I initially "reported" this on the sports blog ArmchairGM.com ...
For me ... life isn't all just wrestling.
I've been a die-hard Tampa Bay Bucs fan since I was a tike.
Now, August 9, 2007 ... will be a sad day for many Bucs fans. Mike Alstott is going to retire. Like today around 2 p.m. Seriously.
Sure, it's been slightly talked about, not on ESPN of course, ... in terms of when Alstott would call it a career, but he did wonders in re-vamping the Bucs cream puff (and cream pop) image. He was s a bruiser that would not go down and was increasingly hard to tackle.
It's safe to say that as a Bucs fan, Alstott was my favorite player all-time. The Bucs have had our share of busts, but the years Alstott gave Bucs faithtful in the backfield were wonderous. And made it look, just for a second, the Bucs front office -- whoever they might be -- knew how to draft a player and develop them, rather than send them elsewhere to win a Super Bowl (Williams, Young, Dilfer ... Dilfer?)
While Chris Berman's schtick might wear thin, we never tired of "Boom, Boom, Boom," as the Purdue alum bowled over linebackers and safties alike.
So today Bucs fans, expect an announcement ... it came to me in a simple text message this morning ... damn. I was no longer a writer, I slunk back into fanland, explaining "we's and our's" while talking about the Bucs.
In terms of anonymity, my mole (source, friend, insider, whatever) simply said ... "You're the only real Bucs fan I know, so I figured I'd tell you first before you saw it on ESPN."
Thanks for the memories Mike!
Additional Note: (POST NEWS CONFERENCE)
Updated 2:43 p.m. EDT
While the information about Alstott's "retirement" was close to the situation, very close, it should be a lesson to all writers about the usage of sources and how credible they can be. Even the most credible can skew a perception into a fact. If I had gotten a text that said "Alstott on IR for the year" ... I wouldn't have eagerly jumped around the net to post the news -- nearly a half hour before the first blip on ESPN.com showed up.
But it wasn't 100 percent accurate. "Retirement" might not be much different in this case than a veteran on IR for the year -- they might be essentially the same thing. But sources and their context can sometimes make or break a story. Did Alstott retire? No, he didn't come out and say he was retiring, thus making my headline and the premise of my story factually inaccurate. However, instead of saying retirement, Alstott's going on IR for the year, more or less signaling an end to his career with a second neck injury (from NFL.com). So would a "Alstott on IR" headline gotten as much play as "Alstott to retire?" -- doubtful.
Even those of us that have been dealing with insider scoops for years get burned, but not because the event wasn't taking place and an announcement wasn't made, but the actual context plays a role in how it was reported. For all intensive purposes, he's retiring, but that's not what he said, and thus, makes this news break somewhat misleading.
No matter how long you're in the business, a good scoop can turn into a marginal one if things don't go the way you want the athlete to make them go. They're human beings and they can do what they want, not cater to the rants of writers and bloggers.
Am I disappointed that the scoop didn't lead to an official retirement announcement, because there's some egg on the face, but the source was there, source was internal, but the only thing missing was what we call the cliche --- straight from the horses mouth.