Jason LaCanfora penned an article for CBS Sports earlier today condemning the Eagles for their “meandering and bizarre” coaching search, which he claims falls almost solely at the feet of young GM Howie Roseman.
Setting aside whether or not LaCanfora is right or wrong about the coaching search, because I don’t have access to the inner workings of any NFL teams or league insiders, I want to take a quick look at his article and how it pertains to, and really is illustrative of, the changing coverage of sports in the media and the ever changing national perception of people like Howie Roseman.
Firstly, this whole issue of the media and reporting is so interesting because we, and thus the concerns surrounding it, are constantly changing, making it difficult to really nail down the point of contagion for shifts we see in cultural constructions like journalism and news.
I personally would point to inventions like blogs and Twitter which have made it so that people expect constant, up to the second updates, leading to otherwise (hopefully) credible and reliable journalists falling into the habit of reporting as fast and furiously as possible without giving much, if any, concern to credible sources or, most hilariously of all, whether they’re even right or wrong.
Indeed, it seems like being right has been trumped by being first. Which could start a whole other conversation about the collective state of mind here in our beautiful country, but I digress.
Where LaCanfora’s article really falls massively short, is that it reeks of personal dislike and conjecture. He doesn’t name a single source. He writes with a surprisingly strong sense of certainty that none of the so-called “information” in the article seems to support. He ignores the fact that there have been no definitive reports of the Eagles making offers to any of the 3 college coaches they interviewed.
Howie may very well turn out to be a terrible GM. It’s entirely possible and every and all Eagles fans should, moving forward, operate under extremely cautious optimism.
But to rip the Eagles so fully for their “meandering” coaching search, but not the Bears or even the Jets for their “Couldn’t give it away for a million dollars” GM search is ludicrous. It’s telling only a portion of the story, cherry picking what he deems important while infusing his own opinion too fully into the piece, and as a journalist that’s pretty darn irresponsible (Ok I know it’s just football, but short sightedness is frustrating).
Especially considering, and I think this is really, really important, Howie is new to his position and/or power. The NFL is always evolving, but the guys at the top don’t change. Nepotism and the need for a certain amount of comfort with and knowledge of a guy, especially one you’re going to work with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, have made the league a place where who you know trumps what you know a lot of the time (I know this is true everywhere, but not nearly to the extent that it is in the NFL, where family members are constantly, unabashedly and often undeservingly working their way up the chain of command).
So, a lack of familiarity with Howie is immediately seen as a negative. Basically, you’re no one til you’re someone. And it sure seems from the outside looking in that this is driven by nothing more than Howie being the new kid on the block trying to establish himself, and probably, accidentally or otherwise, stepping on a few toes along the way.
Like the draft, we really won’t know one way or other for a few seasons at least. So, let’s cut Howie and the guys a break, and judge them by their eventual track record. Here’s hoping LaCanfora and his “sources” (Or lack thereof) can do the same.