Generally, I eschew blogfrica's national pastime of Simmons-bashing. It's not exactly fresh and, frankly, others can do it much funnier and succinctly than I could, if I were so inclined. And while we know through credible sources Simmons detests KSK, we still have a soft-spot for the big lug (except Drew, he really fucking hates him).
Four or five years ago, I used to manipulate the URLs on Page2 so I could read Simmons' columns a couple hours before they were posted on Page2's front page. Today if I am cruising by ESPN.com and see a link on the front page to a non-Celtics, non-Red Sox Simmons post, I might click on it. I don't see my declining patronage as an indictment of the product he puts out, rather just a progression of my own personal tastes. For instance, I also used to like Faces of Death movies, Boone's Farm and Anthrax (okay, I still like Anthrax).
After initially evoking the Duke rape case to protect Belicheat, yesterday Simmons and FootballOutsider's Aaron Schatz were engaging in some give and take about the situation. Schatz was ably abetting Simmons' attempts to marginalize the Patriots' elaborate system of fraud and deception by bringing up other instances of chicanery. Then Schatz dropped this bomb:
Remember when Jim Haslett admitted to using steroids when he was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their dynasty years of the '70s?
Ooh, yeah! In your face Haslett, 1970's Steelers and everyone else not riding Belichick's scrotum!!! There's just a minor problem, Haslett never played for the Steelers. Actually, Haslett recently accused the Steel Curtain-era Steelers of using steroids and then later apologized.
It's easy for someone to get confused and misstate the facts like Schatz did-- so we can give him a pass, once he clarifies his position. But where are the ESPN editors on this one? ESPN even linked the correct story in the Simmons article, but the slovenly (or perhaps just incompetent) editors just let this completely erroneous statement stand. Hell, it's still up there now as far as we know.
More editorial incompetence: in an otherwise well-written piece on Priest Holmes, the Elizabeth Merrill claims that Holmes was "snubbed by 32 teams" on draft day. There weren't 32 teams in the league until well after Holmes began his pro career. Little things like this, as well as bigger things like Haslett and the "Vick scoop" can make ESPN look like a bunch of hacks.
Here's some gratuitous advice to the World Wide (Mis)Leader: go down to the local methadone clinic or half-way house and pick up a few new editors. Leave half-assed fact checking and wildly inaccurate, if not outright false, statements to amateurs like us.
[HT: to eagle-eyed KSK reader Bill S. (heh heh). UPDATE: Also thanks to commenter Jeff for pointing out that Haslett did cop to dabbling in steroids. I'll blame my mistake on some past dabblings of my own. Thankfully our commenters are more vigilant than ESPN's editors.]