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Reporting on Dez Bryant Thing Is an Absolute Mess

Voila_Capture 2015-02-25_03-36-34_PM

There might very well be a video of Dez Bryant making a Will It Blend? video with a baby or something similarly heinous, but I’m skeptical. Either way, this is how rumors spiral out of control: This CBS Philly-WIP story, citing an extremely unsubstantiated “report” about Bryant from Terez Owens, is now the most up-voted result when you search “Dez Bryant” on Reddit, the second hottest Dez Bryant result of the day on the site, and currently sitting atop the /r/Eagles subreddit.

That’s CBS Philly, a decidedly mainstream outlet, with a name that instantly legitimizes anything it gives credence to, throwing the “report” tag on the “five times worse” line, which came from a rumor-mongering gossip site that once reported that Russell Wilson is gay, thus legitimizing the so-called report. And as I write this, Joey, who runs Terez, is on WIP with Josh Innes (who compared Terez Owens to us and Deadspin*) and Tony Bruno, and said he hasn’t seen the video, hasn’t seen a screenshot, but “heard from a buddy who is kind of an insider from that angle” that there’s a bad Dez Bryant video. “I peddle smut,” he said, before reiterating that he doesn’t actually know if there’s a video.

Maybe there is a video that is “five times worse” than the Ray Rice video, but that doesn’t excuse the media’s embarrassing handling of this.

*Bullshit. Imagine if I did all this with the Riley Cooper video without actually seeing it– people would’ve slaughtered me. 

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UPDATE: Eric Lindros Is Suing Former Referee Paul Stewart and The Huffington Post for Libel

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

FINALLY. After more than five years of doing this, I finally get to experience the joy that is blogging about Eric Lindros drama.

Lindros is suing former referee Paul Stewart and The Huffington Post over a column Stewart wrote for the website in which he made Lindros look like a – quote – “dickhead.” From TSN in Canada:

Eric Lindros has launched a $3 million defamation lawsuit against one-time NHL referee Paul Stewart and the Huffington Post, after Stewart wrote a column for the online news website that allegedly made the former Philadelphia Flyers star forward look like a “dickhead.”

In documents filed in an Ontario court, Lindros says his reputation has been sullied after Stewart wrote about his poor on-ice relationship with Lindros, which was capped by an incident when Lindros allegedly tore up posters he was asked by Stewart to autograph for a charity.

Lindros has asked a court to award him $2 million in general damages and another $1 million in aggravated damages. He has also asked the court for an injunction that would prevent Stewart, the Huffington Post, and its U.S. owner AOL, from continuing to publish Stewart’s allegedly defamatory statements.

[UPDATE: Tim Panaccio reports, on Twitter, that Lindros is suing Stewart and AOL for only $150k, not $3 million. I’d link to it, but Tim blocked me like a big baby and I can’t see his original Tweet. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.]

Here’s what Stewart wrote back in July: Continue reading

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Peter King Thinks the Redskins Will Kindly Step out of the Way so the Eagles Can Draft Mariota

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Though the NFL Draft is still months away, mock drafts are starting to spill out, start rumors, and give Kyle special feelings. In addition to Pat Kirwan’s mock from yesterday that had the Eagles moving up to the fourth pick to snag Marcus Mariota, Peter King’s mock was released today and he, too, has the birds soaring up to the number five spot to do the same.

King, of unfounded and incorrect rumors (and being a league mouthpiece), thinks the Eagles can swap their first and second rounders this year and their first and fourth rounders next year for the right to pick their new franchise quarterback.

It seems unlikely that the Redskins, currently slotted at the five spot, would swap picks to allow their division rival to fulfill their coach’s dream of drafting his football soulmate. To defend his theory against those claims, however, King compared it to basically the same situation from before. Yep, that one:

This has so many poetic points to it. The Eagles gave Donovan McNabb to Washington a few Easters ago; now Washington would be giving a longer-term quarterback, theoretically, to Chip Kelly. The Eagles coach would be reunited with the quarterback he recruited out of a Hawaii high school and helped make a star while both were at Oregon. It just feels right, though Howie Roseman will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving up so much draft capital for a player with some question marks.

For one, King believes Howie Roseman will even be in the room and that’s cute. Secondly, how dumping and aged and past-his-prime Donovan McNabb on the ‘Skins is anything like trading four high draft picks for a potential franchise star is beyond me. Supposedly Sal Pal will be on the radio again today to sling some more shit at the wall on this very topic. The draft is in 63 days.

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I Might Be Wrong, But This Dez Bryant Video Thing Sounds like a Bunch of BS

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So there are reports of a tape which shows Dez Bryant doing something five times worse than Ray Rice (killing a small child and eating it?). It’s Twitter’s rumor du jour. Actually, it’s the rumor du mois– it’s been going around for a few weeks now. Is it true? Maybe. Maybe not. As an Eagles fan, I kind of want it to be. As a human, I want it to all be just a big scam. Either way, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the “reports.”

