A soft-spoken podcast and an explosive rumor

The first weekend of fall was perfect for the Pac-12, but there was something silly that happened up in New England.

First up, your bite-sized and smooth-talking summary of stuff that actually occurred over the weekend:

For a conference that’s on its last legs, the Pac-12 got off to a running start as its teams went 12-0 over the weekend, and while that included plenty of patsies, not everyone went out and played Portland State. There were some pretty meaningful results starting with Colorado:

The silly stuff

On Monday, I saw a Twitter update from a guy named Dov Kleiman

The presentation struck me as odd as “Report:” is generally used to denote a hard news story. For instance:

Report: Devon Witherspoon back at practice for the Seahawks

It is not generally used to highlight another media member’s assessment of a situation. For instance, if someone like Mitch Levy believed the Seahawks should have chosen Jalen Carter out of Georgia instead of Witherspoon, and I decided to write a story about his opinion on this matter, I’m unlikely to use a headline like this:

Report: Seahawks goofed picking CB instead of 300-pound carnivore

Then there’s the matter of the scare quotes placed around the metaphors Breer used to describe Smith-Schuster’s knee. Now, it’s technically correct: Breer actually said that. There’s video of it and everything. Is it accurate, though?

It’s highly unlikely that Breer has seen any imaging of Schuster’s knee. It’s certain he did not graduate from medical school. What is most likely is that he’s relaying opinions and assessments he has heard from other people who work in and around the NFL on the health of this player. The assessment is more accurately an opinion as opposed to a fact, and while I don’t think Breer is wrong for offering it, I do believe it’s misleading to characterize it as a hard-news report.

Yet that’s exactly what happened. In multiple places as of Monday evening.

We can all recognize how silly this is, right? A guy who works on Sports Illustrated went on television and expressed concern about a player’s durability, saying his knee might explode, and then there’s a raft of stories — including one published online under the SI banner — that present this as some sort hard-news report.

For the record, Smith-Schuster told reporters that he did not feel his knee was a ticking time bomb, which is good for a number of reasons.

Join the conversation

or to participate.