Monday, June 22, 2009

Unnamed Source Says: Ed Werder Is Still a Douchebag

I cited a source, so it must be true, right?

We have a back log here on, and I apologize. I'll save the excuses, because there really aren't any. However, I can tell you that there will definitely be more activity here over the next couple of weeks.

And with people like ESPN's Ed Werder on the loose, there should be plenty of things to discuss.

I'm sure you've heard about the latest Werder fiasco involving some obscure, Canadian Football League draftee named Brett Favre. In case you have been blissfully unaware, Favre may again come out of retirement (which he's never really entered, I suppose) to play for the Minnesota Vikings. Favre has had some arm/shoulder trouble, and really the only thing stopping him from declaring a return is that he wants to make sure he's healthy enough to play.

Of course, the sports media world has been eager to engage in FavreWatch 2009: A Sequel to FavreWatch 2008! ESPN, which has never been known to over-hype anything, has led the charge and sent Dallas Cowboys team mascot Ed Werder to cover the Favre saga.

A couple of weeks ago, Werder--using two unnamed sources--reported that the Vikings and head coach Brad Childress had given Favre a deadline of the beginning of the team's OTAs to report or the Vikings would "move on." Favre did not show up to the team's OTAs. Also, Childress said on a sports radio talk show (on KFAN-AM in Minneapolis) that the team never gave Favre a deadline. Werder's reaction to that was to call Childress a liar.

Next, Favre appeared on the first episode of HBO's Joe Buck Live last Monday night, during which Favre said that the Vikings did not give him a deadline. Werder's reaction? Favre is a lair, too!

Werder's justification is that a) Childress doesn't want to admit to imposing a deadline because it would cause divisiveness in the locker room (?) and b) Favre didn't want to say that Childress had imposed a deadline because he didn't want to call Childress a liar. In other words, whenever his story is shown to be wrong, Werder just makes excuses and rationalizations by saying that everyone is lying, with the exception of his unnamed sources.

Here's the deal: you don't get to call everyone involved with a story a liar if you have no proof of it. And, unnamed sources DO NOT count as "proof." In one of the video stories, Werder laughably says that his sources have been "very reliable about this story."

Really? Here's a list of facts Werder has gotten right about this story:

1. A trainer for the Vikings went down to Mississippi to check on Favre's arm and suggest rehabilitation exercises.
2. Favre used to play for the Jets and the Packers, which most people older than 4 already know.
3. Werder's network is indeed called "ESPN."

Here's a list of things Werder has gotten wrong:

1. Vikings Coach Brad Childress imposed a deadline on Favre making a decision (Childress, Favre, and Favre's agent deny this)
2. The Vikings arranged for Favre's surgery (according to Favre, the first time the Vikings were directly involved was when the trainer came to Mississippi to check on his progress)
3. Werder's sources actually exist
4. Favre won an Academy Award for his performance in There's Something About Mary (although Favre deserved the Oscar by many accounts, it went to James Coburn for Affliction in perhaps the tightest race in Academy Award history)
5. Minnesota Coach Brad Childress REALLY IS Gerald McRaney (I know it's been done, but I had to go with the obvious)

(Points #4 and #5 may have been made up by me)

ESPN's reporters clearly don't care if their stories are right or not--they just run the stories with absolutely no accountability from the network. Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen are openly mocked by players, coaches, and media critics (like us) for not being accurate, yet ESPN does nothing to make its reporters more accountable.

Someday--and I hope I'm around to see it--someone will call ESPN out on this horseshit and sue the network for a million-zillion-gagoogly dollars. Perhaps then, when it affects its bottom line, will ESPN care about the integrity of its reporters.

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