A few days ago I posted an article lambasting the sports journalism world for what I felt were sensational and erroneous reports indicating it was inevitable that the Raiders would trade star defensive end Khalil Mack. There was no way that would happen, I thought. This is all bogus and reporters are using clickbait to pump up the hopes of various fanbases and make money. The article got a lot of attention.
And then the Raiders traded Khalil Mack. And it wouldn’t have mattered if he hadn’t been traded. I was still wrong to say the things I said about people who didn’t deserve it.
Like all of you, I was floored. And then I got a few hundred messages on Twitter ranging from “lol u” to “this didn’t age well” to “sometimes the high horse bucks you to the ground” to “delete your account”. Yesterday was the worst day of my career. I considered becoming a monk.
I deserve every message I got. The things I wrote were as inflammatory and extreme as any of the articles I attacked. And they were all right, and I was completely wrong and out of line. I let my emotions cloud my judgement, and that isn’t how the news works. If I’d been concerned with facts, I’d have noticed that there was a lot of smoke, and I’d convinced myself there was no fire.
I called out Eric Galko for no reason, for reporting that teams were asking about Mack. Well of course they were, he’s the best defensive player in football. We now know over half the league inquired about Mack. Why wouldn’t they? Denial is a hell of a drug.
A lot about how journalism works these days is screwy. But none of that should affect how I treat anyone else, or how I separate truth from fiction. Today I have to take my medicine and eat my crow, and apologize to those whom I offended with my hasty words. I was wrong.
From now on I’ll stick to reporting the truth instead of acting like an arrogant jerk, and I won’t judge those who do the same. With great power comes great responsibility and the media has a lot of power to shape the views of the public. I take responsibility for what I said, and I am hardly the arbiter of facts and truth.
I’ll keep doing my job here, and I’ll be back on Friday morning with the first Friday Foretelling of the 2018 season. And I’ll leave the predicting of the future to the Great Beyond. He’s much better at it than I am.