The quarterback duel in Gainesville between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel may be decided by injury rather than by on-field performance. According to Twitter reports today, Driskel has banged up his left, non-throwing shoulder. Ah, but the extent of the injury is anyone’s guess.
Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun claims a source told him that Driskel sustained a “significant shoulder injury” in practice today.
But Bryan Holt of InsideTheGators.com — the Rivals site covering Florida — claimed he had heard from “a source close to Florida” that Driskel “seems fine.”
Meanwhile, WJXL-AM 1010 in Jacksonville has reported that Driskel suffered a “broken scapula.”
The website AlligatorArmy.com does a nice job of summing up just how bizarre the whole situation is. And it’s really just symptomatic of a larger problem.
Fans knock news outlets when they don’t get a story first. But fans also knock news outlets when they rush a story that turns out to be more rumor from poor sources than fact. Catch-22.
Then you have schools who close down practices, won’t talk about injuries, and — in some cases — produce their own “news” coverage on their official athletic department website which is really nothing more than PR spin.
And fans like that, too.
So fans want news first and fast and accurate — which isn’t always possible — since many media members are now more worried about getting something up on Twitter before anyone else than they are actually getting their facts straight. Oh, and there are also more media members than ever before, all trying to make names for themselves. Break a story, get followers. It’s a simple formula. But not every media member out there paid attention in — or even attended — journalism ethics classes. Some folks are more likely to throw a lot of nonsense up against the wall, knowing that if just one thing sticks… they’re gold.
So while we wait for final word on Driskel’s injury — if that word ever officially comes — it might be a good time for fans and those of us in the media alike to ponder just what the hell we’re doing these days.