John Canzano: A Quiet Day in the Oregonian
Today was the first day that I truly understood how much trouble the Oregonian is in. No, it wasn't the memo from the editor, or the many stories about declining newspaper circulation. It was the fact that their main sports columnist, John Canzano, wrote a column that was - to my eyes - factually erroneous to such an extent that I thought there would be a big uproar. There wasn't. This thing came and went and nobody even noticed. What if a tree is cut down in the woods to make a newspaper, but nobody cares? Is there even a sound when it falls?
Here's the first part of the piece called, "For Blazers: Who to draft and who to do the drafting?":
"The best-kept secret in the franchise might be that the Portland Trail Blazers went through their entire NBA predraft process a year ago, held discussions, watched film, scouted games, handed out psychological tests, evaluated workouts, gathered reports and decided they absolutely had to have . . . Adam Morrison. True story. The Blazers' top scout was sold on Morrison -- lock, stock and mustache. Fans were lobbying for Morrison. Then, according to a source who was in the draft room, assistant general manager Kevin Pritchard, who was told "this is your draft," by owner Paul Allen, decided to pick Brandon Roy. "It's the kind of move that gets you fired if you're wrong," an insider said. This is why the Blazers made the draft-day moves to secure Roy, which only proves that these draft-evaluation things can be a blend of art, science and gut."
The only problem is that this "True story" and "best-kept secret" is false. We didn't take Brandon Roy instead of Adam Morrison. We took LaMarcus Aldridge instead of Adam Morrison. We could have taken both Morrison and Roy. So this whole thing with insider quotes about how the move could get someone fired doesn't make sense, because the piece is talking about the wrong man.
Okay, I'll drop it. I mean, I've written a few columns in my life that contained errors. Not this big, but they were big enough so that I heard about them the next day. I wrote a joke one time that caused Jay Leno to apologize on national TV. This is not about being perfect.
What got me though was the response. Nobody seemed to react. The big trees came crashing down to make the newspaper to print the story, but the only sound in the woods was crickets. Nobody cared.