If ever you wanted to know how much the sports media of today has eschewed any journalistic standards, the announcement of Vince McMahon putting the XFL back in to our lives would be a fine case study.
No better example exists than what Sports Illustrated, of all places, decided to put out as factual surrounding the newly announced league and one certain former Heisman Trophy winner — Johnny Manziel.
It all started with McMahon being asked about the type of player the league was hoping to attract and him responding with this:
“You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL,” McMahon said. “So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
That statement would seemingly leave people like Manziel ineligible to play in the league, what with a criminal record and all.
But, SI decided to run with a story with this headline:
What would the reader get out of that headline if this was the first time they were reading about the XFL and Johnny Manziel? It certainly reads like a statement of fact that Manziel is somehow getting an exception to a rule.
Yet, that is the furthest thing from factual reporting, because there has been no formal rule and Manziel or no one else is being considered today as a member of the XFL.
So, how could Manziel be “not ruled out” of a league that only exists in the mind and on preliminary paperwork of Vince McMahon?
But, SI ran with the article as some sort of fact-based reporting because famed ESPN reporter (and I use that term loosely) Darren Rovell passed off his personal opinion as a hint of insider knowledge.
Clarification: Johnny Manziel has not been specifically ruled out of playing in the XFL at this time.
— Dan Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2018
Yes, a single tweet from a media member is now the gospel according to Sports Illustrated. Not a single statement by McMahon noting Manziel specifically with an exemption to his just created rule (note there is no rule book or player agreements for the XFL today) or any other source.
One thing Rovell did say is right — Manziel has not specifically been ruled of playing in the XFL…because literally NO ONE IN AMERICA has specifically been eliminated from playing the XFL at this time.
You know, because there are no teams, player contracts or real structure to a league that is two years from playing. So, technically speaking Manziel isn’t ruled out. But, with one single
But, somehow Rovell’s ridiculous standard was passed off as if Manziel was actually under consideration for the league and that he had inside information as to who would be targeted by the league.
SI outdid themselves salivating all over the former Cleveland Browns quarterback and the XFL a second time though. This time taking a trolling tweet of his and making it to something much larger. All Manziel did was tweet the following:
If you’re Sports Illustrated that means he’s got interest in the league and being a part of it. You know, because he’s also “not ruled out” of the league on day one of it’s existence on paper.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 25, 2018
But, the trick is even worse, because the article that you’re reading on Manziel comes with this as a “related article” on the top:
That link only then brings you right back to the article you’ve already been reading. Yay, double dipping! No seriously, it takes you the URL of the article linked above, which is: https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/25/johnny-manziel-xfl-not-eligible for both articles. Come on now…that’s just insulting.
While there have been many sad examples of click-bait journalism over the years, this one is particularly bad…and sad.
Sports Illustrated, do better. Seriously.
Clay Travis continues to use hearsay to troll Greg Schiano
Clay Travis isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind, and often times he’s one of the few in national sports media not afraid to speak truth to the prevailing narrative.
However, he isn’t above being wrong and on Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano he is exactly that – wrong.
Travis’ obsession with Schiano started about this time last year as his beloved Tennessee Volunteers (he wrote a book about them if you didn’t already know) were about to hire him as their next head coach. It continued on Tuesday morning as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s retirement and Ryan Day’s appointment as head coach were announced.
The claim by Travis and others was and is that Schiano knew about incidents of child rape involving then Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky back in the early 90’s and did nothing about it.
Travis presents the scenario as if it is established fact and therefore should disqualify him from ever being a head coach of a major college football program again.
But, what was really said in the now unsealed deposition? Well, it paints a vastly different picture than what Travis and his campaign to get Schiano out of the Vols head coaching search painted.
It’s something that Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt pointed out to Travis after he tried to defend his take earlier today.
Here is what the deposition actually says according to StateCollege.com:
In his deposition in the civil case, which was unsealed with hundreds of pages of documents in July 2016, McQueary said that in the mid-2000s, years after he reported it to Penn State officials, he told defensive coordinator Tom Bradley about the 2001 incident in which he says he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room shower. Bradley, McQueary said, told him he had heard a few similar reports, including one from Schiano in the early 90s.
