Friday, October 10, 2014

Off Topic: Guilt By Wikipedia

While its not about the Dolphins, or the NFL, it is about sport, and it does remind us we should be careful what we believe when we hear things...

Cautionary tale on using Wikipedia as a source of information -- or other journalists who use Wikipedia as a source.

http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/guilt-wikipedia-joe-streater-became-falsely-attached-boston-college-point-shaving-scandal.html

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Yes, caution - we all must be critical of what we read. To put it in context of a present day Miami Dolphins situation, we should be very careful about making judgments in the Derek Shelby case.

Something stinks about the whole thing... The photo of Shelby as a punching bag along with the "non violent resisting arrest" charge calls the whole thing into question. And no woman has stepped up to make charges for the alleged "inappropriate touching", which, if this even happened, sounds like it could be anything from making a failed pass to sexual assault (though if it was sexual assault you figured he would have been booked as such).

From all the information, it is clear that Shelby made some bad judgment in his choice and frequency of beverage during an off week. But is this really anything more than not leaving a bar when asked?

Things we know that Shelby didn't do related to this incident:
1. Drive while drunk.
2. Hit a man, woman, or child.
3. Kill a dog.
4. Kill someone.
5. Send a text message/tweet/email/registered letter indicating he would do any of the things above.

NFL players have continued to collect paychecks after being accused in the press of all the things on this list. Even players that have been formally charged, like Adrian Peterson and Ray McDonald.

I get why the team feels like they need to react this way. They realize public doesn't care whether or not the story of NFL player's malfeasance is true or not. The Dolphins want a clean image. They don't want to look like idiots from a PR perspective like the 49ers: http://time.com/3328059/the-49ers-debacle-proves-the-nfl-still-doesnt-get-it/

But the fact is, this is all about marketing. The Dolphins would not have reacted like this if it weren't for Ray Rice scandal and the obvious cover-up that was exposed. NFL players - who used to get a free pass for alleged crimes committed, prior to formal charges, up to and including murder - are now getting the yang to the yin. And since the media will print anything as long as it makes for a good story, even the slightest screw up will cost a player a paycheck (unless the player is Adrian Peterson) and a team some talent on the field.