Flyers Beat Writers Miss Important Press Conference, Lodge Poolside Complaint

pic from June

pic from June

A powder keg is brewing amongst Flyers scriptuals. It has been for some time now.

As you are undoubtedly aware if you read this site often enough, many Flyers beat writers are among the laziest, most unimaginative and out-of-touch in the business. Really, if there’s a better example of why old school media is dying, I haven’t found it. From hilariously misunderstanding social media, to lazily tweeting game notes from a Canadian dinner party, to complaining about me, the core group of Flyers beat writers – Tim Panaccio, Sam Carchidi, Rob Parent, Randy Miller and Dave Isaac – are making themselves look bad at every turn. It’s become my favorite sports story of the year.

And what’s more fun is when ineptitude and misguided group-think combine with irony and pure disdain for a peer.

According to a Flyers source: Yesterday, The Core Four, as I will now call them, had a flight from Ft. Lauderdale (Miami area), where the Flyers played on Monday night, to Tampa, where they will play tonight (Wednesday). Southwest 913 was scheduled for a 10:35 a.m. departure and an 11:40 a.m. arrival. I’ve flown this route, on Southwest (with the worst turbulence I’ve ever encountered– I thought I was going to die), and can tell you that it’s not that long of a flight. It’s more like 45 minutes in the air, tops. But still, one shouldn’t expect to be at the gate with luggage in-hand until at least the arrival time.

The Flyers typically practice and have media availability sometime between 10 a.m. and noon on non-gamedays. Yesterday, their practice had been scheduled for a later 1 p.m. start time and Vincent Lecavalier, who is returning to Tampa for the first time, was to speak with the local media at noon, meaning that it would’ve been damn near impossible for The Core Four to make it, seeing as though they would’ve been on a plane as little as 20 minutes earlier.

At the last moment, things got moved up an hour– practice at noon, Vinny at 11. Obviously, The Core Four missed both. Their flight wound up arriving late (surprise!), at 12:19 p.m., right around when the story of the day, Vinny himself, was finishing up with the media.

What to do?

The only Philadelphia-based reporters who actually made it were Frank Seravalli, Wayne Fish, and Anthony SanFilippo, the Flyers’ team reporter. Seravalli and SanFilippo caught an earlier flight, and Fish, impressively, drove across Florida overnight (did I ever tell you I’m glad I’m not a beat writer?). They had the upper-hand on The Core Four, who, because they booked convenient flights over the summer, were forced to request audio of the press conference from the Flyers. Seravalli protested, the source said, claiming that they shouldn’t be given the courtesy since he and other members of press went the extra mile to get there in time. The Daily News doesn’t print on Thursday, so Seravalli literally only flew to Tampa to speak to Lecavalier. He’s not covering the game tonight.

I’ll be the first to tell you that, unless a specific question needs to be asked, transcriptions of a press conference will do, and that the cost-benefit of flying to a lone press conference doesn’t make the most business sense. But I can totally understand why someone who made the effort to get there would be pissed to find out that his or her work was mostly for naught and that the competitive advantage was lost.

The Core Four seemingly hates Seravalli. As we discussed yesterday, they believe if they all stick together, all share the same quotes, all bring you the exact same story, that all of their jobs will be safe. It’s a self-preservation thing, me thinks, more than a good journalism thing. It’s why the Flyers beat group may be the worst in sports.

Needless to say, they were outraged when they found out that someone who made it to Tampa successfully protested (at least temporarily) and convinced the Flyers’ PR staff to not spoon-feed them the audio so they can have their story for the day. The irony, of course, is thick, meaty and delicious, because this is the same group that gets so outraged when the Flyers release information directly to fans or, say, bloggers. They hate that sort of thing, dagnabbit! Journalism is under fire, right Dave?

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The Core Four, who never made it to the Flyers’ practice yesterday, headed straight to their Tampa hotel… where they held an unofficial meeting of the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. By the pool. That’s where they lodged some sort of official or unofficial (doesn’t matter, because everyone was laughing at them) complaint with the Flyers. And it’s also where they called Seravalli, cursed him out for being unethical and immature by breaking free from the ranks to, I don’t know, get an original story or something.

