UNFNole (now known as MNielson) inspired me with his rant on the NFL two days ago. No, this won't be an article blasting the NFL or the NFLPA where we discuss the group think, combined idiocy, and a perceived immortality of the sport, even though prior work stoppages have shown that damage is possible to the golden goose. I promise I won't touch on any of that, at least in this article.
Instead I want to talk about something else that probably bothers most people. As a Bucs fan and a football fan, I peruse various websites, newspapers, blogs and such for my information. As a fan, I rely on what I hear on ESPN, FOX, CBS etc and what I read on various sites like PFT, ESPN, and others. I'm only as good as the information I can find. As a writer, the same is true, with the difference being that often times I (and we as a staff) pen an article relying on the information out there. We formulate opinions and ideas based on what we know and often times use other articles or quotes (properly credited of course). It's the nature of the beast. As I don't have access to Raheem Morris or the locker room, I rely on those that do in order to bring you news. To bring you opinion, it's reasoned analysis along with an understanding of the game. At times we take leaps of faith. We speculate on what may have happened and I'd like to think that we are pretty clear as to when we do so.
So what brings on this little self-righteous rant? In perusing various unnamed websites/blogs, I'm amazed at the level of ill-informed nonsense being posted on blogs. And I'm not talking about the commenters of any site, but the main writers of these sites. Some have a fundamental lack of understanding as to how the game works, both on and off the field. I can honestly say that I read through the entire previous CBA, page for page. I'm certainly not an expert, but I'm able to opine on some things having read through it. If/when a new CBA comes out, I'll probably do the same. So while I'm not an expert, I feel I've done some research and can spit out somewhat intelligent opinions with reasonable basis in logic and fact. And I would put money on the research the rest of the staff does here. Again, we do speculate from time to time (and we clearly note it as such), but Sander, CraigT, MNielson and jardlg all do their homework before posting a factual article.
So as a reader, as a fan, when you're looking for information on your favorite team or sport, remember the source where you find your info. All sites are not created equal. Some are fantastic due to the amount of access they have. Some sites have great minds or great writers. Others just have a forum to post but have no real knowledge, access or insight and instead form half-baked opinions and portray them as fact.
I'll tell you that even though this is an unpaid gig for me, I take it seriously. I fact check every single thing I post, I research everything I post. Opinions are just that, but those are distinct from what we convey to you as being true, factual events. Remember that when you are looking for Bucs info. We don't just blast out misinformation as it happens, we actually do the legwork. Most sites do, unfortunately some don't.
I'm off the soapbox for now. We've just completed the first full week of the lockout and we're going nowhere fast. With the NFL and NFLPA fighting like two kids (Come to the draft rookies, no don't go to the draft rookies), it will take some swallowing of pride to get back in the same room right now.