Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sources Say

As the off-season NFL cycle comes to a close and national and local sports outlets look to bolster eyeballs on their sites, the inevitable stories appear; whether detailing Rick Pitino's abbreviated sexual exploits or reporting the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Lorenzen Wright's murder, the sports media are clinging to any story that offers the prospect of titillation, even if it means repeating stories over and over again with but mundane addendum to the stories.

It, thus, is no great surprise that, just weeks before the commencement of the NFL's 2010 pre-season, various outlets have opted to run with the story that Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Brett Favre is retiring. The source of the story of course is "sources"--the ubiquitous aid in all such downtime, need-a-story times.

Whether Favre actually retires, leaving Minnesota to make do with what almost certainly would become a half season of failure by Tavaris Jackson prior to the on-set of the Sage Rosenfels year, remains to be seen. And it is unlikely that Favre will do or say anything to dissuade the rumors currently circulating.

Unfortunately, however, in their zeal to obtain a story to fill what otherwise would be dead time, virtually every local and national sports reporter has opted to run with the story of Favre's retirement, despite the fact that not one single reporter has yet whittled down an actual source. When that is what you primarily do to obtain credibility in your profession, and when all reporters are anxious that they not miss the lead, the chasm between what once was regarded as proper journalism and what now routinely passes for sports reporting is approaching irreversible widths.

In short, if you believed, and hoped, that Favre would return for a 20th season in the NFL, there is no less reason to believe in such an eventuality today than there was yesterday. Or so sources say.

Up Next: Childress Through the Looking Glass

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