Let me repeat that: THE CORE FOUR TOOK A LATE FLIGHT, MISSED AN IMPORTANT PRESS CONFERENCE, HEADED TO THEIR HOTEL POOL, AND CALLED THE FLYERS AND SERAVALLI TO BITCH ABOUT NOT BEING GIVEN THE AUDIO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

They eventually got the transcription, and in reading their stories today, you’d almost think they were actually in Tampa, talking to Vinny.

[All of these articles came with the dateline “TAMPA, Fla.” “A hotel pool somewhere in downtown Tampa, Fla.” just doesn’t come with the same legitimacy, I guess.]

Carchidi:

A hero and captain with Tampa Bay, Lecavalier and the Flyers (10-11-2) will face the Lightning (15-8-1) Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.”

One of the first things I looked at when we got the schedule this year was, ‘When do we go to Tampa?’ ” Lecavalier told reporters before the Flyers’ practice on Tuesday. “It’s definitely going to be very weird . . . to actually play against the Lightning. It’s going to be a special night and I’m really excited about it.”

Told reporters is a little trick reporters use when they miss something or don’t obtain the quotes directly from a peer.

Panaccio: Well, he just posted a transcript of the press conference. That was his workday yesterday.

Isaac– to his credit, he mostly avoided writing about the press conference he didn’t attend:

Although he made financial contributions prior, Lecavalier officially launched the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation in December 2005 to benefit local children’s hospitals and juvenile cancer patients. In 2007, he pledged $3 million to build the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children’s Hospital.

“I got an email yesterday saying one of the girls is another year away from remission,” Lecavalier told reporters. “It’s nice to still get news, even though I’m in Philly, to get news that kids battle through so many things.”

And Parent, the most egregious offender, who – ballsily – SET THE SCENE FOR THE PRESS CONFERENCE HE WASN’T AT:

The press conference was running long Tuesday, Vinny Lecavalier saying many of the same things he’d said the previous day in South Florida about returning to his longtime adopted home by the Bay, and speculating on what it would be like going on the ice Wednesday night to face his old Lightning team.

It was about then that a question about Lecavalier’s ongoing charitable efforts in the area came up, focusing not only on his foundation but the institution that one day should serve as his legacy.

Gross.

This is why I pick on those guys all the time. None of them want to get, or care about getting, an exclusive or unique story. They travel in a pack (literally), write the same things, tweet the same things, use the same quotes, and, basically, just do their best to maintain the status quo. They hate blogs (obvi) and they hate those like Seravalli who show just the slightest bit of initiative to go the extra mile and do something… different. They’re like the anti-journalists. And it wouldn’t be so damn fun to point out their faults if they weren’t the same ridiculous group of beings who act all righteous when the Flyers dare to cut out the middleman and give commodity news bits directly to fans and readers because reporters are too busy circle-jerking each other poolside.

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31 Responses

  1. This is fantastic. The takedown to end all takedowns. They’re the Roman Empire of beat writers. Their descent is slow, but boy oh boy the blaze of glory is spectacular.

  2. can you jusxtapose these guys ineptitude with the awesomeness of sarah baicker? i could see this evolve into a baicker focused series where we all wonder if she and dan mcquade dated because i think they did. and then that coco mo girl who hates you for posting her tweets will get all mad because she LITERALLY HATES everything about baicker. plus those two used to interact when sarah would hear about it and then tweet back.

  3. I love this story except for the part where Seravalli gets a little credit for actually doing something. He is just as awful as the rest of them.

  4. I used to be happy and proud for Dave Isaac, since I went to middle school with him and he’s always been a huge Flyers nut. But he just acts like such a doofus with this stuff – he’s barely 27 (if that) and he’s shocked by how new media like Instagram and Twitter are used. Dave may have written better stories about the Flyers for the Wissahickon Middle School newspaper in 7th and 8th grade.

  5. Kyle most of your hockey analysis is asinine, but here you are right on. In fact the only analysis of hockey worse than your own is Panotch’s. Credit where credit is due.

