We all know this: criticizing the media is among Saints fans' favorite pastimes, especially in an offseason like this one. As the big Drew Brees contract (non-)story broke late last Wednesday and into Thursday morning, I had a good time keeping track of who was siding with who among the Legitimate Media™ [Credit: Wang], and I called it "Keeping Score." Now, I was just joking - but it got me thinking.
We debate endlessly on forums and comment threads as to who in the media is trustworthy to break Saints stories or predict games, and some are even willing to write legendary, comprehensive dissections of the biggest story of the year. But perhaps we should be keeping score. Let's settle the debate, once and for all (Yeah, right).
Follow the link for the scoring system breakdown, and my highly subjective and unscientific analysis of the players in last week's Drew Brees Buildup to Nothing.
We'll award one point per "breaking news" story, one point per prediction, one point per roster move, one point...well, you get the point. If they're right, they gain a point. If they're wrong, they lose a point. Everyone starts at zero.
In the first big story we'll score - and the most important one of the year, without a doubt - we have Jennifer Hale coming out of the gates first. Wednesday evening saw the message boards and discussion threads light up with anonymous commenters claiming to have "sources" and assuring us that big news was coming. Perhaps they were on to something - the same something that some of our local media was supposedly on to, as we would find out soon. Anyway, Hale caused twitter to explode shortly before midnight on Wednesday with these tweets:
@jklorlando33 I'm hearing Friday will be a very happy day for Who Dats:)— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) June 7, 2012
How quickly can Saints fans put together a parade? Say, by Friday? It might be a very happy day in Who Dat Land. #Saints— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) June 7, 2012
Let's get one thing out of the way right now: twitter counts. A lot of you are poo-pooing twitter and Facebook as not a source of legitimate news. That's because you obviously aren't a fan of twitter. Like it or not, everything breaks there first. Everything. The Drew Brees contract, when it actually happens, will be there first. If you catch a story on some media giant's website the very minute it publishes, five dozen of their followers on twitter still beat you. Jennifer Hale put this out on her public accounts, there is no doubt about what she is reporting, and it counts. She was first. And she was wrong. Sorry, Jen, you lose a point.
Kristian Garic was next, giving this statement early Thursday morning:
"As early as Friday morning... or at the latest by Monday," Garic said a contract could "very possibly" be signed.
He hemmed and hawed a little more, but made basically the same statement. Kristian Garic, you lose a point. A few others followed, but they were retweeting and regurgitating. Nobody here has time to track all that down, so they get a free pass.
(This would be the place where I'd normally take a few shots at the Times-Pic beat, because, well, that's what I do. That's why several of them have blocked me on twitter: I love to give them hell. Today's not the day, though, as most of you know. I've been at a big company that went through a huge downsizing. It's a crappy situation, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I was most junior in my field, and on the chopping block. I only survived because they spared our entire department. I sincerely wish the same for the Saints beat, and I hope to make fun of them again tomorrow. I hope you all keep the entire staff in your thoughts, and if you're so inclined, your prayers.)
Of course, the national media immediately put a damper on our enthusiasm:
In regards to a report that Drew Brees' deal could be done Monday, a person close to the talks texted ESPN's Ed Werder, "i highly doubt it."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2012
Schefter was obviously reporting Werder's take, so we'll give credit where it's due. One point for Werder.
I'm warning you now, Saints fans. This is about to get painful.
We have Florio chiming in next:
Per multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, a deal isn’t "very close." Could something happen in the next few days to break a logjam that has existed for months? Possibly, but highly unlikely. (There’s an example of the safe-harbor language. Still, if a deal is done by Monday, I will be flabbergasted, shocked, and perplexed.)
There's not much more we can say about this, is there? Point goes to Florio.
One last important naysayer, this time Mike Triplett at the Times-Picayune. First with a debunking of local reports...
Despite some optimistic local reports Thursday morning, there is no indication that a new contract between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints is imminent. Sources have disputed the idea that a deal could be done as early as Friday or Monday.
...and then, with the breaking news that Drew Brees had been offered a new deal. We don't really know what's going on behind the scenes other than what Triplett and others have told us, so no points will be awarded on that scoop yet. However, Trip gets a point for the adamant debunking.
Of course, readers of Canal Street Chronicles probably shouldn't be shocked that Triplett was on the mark. Right?
So this is the tally so far, with everyone not named currently at zero:
How does the scoring system look? Does it need tweaking? Who will come out on top in February? I look forward to your feedback.
Hey, you know what? Since this is subjective and unscientific already, let's up the stakes. Whoever is the first to break a real Brees signing gets a five-point bonus. I think the biggest story of the year is worth a commanding lead to start the season. Call it - I don't know - the Drew Brees Contract News Bounty.