McQueary claimed that he briefly discussed what he witnessed with Bradley, who had been on the Penn State staff since 1979 and succeeded Sandusky as defensive coordinator after the 1999 season.
“He said he knew of some things,” McQueary testified. “He said another assistant coach had come to him in the early 90s about a very similar situation to mine, and he said that he had — someone had come back to him as far back as the early 80s about seeing Jerry doing something with a boy.”
That’s certainly a different story than what Travis and his ilk would have you believe. If you listen to Travis on this subject you would be led to believe that what he is saying about Schiano is 100 percent fact…end of story.
Instead, the actual truth is that Schiano may have known something at one point in time way back in 1991 or anytime during his tenure in State College, but no one has been able to verify the claim made by McQueary — not even Tom Bradley himself verifies these claims.
In fact, Bradley has denied all knowledge of any acts by Sandusky from the very start. He released a statement through his attorney after the testimony became unsealed.
“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior. Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s. He has consistently testified as such,” the statement read. “Any assertions to the contrary are false. When he became aware of the 2001 incident it had already been reported to the University administration years earlier.”
So, Travis is willing to take the third party hearsay in a civil deposition as the gospel truth? He wasn’t about to back down this morning that’s for sure.
Call me confused, because this is also the same man who will scream to the heavens that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Where is the proof that Schiano knew and did nothing? There literally is none in existence that we or Travis or anyone else can dig up. The only people that really know are Bradley and Schiano themselves.
Travis is also in danger of being a massive hypocrite. Let’s remember this is also literally the same situation as current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through just a few months ago.
You know who went to bat for Kavanaugh?
You got it…Clay Travis.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it is someone who has a standard and doesn’t apply it equally.
Why would Travis not believe the Kavanaugh accusers, but believe McQueary? Both sets of people were under threat of either felony or perjury charges. Yet, only one set of these people were labeled a liar by Travis.
Oh, that’s right, Travis had an agenda to make sure the team he loves most doesn’t make a bad football hire. He would go to any lengths to make sure that happens and in this case it is continuing to smear a man with a case of third party hearsay.
He also owes Schiano and his family an apology for dragging his name through the mud based of of unsubstantiated claims. He’s wholly bent on wrecking a man’s life and reputation because he didn’t want his favorite team.
Even worse is that people wholly believe what Travis is selling has 100 percent fact and will repeat it ad nauseam. It’s how tall tales replace real facts across our culture and is very dangerous indeed.
Sports Illustrated uses Tim Green story to push CTE-ALS link as fact
Tim Green was once the backbone of an ever-underachieving Atlanta Falcons team in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. He then went on to become a massive success as a broadcaster, author of children’s books and as a businessman.
But, on Sunday night he also revealed a drastic change to his life, as he announced on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program that he was suffering from ALS — otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Sports Illustrated had a piece on this segment and how ALS and head-trauma from football players are linked.
It’s truly sad to see anyone suffer through this debilitating and eventually fatal disease. Yet, Green remains upbeat and considers what he’s been able to accomplish in his life as a blessing. That much he made clear in his interview with 60 Minutes.
But, for SI.com writer Jack Dickey, Green’s situation seemed a good time to remind everyone that CTE leads to ALS and there’s no question about it.
“Green, 54, is not the first ex-NFLer to develop the disease; the link between the violent game and the degenerative and fatal neurological condition, which causes sufferers to lose most control of their muscles and is diagnosed in two to three out of every 100,000 people annually, has grown somewhat clearer with time,” Dickey points out in his article.
The key words here are “somewhat clearer with time.”
The problem is, studies about CTE and ALS being linked haven’t actually made things any more clear. What has become clear is that people with CTE are seemingly more likely to get ALS than the general population as a whole.
That doesn’t mean the two are actually linked though. Commonality doesn’t equal causation necessarily and a basic biology class or science class in general has taught all of us that.
At least one would think that is the case.
The reality of the research on the issue is vastly different than the conclusion SI.com draws.
In reality, the link is a possibility at best. There simply isn’t enough available data or understanding of CTE or the link to ALS to make a definitive statement.