The main one comes from uber-gossip-blog Terez Owens, which makes this site look like The Atlantic. When Mike Missanelli decries bloggers as being misinformed, irresponsible jackasses, he might as well be talking about Terez (who runs an entertaining site, but whom I’m guessing would admit to routinely throwing shit at walls based on barely-vetted tips, rumors and day-old gossip). Here’s what TO wrote:

The incriminating video of Dallas Cowboys superstar receiver Dez Bryant doing something supposedly Ray Rice worthy is being released today or tomorrow. According to our source, the Cowboys haven’t done a huge deal with Dez because of concern over the video. Unfortunately Bryant’s team won’t be able to stop the tape from getting out to the public. Of course Cowboys COO Stephen Jones denies knowledge of such a video. This is going to be a game changer for the Cowboys future. UPDATE: We’re being told the Cowboys have warned Dez the tape is going to be released, and from someone who has seen it, that it’s five times worse than the Ray Rice Video. His football career is in jeopardy according to our source. Also a Dez insider tells us he is being brainwashed by Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports.

Now, actual news outlets are running with that “report,” including the Seattle Sun Times and, predictably, CBS Philly. And Sean Brace, just now on the radio, blamed websites and blogs for fanning the flames because they have no one to answer to and it’s all about “page clicks”… meanwhile, they’ve spent the last 10 minutes talking about it on 97.5 and are bringing on someone from Dallas to discuss further.

Worse, Mike Florio, ostensibly a reporter, went on the radio in Dallas and said the tape is a big deal and everyone is talking about it… but he doesn’t know if it exists.

The media is so, so desirous for this to be an actual thing.

Further: Today, some hip hop producer (always reliable) tweeted the following [aggregated]: Continue reading

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Former Sixer Cut from his Philippines Team after Criticizing Manny Pacquiao

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

What happens when a player is waived by the Sixers? Sometimes they end up on another NBA team. Sometimes they pop down to the D-League. And sometimes they play in the Philippines in the same league as Manny Pacquiao. That was Daniel Orton’s path, and he did not like it.

Orton was signed as a free agent by the Sixers before the 2013-2014 season and waived before the All-Star break (as is tradition). After that he played in some summer league games, completed a season in China, and then landed with the Purefoods Star Hotshots(!) of the Philippine Basketball Association. Another team in the PBA, the Kia Carnival(!!!), features player-coach Manny Pacquiao. Orton thought this was ridiculous.

Last week, Orton called Pacquiao’s basketball playing a joke, and said:

“Professional boxer? Yeah. Congressman? All right. But professional basketball player? Seriously? It’s a joke.”

As it turns out, criticizing native son Pacquiao is a thoughtcrime in the Philippines. Orton was fined $5,650 for his comments and cut from Purefoods. “Everyone is angry at him,” the team’s top administrator said. “It is like he went to the United States and insulted the name of Martin Luther King.”

The only difference is MLK never played pro ball, and he didn’t average .25 points per game over his first four games. Also, the whole civil rights thing. But yeah, tomato-tomahto.

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Marcus Hayes Wrote Some Drivel Today

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1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 4, 2, 1, 1, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 4, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1.

Do you know what that sequence of numbers represents?

No, it’s not the transcript of an interview with The Count.

Nor is it the final thought of a dying Speak & Spell.

Nope.

Those are the sentence-per-paragraph counts from Marcus Hayes’ latest Daily News column.

Hayes, a leading columnist(?) for a big boy publication, wrote a ~1,000-word article that contained only three – 3! – paragraphs longer than three sentences in length. Unofficially, there were 29 one-sentence paragraphs.

That’s bad.

Laughable even.

I doubt it makes many teams sweat.

Any team, for that matter.

How can one sweat from reading such rudimentary prose?

Anyway, as you might have guessed, Hayes’ piece is another hit on Sam Hinkie, who has a philosophy, not a plan, according to Hayes.

It’s mostly drivel, so I won’t waste my time grammatically crinkling it up and tossing it into the digital wastebasket of the interwebs. But, let’s dumpster-dive for a few rare gems of opinionated blabble.

Dismissing Hinkie and his newfangled analytics:

But it is anything but a multifaceted “Plan” with mind-addling complexities suited only for analytics conventioneers.

The Philosophy is simple.

Hinkie and his front-office brain trust, of which Brown clearly is not a member, compile draft picks to acquire as many young, talented and cheap Assets as possible. They nurture them in their analytics-fueled playing style.

 

Contradictions on Embiid:

Embiid is a 7-footer with freakish athleticism. He is a once-a-decade talent. Embiid also spent his formative years playing volleyball. His practical experience includes two full seasons of high school basketball and 4 months as a part-time player at Kansas. He will need half-a-decade to realize his potential.

