Have you heard the one about Joe Banner “having a good laugh” about the DeSean Jackson contract because he never would have done that deal?
That little tidbit made its rounds all over the Internet and Twitter with everyone blasting off on the subject.
Now, if that were true, it would absolutely be newsworthy and something to talk about. It would add more fuel to the fire for the anti-Banner crowd in Philly (which is probably 85% of the fans).
The problem is, it’s simply not true.
Therefore, I took this opportunity to point out how words can be misinterpreted and start a wildfire of misinformation. Here is the innocent blurb by Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe that lit the fire:
Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson started a rap label and dropped $25,000 at a Los Angeles launch party. In his office that is still inside the Eagles’ NovaCare facility, former team president Joe Banner is having a good laugh. Jackson received his $47 million extension, in good measure, because Banner had his contract power usurped. Banner never would have done that deal.
Now mind you, this was a “Sunday Football Notes” article where he touched on several different subjects. So, if you just read the above blurb, what would you think?
Would you take it as literal? As in, Bedard knew that Banner was, in fact, laughing about this? Or even take it as fact that, at the least, Banner would never have done this deal and it’s certain that Andy Reid and Howie Roseman must have done it against Banner’s will?
If you did, then you probably inserted your own feelings into the subject. The writer of the blurb never stated he spoke with Banner or even anyone “close to the situation.”
It was simply Bedard stating his opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Could he be right? Sure.
However, it’s not fact and nobody knows how Banner truly felt about the Jackson deal. This was only a comment based on speculation, which is what many writers do. If Banner did come out and say such a thing, there would be direct quotes involved.
Bedard’s blurb received so much attention that 97.5 The Fanatic brought him on air to discuss what he wrote. And in the interview, the first thing he admits is that he never spoke with Joe Banner.
At the end of the day, Jackson’s deal was a good one for both sides. The Eagles didn’t overpay for him and should get sufficient return on their investment. I can’t believe Banner wouldn’t think the deal was fair.
It’s possible, that, Banner would have preferred to let Jackson play one year on the franchise tag with the mindset that he’d have to prove himself after a tumultuous 2011 season.
But, that’s a question of whether or not they should have signed him long term yet, and not a question of whether or not the deal was a fair one.
Anyway, who knows and who cares what Banner does think or doesn’t think. He could be sitting in his office with Mini Me and laughing like Dr. Evil for all I care.
The point here is that, while writers need to be careful of how they word things, readers need to exercise judgment when interpreting what they’re reading.