  6. “It’s a self-preservation thing, ‘me thinks’, more than a good journalism thing.” I think you meant to say “I thinks”, Kyle. Before you lecture journalists, you should at least learn the English language.

  7. as bad as all the primadonna stuff with Carter, Richards, dry island bullshit was, I always wondered if a lot of it was made worse by these idiots.

    it’s a shame that people who seem in touch and to care like Bill meltzer are stuck writing for Hockeybuzz and these guys churn out the same story every day. following them on twitter is a joke, the same info posted in slightly different phrasing within minutes of each other.

  8. I don’t know anything about this Philly drama, but if these clowns were responsible for the relentless hounding of Carter and Richards which led them to be Kings, I thank the douches!!

    1. they were not the only reason. but the four of them in particular were relentless in nuking Richards and Carter when they were here. a lot of it due to Richards not being super forthcoming with them etc.

      1. Not really… just two of them – Carchidi and Pinnochio.

        SanFlippo was at Delco then and Gormley was in NJ. Parent and Isaac weren’t covering those guys.

        However, I remember SanFlippo and Gormley kinda got along with those guys, but I could be wrong.

        Regardless, your point is mostly right, and yes, these guys are the worst collection of beat reporters in sports history.

      2. http://mobile.philly.com/blogs/?wss=/philly/blogs/inqflyersreport/&id=81942232

        Just Google mike Richards Sam carchidi and you’ll find a garage full of articles on this whole dynamic. Sam Carchidi looks like a boring guy who doesn’t understand how us youngins like to spend our time on the weekends and it isnt his job to police the youth of Philadelphia sports. If the young guys want to go around and mingle with the ladies of center city, that is their right. Is he naive enough to think this doesn’t happen elsewhere? Sorry Sam, but these guys shouldnt be subjected to the boring south jersey couch potatoe life you live. Richards was 100% right in his comments to the hockey news (which sam should realize is a real outlet for actual journalism/insight into hockey).

        I can’t wait for these flyers beat writers who suck on the tit of Snider and the old-timers of the organization to be ousted.

  9. Just like the press in “The Right Stuff” with the locusts buzzing.
    All they do is build them up, then tear’em down.
    old school instigative reporting.

  10. CB is doing a public service by calling out these schmucks on the Flyers beat.

    They’re the worst kind of person in the world of sports jounalism. The lazy, entitled, self-importance they exude is embarrassing and unprofessional.

    The ‘Core 4’ think their voice is their credibility. The hockey fans of this market fully realize how shallow and gossip/drama angled their writing is.

    The CB reports confirm what we all think about these writers, and I for one hope other hockey/media outlets take notice to the point where their employers take much needed action.

    There are much more informative and thoughtful writers out there who realize they’re ‘not the story’ when dealing with the team, while offering a honest, analytical and sincere voice to their story.

    The ‘Core 4’ look for and approach conflict and adversity within the Flyers the same way daytime soap operas and reality tv do.

    For evidence, look no further than the years of Carter/Richards. For all their faults, those 2 did play hard for this city and their treatment by the local media in how they were portrayed was spiteful. The reporting had a tone of a insecure and vengeful highschool skirt. Cold hard math. Anyone with half a brain sees it.

    Fans and outlets like CB need to continue calling out these amateurs. Yes, they are no longer professionals in the current age of journalism and media.

    To the core 4, I say this, in the words of Bill Burr “GO FUCK YOURSELF”

    Sincerely,

    PhillyLaFleur and the hockey fans of Philadelphia.

  11. How do these guys collect a paycheck? They break no stories just regurgitate press notes! I will NEVER buy one of their papers again…thank god Kyle exposes these frauds…..Richards couldn’t stand Carchidi that was well documented….Sanfillipo used to be decent before he became part of the flyers PR staff….no wonder these guys have n nformation on potential trades etc…other than “Darren Dreiser of TSN reports Luke Schenn” etc etc….why do these guys get paid to go to Florida to NOT cover the team? They should all get fired…thank god Frank Seravalli and Wayne Fish actually care about their profession still….thanks to those two for caring about the readers

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