Embiid has shown competence at nothing except gaining weight and cleverly tweeting.

 

And on Noel (try not to get whiplash here):

The Sixers simply delayed their Point Guard Development Program to match the painfully slow metamorphosis of Nerlens Noel and Embiid.

Noel is an off-the-charts ballhound . . . who has shown almost no competence in a halfcourt offense, but that was expected.

 

On MCW:

MCW is a good player; surely, he cannot wait to display that tonight, when the Sixers visit him in Milwaukee. He has boundless potential. Anyone with his talent can improve; incredibly, his talent is being maliciously devalued. Carter-Williams is worth as much as any player the pick is likely to bring.

[Jim, mocking Hayes:  Embiid sucks. Noel sucks. MCW IS SO TALENTED.]

 

And yet, he continually pointed out that it was a good trade:

It makes no sense for MCW, 1 year from NBA competence, to wait 5 years for the franchise player to develop. Most NBA careers don’t even last half a decade. After losing, say, 240 games in his first four seasons, Carter-Williams surely would be willing to do anything to escape Lottery Pick Purgatory.

Having him waste good years in Philadelphia would have been foolish. A reigning rookie of the year with excellent size, fine offensive instincts and the ability to finish at the rim, MCW never will have greater trade value than the protected pick the Sixers got from the Lakers.

Considering the Philosophy, this was a splendid trade.

Lost in this iambic pentameter of shit is some legitimate skepticism born from first-hand observation (it’s almost like Hayes is a real columnist!).

Hayes wonders whether Brown will become discouraged by watching the fruits of his labor be enjoyed elsewhere.

A real concern.

He thinks the Sixers, and the champions of their “philosophy,” were wrong to tout MCW’s physical gifts and then sit idly by as a whisper campaign smeared the young point guard’s skill set.

A fair point.

And he wonders if continually kicking the can down the road is a dangerous, high-risk strategy that could horrifically backfire.

Me too.

But all these points fall on blind eyes because his anti-analytics, anti-Hinkie, anti-progress bias is so grotesquely one-sided that it’s nearly impossible to separate the legitimate concerns from the lazy, space-filling poop that emits from his fat fingers. Plop, plop…

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… fizz.

Horrific Daily News signage photos courtesy of (@phillygirl1985)

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I Have No Idea How to Feel about This NFL Mock Draft, But I Think I Felt Something Move

Mariota

Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports, mock draft:

4. Philadelphia Eagles — Oregon QB Marcus Mariota: The Eagles come up for Marcus Mariota and send their first-round pick this year and next year plus RB LeSean McCoy to the Raiders. McCoy has three years left on his contract and the Raiders have plenty of cap space to absorb the contract. If the Eagles have to throw in another player or later round pick to close the deal they should do it. Maybe they recoup some of the compensation by trading Nick Foles. Cleveland and the Jets should be interested in Foles.

That sound you hear is Howie Roseman gasping for air… from the mail room, where he’s affixing labels to stationary re-orders that the temperamental fax machine wouldn’t process.

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Angelo Cataldi: Won’t Sam Hinkie Think of the Children?

"Sigh."

“Sigh.”

One time just wasn’t enough. So Angelo Cataldi once again dedicated his Philly Voice column to decrying Sam Hinkie and his “plan” or “process” or whatever you want to call it. This time, he took the same point of view that weirdos do when they try to ban curse words in music and boobs on TV: Won’t anyone think of the children?

The little boy with a Michael Carter-Williams jersey will never understand why his favorite player is not a Sixer anymore. How are we supposed to explain to a child what “optionality” is?

Hand him a fucking dictionary. Or, trust that your kid is smart enough to understand this: Michael Carter-Williams was good, but he wasn’t great, and the Sixers are trying to build something great. They saw an opportunity to turn MCW — and his inflated value — into something great. They took it.

But Cataldi continues, misunderstanding even more. “Analytics is theoretical,” he says. “Real life is not.” If anything (and I am honestly so tired of defending analytics against people who just don’t get it and won’t even try), analytics are real life. They are the analysis of statistics for things that actually happened. They do not predict the future or attempt to do so. They analyze what has already happened. These “real life” things like grit and work ethic and potential are, in reality, much more theoretical. Cataldi is basically saying pay not attention to the stats behind the curtain, instead let gut instinct or emotion rule how you run a sports team.

Cataldi complains that Hinkie doesn’t know who he’ll draft this year because he “doesn’t know where he will pick in the lottery this year.” Congratulations, Angelo, you understand what a draft lottery is. Welcome to the NBA. But it all comes back to the children, right?

The father of the little boy with a Michael Carter-Williams jersey called my WIP radio show last Friday. He doesn’t understand at all what Sam Hinkie is trying to do.

“What do I tell my son?” he asked me. “What am I supposed to do now?”

What are you supposed to do now? Tell your son MCW was traded and that shit happens.

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