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Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Embarrassment from ESPN

It's probably a bad idea to bash potential employers in this economic climate for newspapers, but I can't help but be aghast at how irresponsible ESPN is on a routine basis. The latest is this headline from their "rumors" department: "Charlie Strong... as Coach of UGA."

When you click on the link, you're treated to yet another great headline: "Would Georgia Go After Strong?"

Boy, two headlines suggesting Mark Richt is on his way out and the Dawgs have clearly focused on landing Florida's excellent defensive coordinator.

Except here's what the actual "rumor" is:

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or in this case, raid them of their best assistant coach. Gene Frenette of Jacksonville.com has an interesting take on what could finally weaken the Florida Gators more than just Tim Tebow graduating. It would be the exit of D-Coordinator Charlie Strong.

The Gators have beefed up to become the best defense in the country under Strong, who is now a hot commodity in the head coach carousel. And, if all that fan grumbling of Mark Richt is true, one of the obvious suitors for Strong's services could be the Georgia Bulldogs.

Frenette writes, "If Georgia and everybody else in the Southeastern Conference is looking for a way to cut into Florida's league dominance of the past four seasons, maybe they should begin lobbying football programs with potential head coach openings to promote the most overlooked coordinator in the country." A Strong defense is just what could put an end to the Gator dominance of the Bulldogs and the rest of the SEC.

Not a word about Richt's job security other than there's "fan grumbling" and the only basis for any supposition about Strong comes from a hypothetical column in the Jacksonville paper that never so much as mentions Richt or Georgia beyond the quoted graph above which talks about lobbying OTHER schools to hire Strong.

All Gene Frenette writes in his column is that the best way to hurt Florida might be to make Strong a head coach elsewhere. After all, Strong certainly deserves a job. But at no point anywhere has anyone suggested anything about Strong coming to Georgia.

Look, I realize that in the age of the Internet, a rumor is as good as a story. But this isn't even a rumor. This is just ESPN downright making sh*t up.

I'm not a Georgia fan, so I'm not going to take the time to get angry about how ridiculous this is for the Bulldogs. I'll let you guys handle that. But as a journalist, this makes me sick to my stomach. ESPN is not some fly-by-night blog. They have editors, and whichever one wrote these headlines ought to be fired. They are an embarrassment to my profession.

13 comments:

DevildawgNC said...

Indeed. I'd say that's crazy enough to justify a post at 11:30pm from Jacksonville. There so many facebook status updates and tweets proclaiming attendees' drunkenness that a post decrying the poor journalistic standards of worldwide leader in sports is most welcome. But then, why did I come home tonight and decide I should check a blog before crawling in bed?

JasonC said...

Crap lead/tease.
However, I would love to see Strong end up at UVA, Illinois or Colorado or anywhere else (outside of the SEC) where they will they will need a HC after the season

gene said...

I would like to say I'm surprised that the wwl let this by the editor but sadly I am no more surprised by this than I am the usual claptrap they have to invent so they have something to say or write. With this offering ESPN has just blurred the line between them and Bleacher Report just a little bit more. As a Dawg fan of course I'm incensed by this crap. As a proud holder of a JRL degree from Grady I just died a little more inside.

Anonymous said...

I'm most upset about just finding out Hale is not a UGA fan.

Anonymous said...

So, Charlie Strong is going to coach at Georgia? Last week it was Kirby Smart.

Trey said...

I'm with you, David, that's pretty poor journalism. However, I think that this is only a small example of what's with people in your line of work these days. There is much more serious "rumor-reporting" going on with Obama's media.

Trey said...

and its disturbing you're not a Dawg fan.

Turd Ferguson said...

I actually kind of appreciate that David's not a Georgia fan. First, he's not (to my knowledge) a fan of any of our rivals, so I don't have to hate him. Second, we can get plenty of fans' opinions at other sites. And third, objectivity can be kind of refreshing. This is what journalism looks like when it hasn't sold completely out to the almighty dollar (see: ESPN).

Keep up the good work, David.

rbubp said...

Would you take a job with them, DH, if offered one?
Just sayin.' Seems like a lot of people have.

But, you know too, it is sports journalism. That's been claimed to be an oxymoron for a rather long time, though I think your work is exemplary journalism of any sort. And I'm not just blowing smoke--you do it the right way, and you probably know that.

But ESPN is the absolute power and that corrupts absolutely...in a land that was a good bit rogue before it had a Worldwide Leader.

Dawg Stephen said...

I totally agree David. No way that an article like this should even be written. just totally a bunch of crap like you said.

I have been reading long enough to know you are not a fan of UGA, and to be honest thats a good thing cause you do such a good job writing about the dawgs, we couldnt have your heart be SO biased as we sometimes can be. Keep up the good work.

Even though you arent a fan of the dawgs, I for one am a fan of you and your writing.

Harry the Platypus said...

Richt is in part responsible for this. He has let things slide for so long without doing the hard work necessary to maintain and improve the program, that he has invited sloppy speculation like this to occur. He's lost control of the narartive of this his program.

Sc-Hell said...

this morning on sports center they said
1. urban has never lost to Georgia
2. Georgia has lost the last 17 straight

Nothing suprises me from ESPN. other than David's hero "the Herd"

And David is a Eagles fan. i like the fact that he isnt a Ga fan. everytime i want cMR to be fired i read David's "rational" thoughts and i calm down.

So David, thanks ... and Go Vick!!

Texas said...

We're talking about the World Wide Evil, David. Nothing should surprise you at this point. No-talent ass clowns, the lot of them.