Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sports reporting and the blogosphere

So the Eagles seem to have gotten a pretty good receiver in Donte Stallworth. And for not much in return, either. How'd that happen?

Well, if you turn to the Philadelphia Inquirer, there's not much. "I guess he didn't show enough to merit him staying here," is how Saints receiver Joe Horn put it. That sounds like he's just as bewildered about the trade as you and I.

Stallworth had a history of injuries. Hm. He's had arthroscopic shoulder surgery that "prevented him from participating in off-season workouts." OK.

There's some obligatory "shocked" talk from traded Eagles' linebacker Simoneau and that's it. You're left knowing not much, other than Stallworth is a pretty good receiver who's had a few injuries. Maybe he wasn't the blockbuster performer that comes with being a first-round draft pick, but still...

Now turn to the Philly.com-sponsored blog "Early Word," and see what they find:

Stallworth was arrested in Miami in March and jailed after a traffic stop involving expired license plates. He resisted arrest and tried to drive off. How in the world did the Inquirer and Daily News miss that?

Stallworth, according to today's Times-Picayune, was an erratic performer:

But his talent was matched only by his inconsistency. He would alternate between 140-yard receiving games and zero-catch games, sometimes struggling with dropped balls and/or other mental errors. He was not a bad character guy -- in fact, he was one of the most well-liked teammates in the locker room -- but he was chastised on occasion by both coaching staffs for arriving late for meetings and was arrested in Miami during a traffic stop over the summer and was charged with resisting arrest and having expired automobile tags.

Good stuff, but to be, ahem, picayune, if March is "over the summer" why are there so few sunbathers in Bradley Beach when I go there? And I don't fault the Philly papers for missing that, obviously

Yet it wasn't too hard to find information about Stallworth's less-than-stellar track record. I found a post from Aug. 15 on the Times-Picayune's weblog that noted Stallworth might be on his way out of New Orleans, citing his "questionable work ethic."

All I did was Google "Stallworth trade draft."

As the proprietor of the blog, Peter Mucha, a headline writer for the Inquirer, put it about the reason for the trade:

One factor might be character issues hardly mentioned by these first reports.

Gee, you think? You really have to wonder what in the world is going on for reporters to have missed all that crucial information in their first-day stories on this trade. If you got the print version of the paper, you know very little. If you checked out the online version at philly.com (which, it should be noted, prominently features Mucha's findings), you know a hell of a lot more.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:42 AM

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