Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gee, FoxSport's John Czarnecki Had His Grossman - Griese Column Up Pretty Quick

Either John Czarnecki is a really fast typer or he had this article written awhile ago.

I've got a lot to say about the substance of John Czarnecki's article on Lovie Smith's decision to go with Griese over Grossman (that will come later), but the first thing I want to get at is how quickly he was able to put out what he wrote today.

While there is no fixed time for the leaking of the "report" that Griese is starting over Grossman this week, my best guess is that it hit the public wires (ESPN.com and the like) around 5:00pm. The earliest report I could find of the news on Google News is 5pm. While by at 3:30pm, the report wasn't leaked on the blogospher (Will Leitch of Deadspin.com posted a note about the need to make a change in Chicago, suggesting that he was unaware of the "report"). So it would seem that the news came out sometime around 4:30-5ishpm. John Czarnecki had his article up before 7pm. What that means is that Czarnecki caught wind of the news that Griese was starting, had an immediate opinion on the matter, wrote a column containing stats (a lot of stats), anecdotes and specific play references, got it to his editor and up on FoxSports.com in under 2 hours. I know we're in the information/internet/blogosphere age and all, but that seems WAY fast. My guess is that he had this thing written yesterday (or last week or last year with a few small tweaks) and saved it for the moment it would be useful.

Now I'm not saying there is necessarily anything wrong with this practice. In fact, as a practical matter it makes a ton of sense to write a column about a predictable event ahead of time so you can get your opinion out there before anyone else when it actually does happen (it's like writing a column today about the tragic drug overdose of Hannah Montana. It's inevitable and it's always good to be the first person out there on a topic.). I do, however, find it a little disingenuous that a reporter comes out in response to a story less than two hours after the first story hits the wires and plays it off as if he's responding to the story when clearly he has written this beforehand and is simply trying to capitalize on the breaking story in order to get his greater point across. Czarnecki's story is about how the Bears should have done more with their QB situation coming into the season and how Griese is not the answer. The headline suggests that Czarnecki was so fired up by the move that he ran over to his Commodore 64 and fired off an opinion piece just as fast as he could. And that's just not what happened. I'm on to you Czarnecki...

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