As raredr.com points out, the study clearly makes a potential link in the fact that about 5 percent of studied CTE cases have also demonstrated symptoms of ALS. But, most importantly, it emphasizes that the two may not actually be linked.
“Approximately 5% of CTE cases result in patients demonstrating the clinical or pathological characteristics of ALS, however, whether the 2 conditions are related has remained a mystery.”
It’s a number that is certainly higher than the average population as a whole. In fact, the study also points out that CTE has also been found in military veterans, who are twice as likely as non-veterans to be diagnosed with ALS.
Yet, Sports Illustrated has taken it a step further in not bothering to point out the actual conclusions of the study to date. Instead, they make that blanket statement made above and then continue on as if that statement is fact.
In fact, the rest of the article doesn’t even bother to mention the study in any factual way. There is no quoting of the study or any further discussion of the link that has been shown to date.
But, SI would have you believe this one paragraph and its conclusions are the only thing that could be possible.
It’s the exact opposite of what the study concludes:
Due to the high complexity of both diseases, more long-term studies are necessary for a full understanding of the connection. The recent analysis warrants a larger study of more people with CTE and CTE-ALS to confirm results, but continued studies could potentially uncover viable CTE-ALS biomarkers and therapeutic options.
Shame on Sports Illustrated for using Tim Green and his situation to promote half-truths and outright falsehoods within an article.
This is exactly how speculation and falsehoods become truth in the popular culture. After all, outlets like SI have become trusted sources of information and if they print it, it must be true.
It is on outlets like SI to give us the honest and unvarnished truth. Anything less than that is malfeasance.
What the Quod? A new era in sports media coverage
First off, for those of you that have come to grow with us at Beat The Coverage — a hearty thank you.
When I started this project my goal was to expose the truth of liberal and social justice bias in sports media and give a different voice on the biggest topics and stories coming out of the sports world.
It’s been a fun journey to date, but as the saying goes “if you aren’t changing, you’re dying.”
So today, we bring you a brand new name — The Quod.
What is The Quod? Well, for those of you that love dead languages, it’s Latin for because, which and fact. What better way to hammer home the point that facts are missing from the sports media world of today, than to put it right in the name?
It also brings up the idea of “The Quad” on your favorite college campus…also known as the area where protest, speech and gathering takes place.
Why the Change?
Well, as some of you likely know, there’s this website called Outkick The Coverage out there. What Clay Travis is doing there is amazing work, and it’s some of the stuff I am doing here on our little corner of the interwebs.
Frankly, considering the messaging, content and ideas behind our sites, it just felt too close to stand out on its own. Beat The Coverage was meant to stand on its own two feet…and today The Quod does just that!
There were months spent trying to come up with sports-driven names. White boards and brainstorming sessions with scribbled names. There were heated discussions and confused looks, not to mention great ideas that were blocked by domain ownership and social media concerns.
Seriously, you won’t believe how difficult it is to come up with a name that no one owns for a domain, let alone via social media.
All of it took place inside my home, as I ran things by my partner in life, my wife Lexi, and a few trusted friends in this business (believe it or not they can and do exist).
So, I want to take some time to thank Lexi for her endless support, her patience (even if she doesn’t think she has it) and most importantly for those rambling talk-through sessions as I wanted to make this change.
I may be the writing and speaking force behind this site, but she’s the one that makes life work at our house and that allows me to take time to do this project.
Thank you dear!
Back to the change at hand though…here at The Quod we continue to evolve our coverage of the Social Justice Sports Writer ( #SJSW) and bias within sports media in general. As we’ve established, the two kind of go hand in hand these days.
Our biggest weapon in the fight to keep sports honest? It’s always been facts. That won’t be changing any time soon. I am promising to double down the efforts to come at you with facts, whether that be laying out what they are on a topic or using them as an argument against a biased article or writer.
Facts, not political ideology or the prevailing mob of opinion will be our driving force. It always has been, but with this name change that’s even more clear.
So, welcome to The Quod — Where Sports Media bias meets fact.
I appreciate your support for what I’m doing here and thank you sincerely for spreading the word as we ramp up our growth! Keep on spreading the good word and giving me the feedback…it’s appreciated more than you know.