Butch Davis handed the Cleveland Browns beat writers their story on a silver platter yesterday.
Appearing in the media room for fifteen minutes (and not a second more), Davis offered up a refreshed spin on the Couch-Holcomb quarterback situation. The team's approved version re-appeared, with a new twist or two:
- The team is very happy with two good quarterbacks.
- The team will have a starting QB going into training camp rather than emerging from it.
- The team is not "actively" seeking trades for Couch (a statement that is revealed a bit further in Lane's "We're a Happy Family" article from yesterday).
As a discriminating consumer of Browns news, which you surely are, you can get the information from Davis' fifteen minutes one of three ways on this morning's newswire:
- Covered with a delicate glaze of cynicism
- Used as another data point in an evolving story
- Swallowed whole and regurgitated.
As you peruse the stories, I will leave it to you to decide which flavor you like. That's sort of what we try to do here when it comes to funnelling the information on the team which pops up all over the Internet.
Still, as much as I try to adhere to the notion that Bernie's Insiders, and before it BTNG, is simply acting as a provider of information, it's clear that my own biases and opinions impact what's in the Newswire.
For example, I selected the picture which accompanies this ramble because it has Butch Davis standing back and evaluating while a quarterback practices. As I think back, though, I deliberately started searching for a Couch picture rather than a Holcomb picture.
This is probably because I suspect that the "quarterback competition" is all just an elaborate reality show that will wind up with Couch serving as the team's quarterback in 2003. Sort of like "Big Brother" without Sheryl Crow. So, my own opinion snuck its way in via the photo.
My personal biases show up in other ways as well, which you've probably figured out if you've been visiting the site for a while.
Whenever Art Modell is pictured, for example, I will invariably try to find the most unflattering photograph of the team's previous owner possible. I confess that I have no plans to stop doing that. I also don't tend to take news reports on the league's official site all that seriously, and the incestuous nature of teams doing "sports reporting" on themselves gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Webmasters, like editors, can title stories whatever they want, and choose the photos that go with the stories. Far too much of what readers consume is selected by dorks. Something needs to be done.
In retrospect, of course, all this effects what you see on the Newswire. I have to stop all this before we turn into the New York Times or something equally nefarious. Dad was right.
Looking back at the previous paragraphs, I guess the only useful thing that comes out of this ramble is this: Always listen to Dad.
Of course, my kids have an entirely different opinion on that one.