In case the rock that was squatting on you just feel asleep and you rolled out from under it, there's been a lot of speculation this offseason about the future of Tim Tebow within the Broncos organization.
On Tuesday, a report emerged that Tebow had fallen to not just the third, but fourth-best quarterback in Denver's organization. Asked specifically about the report on Wednesday, head coach John Fox didn't sound so pleased.
"First of all, I would like to say that nobody in this building that is in the decision-making process -- coach, official, or I don’t know, maybe they heard it from the cook ... I’m not sure, but we hold Tim in high regard," Fox said Wednesday, regarding the report from Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports. "I think he’s got a bright future in this game. He’s playing maybe the hardest position I know in the NFL there is to play, and maybe in all of sports. He’s progressing fine."
So that's good. But Mike Silver's not a guy off the street who randomly grabs team employees and uses them as sources, particularly high-up in a feature piece about Tebow's struggles. The dude has chops. But that opinion might not be shared amongst the members of Denver's front office.
"I don’t think, if you read it correctly, that it said anybody in the organization," Fox said when asked about the nature of Silver's source. "It just said a knowledgeable football person -- that could have been a wide range.
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Things got much more awkward than Fox's jokes, though. (And by "jokes" I don't mean that he's joking on Silver, just that he's making light of the situation.)
Jim Saccomano, VP of Public Relations for the Broncos, cut loose on a Twitter tirade about the current state of media in today's world.
"All media, all types and levels, desperate for headlines that will move product ... great pressure for headlines, and sometimes the tabloid mentality overtakes objectivity, at expense of some great journalists," Saccomano tweeted Wednesday night. "[A] recent story in NYTimes says 24 of 25 top dailies have experienced record decline in circulation -- Wall Street [Journal] the one exception.
"A serious concern for teams is granting access to outlets that provide incentives to writers based on page clicks. That is a problem."
Well, for starters, no one's questioning that the newspaper industry is in big trouble. But Silver isn't exactly a "newspaper journalist" these days, and I'm not sure that working for Yahoo has him sweating the number of clicks he gets on his stories.
But he wasn't exactly pumped about Saccomano's tweets which, one has to assume, related to Silver's story and the resulting (negative?) publicity for the Broncos.
"I remember the days when, if a respected [public relations] man had something to say to me, he'd pick up the phone instead of taking to the twittersphere," Silver tweeted Wednesday.
It's a different world indeed.
You don't have to look any further than the coverage that Tebow gets. Is it weird that a backup quarterback who was drafted in the late first round gets this much attention? Yeah, it's weird.
But Tebow ranked fifth in terms of jerseys sold in the NFL in 2010; the downside of having your backup quarterback sell millions of jerseys is that lots of people are concerned with his future and his status with the team.
Along with the new-world media comes the possibility of having a PR person tweet at you instead of hitting the landline up. It's the same reason I can get DirecTV service and rebuttals of my reports via Twitter. And the same reason John Elway announces the Broncos moves on social media.
Really, the only way to succinctly sum up the situation is by (datedly) quoting Franck Eggelhoffer: "Welcome to the 90s, Mr. Banks."
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