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Media Meltdowns

What Are We Even Doing Here, Man

visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Is Teddy Bridgewater active today? If you went by the NFL’s top scoopsters, you might have been a little confused.

Tweet has since been deleted, and this was the only screengrab I could find. No, I don’t know why this guy uses this font.

Bridgewater was a true game-time decision, as the Carolina QB wanted to test his sprained MCL in warm-ups before an early game against Detroit. He was not, ultimately, healthy enough to play, or at least not healthy enough to use a precious active roster spot on.

You know by now how this works: at exactly 11:30 a.m. ET—at 11:30 on the dot!—each team with a 1 p.m. kickoff releases its list of inactives. The above tweets are in chronological order, and you’ll notice that the first tweets from both Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter, citing sources, claimed that Bridgewater would be active. You’ll also notice that those came two minutes and one minute, respectively, before 11:30.

I don’t doubt that an honest mistake from the source—likely the same one shared between both reporters—led to the erroneous tweets, which were relatively swiftly corrected. I do doubt that there is a need for those tweets to exist in the first place. What worth is there in “scooping” the official injury report, which will be released something like 90 seconds later? (If you’re desperate for inside info on Lions-Panthers because you’re putting money on it, consider getting help. And if that game has fantasy implications for you, you’re fucked anyway.)

No, scoopmongers like Rapoport and Schefter race to report stuff first just for the sake of being first, never mind that even under the best of circumstances the lifespan of the scoop will be measured in seconds. And sometimes they get it wrong, which is very funny, sure. But it’s also a useful reminder, when regarding transactional scoops, all of which are swiftly followed by official announcements, to question just how much value they had in the first place.