Once upon a time on a slow slow news day ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski (Gene W because I can’t type that again) decided to suggest that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could do something historic this upcoming off-season. He suggested that the three of them split the New York Knicks’ estimated $33 million in salary cap space to create a mega-superstar-triumvirate dynastic superteam in NYC. When there is no actual news, ESPN sometimes likes to create some with an opinion piece plastered right on the center of the front page. And I guess it isn’t that bad of an idea because I am sitting here typing about it as we speak. So, when and how does this involve Adam Schefter?
It all started kind of innocently with ESPN’s NFL Insider. He retweeted a post by Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell1) that said,
“N.Y.’s gearing up for LeBron. RT @darrenrovell1: Knicks 2010/11 tickets went on presale last Thursday. Sold a record 770 so far.”
As you might guess, that opened up the floodgates of Clevelanders who had probably already gotten riled up by Gene W’s piece on the ESPN front page. Shortly after the LeBron comment, Schefter followed it up by saying:
“Some VERY sensitive people when it comes to LeBron. RT @ToddCHartman: GET A LIFE! LEBRON IS NOT LEAVING CLEVELAND.”
And then the floodgates REALLY flew open.
WFNY’s own Scott isn’t big for arguing on the Internet. I call him a sniper because he gets in a shot and disappears to find another hiding spot so you won’t be able to see his muzzle flash from the same spot twice. Scott said,
“And your employer is to blame… RT @Adam_Schefter Some VERY sensitive people when it comes to LeBron.”
Believe me when I tell you that was one of the mild comments. Cleveland Blogger The Kardiac Kid was leading the charge mostly after Schefter called him out.
Shefter posted the following:
RT @TheKardiacKid: Stick to NFL, idiot. … When I asked Magic where LeBron was signing, he predicted to me NY. Guess he’s an idiot, too.
Then the real barrage began…
@Adam_Schefter Do you go to Emmitt Smith for your NFL free agency tips?
@Adam_Schefter is to NBA news as … a totally uninformed and irrelevant voice is to NBA news.
I don’t ask the mailman to fix my carburetor, and I don’t ask @Adam_Schefter to tell me about LeBron’s free agency.
Credit to Schefter for being good natured in the end.
RT @mike_toback: hey nba insider, what are you hearing about Wade? … Lemme work my NBA contacts and get back to you on that.
Of course these are just the family friendly tweets by people like The Kardiac Kid who don’t have potty mouths. Trust me when I tell you it gets a lot worse.
Of course, this is a look into the state of sports news, journalism, the Internet and fans / consumers. ESPN has to be feeling a bit like Microsoft in the late 90′s at this point. They are taking a beating partly because they deserve it and partly because it comes with the territory of being the biggest organization around. They make some mistakes and should own up to them, but they also get painted with an evil paintbrush they don’t always deserve. And maybe as Cleveland fans we are just a bit too sensitive and should know better. Still it is really hard to not take it personally when we are faced with articles by Gene W and TV coverage like what occurred when ESPN had the Cavs vs. Knicks game earlier this season.