Michael Bennett News Another Sign Of Sports Media Apocolypse


This is the 40-Something Files!

A weekly take on the state of Seattle Sports through the lens of a guy whose four decades of fandom has earned too many scars, and seen too few celebrations.


The contents of the column you are about to read is NOT reporting.  There is no news breaking here. Nothing you are about to read can be proven. It is an opinion piece whereby the author will be speculating and providing his personal intuition about the cause and meaning of current events. Read this with the understanding that within moments, the opinions contained herein could be proven completely wrong, because, not only is the author shooting from the hip, but also, shooting for clicks. 

What a whirlwind of news concerning Michael Bennett‘s interest, and at the exact same time, lack thereof, in being traded away to the Atlanta Falcons (which, as most 12s are well aware, is now head coached by former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn).

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Here’s just a few of the alarming/calming headlines that snowballed all over social media, sports radio, and every sports-related media enterprise in between:

Report: Seahawks DE Michael Bennett seeking trade to Falcons – CBSSports.com

Seahawks Deny Report that Michael Bennett Seeks Trade to Falcons – SeattlePI.com

Why Would Michael Bennett Seek a Trade from Seattle Seahawks? – SBNation.com

Report: Michael Bennett Wants Trade to Atlanta, New Contract – NBCSports.com

And in conclusion:

Michael Bennett HAS NOT asked Seahawks for a Trade – NFL.com

As you probably know by now, after your first stumble upon this news / non-news, all of this originates from a TWEET (that’s right, news originated from a tweet, not the other way around… just to make sure we’re all on the same page):

I’m frustrated by the fact that an entire sports information day was hijacked by the fallout from an unsubstantiated tweet.  Have you ever heard of Clarence Hill, Jr. before this? Not likely because he’s a beat writer for a newspaper based in Texas.

Sadly, it’s just the way sports news is “manufactured” today. Our man, Clarence, got the message loud and clear, and he worked it.

Maybe he read one of my earlier write-ups, where I introduced the notion that Seattle Sports Fans are a highly sought-after target for social media clicks. He nailed the formula I wrote about to a “T” by floating an antagonizing tweet in the direction of the 12s, and letting the media frenzy ensue.

There’s no follow-up article. There’s no further tweeted out information to shed any further light. But of course there is the all-forgiving sports media fall back phrase: “per multiple sources.”

Who knows, this guy from Texas, with his context-free laser-guided tweet missile, may turn out to be spot on. However, a quick review of how the Seahawks handle their business vs. what the media reports about their supposed dealings, would lead an experienced consumer of Seattle-centric, national sports media headlines, to expect nothing of the sort.

Exhibit A) How many “news outlets” had advance notice of Percy Harvin‘s dismissal?

Exhibit B) In the days leading up to Marshawn’s contract renewal, most of the “news” about Beast Mode suggested he was disgruntled.

Exhibit C) The Jimmy Graham Trade… NOT A SIGN IN THE UNIVERSE.

When you really review the Seahawks’ track record on “leaked” stories, you have to be confident enough to walk away from the pandering sports reporter tweets, and their subsequent regurgitation by others in the media (desperate not to miss the “shock value” boat). I haven’t even mentioned the fact that a majority of the justification for the Bennett news is based on yet another rumor about a pending visit to the Seahawks by free agent Greg Hardy.

Greg Hardy’s reputation and legal history aside, I don’t think he’s worth discussing here, other than to point out that anything you’ve heard tying him to the Seahawks and thereby lending credence to the Bennett rumors, is also unsubstantiated. It’s a house of cards, yet there is no hesitation on the part of nearly every level of media outlet that caters to sports fans, to present it all with declarative headlines and progressively greater manipulation.

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Nobody’s keeping score. Clarence Hill (and all who followed his lead) will never be called on the carpet should nothing further come of this. It’s a 24 hour news cycle, short on integrity, counting on even shorter attention spans.

If Michael Bennett is in uniform for the Hawks come OTA’s there won’t be any headlines pointing out the shameful “Great St. Patrick’s Day Panic-Attack of 2015.” No one will care to be reminded. And there-in lies the free pass today’s media relies upon to manipulate and deliver shock-value to it’s ever-present audience, one “scoop” at a time.

I have chosen to write my opinion with highlights that support my agenda. I expect if you return to read what I have to say, it’s because we’ve reached some common understanding about my approach. I have no problem admitting that and letting you decide if my opinions and writing style are worth continuing to follow.

I even put a warning label at the top of the page, just to make sure there’s no mistaking anything I have to say for substantiated news.

Perhaps it’s time for some of our more established sports reporters to just ‘fess up and do the same.

Next: Taijuan Walker Is Running Away With The Last Rotation Spot