posters come on here and bash, bash, bash the writers, like they could do a better job.

Keep up the good work dd.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2009 11:47 am

Colt McCoy's (non-)broken leg

tee hee
The world needs more professional journalists.  Quite a statement from a guy that isn't considered a professional journalist by a lot of his own readers. 

Kinda like the fat old man baseball writers who shunned my sister when she was first breaking into the business.  She's a blogger all right.  A blogger with a Master's from Emerson, whose day job is editing baseball writers and running a publishing company.

I'm not sure it's even fair to consider CBS Sports as a professional news gathering organization; it seems likes it's primarily just wire stories mixed in with a handful of inflammatory columnists.  Basically a blog with added wire stories, I guess.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or