Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughts From The Other Side of Duck-Darron Thomas

Tonight, I read that, what I had believed was one of two very plausible scenarios, is now being told by Darron Thomas to be an accurate reflection of what happened in mid-June.

What we learned today is that Darron Thomas was, apparently, back East for an appearance on ESPN. Because, as his high school coach tells us, Darron's personal car is broken and he cannot afford to fix the car, Darron has had to "bum rides" from people.

Many scoff and say that there was no appearance on ESPN... but follow this link: 

That is a link to an article from the Oregonian, it is dated June 14, 2011! The article talks about his appearance on the June 14, 2011 edition of ESPN's First Take Program.

The following link is a "cast list" from the episode

Now, we know he was there shooting the video live; First Take is not pre-recorded, then edited. The Oregonian also said that Thomas Skipped his graduation ceremony to film the episode of First Take. When was the Spring Graduation for the University of Oregon in 2011? June 12, 2011.

So, it now seems pretty clear that Darron Thomas DID, in fact, travel to Bristol to shoot an episode of "First Take" for ESPN. It also seems pretty clear that he needed a ride from Portland to Eugene to make his appearance.

What is unclear to me is how, in the desire to create a story, the Oregonian's own reporters looked past their OWN newspaper! Did they not have the foresight to do a simple check of their own records to determine whether or not there was a plausible reason for Darron Thomas to need a ride from Portland? Or, as is often the case, were they so blinded in their ambition to skewer someone that they simply looked only for negative?

Look, there is no excusing Cliff Harris' speeding in this situation. It was excessive and he was endangering other people. He has been suspended for a game and, given his history, it may be appropriate.

What was not appropriate, however, was the character assassination planted upon Darron Thomas by two reporters so blinded by their own ambition that, because they choose to hide behind the moniker of "columnist," feel as if researching a story before printing such obviously misleading information does not apply to them.

Had Canzano and Schroeder even done a MODEST amount of research they might have been able to actually print some news rather than feebly attempt to destroy the character of someone who has never been in any trouble.

They paint the traffic citation in 2010 as if somehow it was a big conspiracy that Thomas was in the car with a player who had a small amount of marijuana. Well, that player happened to be the QB who had just taken the Ducks to a Rose Bowl. And, though he was suspended at the time, he was, by far, the best equipped QB to teach Darron about the offense. I don't imagine Darron felt it necessary to search every car before he got in as a passenger.

But this kind of story does not make a column that grabs readers; it does not make a story that gets callers to a radio show. So, to boost his own ratings, Canzano felt a better angle was to attempt to insult a young man who works hard in school and on the field. And, the sad part, he was just wrong about his assumptions.

Next time John, do some research... it's what newspaper reporters do... and, stop hiding behind the "columnist" moniker; it only shows your true cowardice.

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