Seaside Bonus: Why is Russ-ini contradicting herself on situation with Russ-Teamy?
Is Seattle making calls or not?
I was Super Bowl-champing at the bit to write something about Russell Wilson but already sent out the Seaside Joe newsletter this morning. Here it is:
ESPN’s Dianna Russini went on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday and made it a point to say that calls are going to Seattle AND Seattle is making phone calls in regards to Russell Wilson.
However, when Twitter-addict Dov Kleiman got a quick fix by tweeting essentially the exact message that Russini sent that morning — “The Seahawks have made calls to other teams about trading away QB Russell Wilson” — Russini quote-tweeted Kleiman to say that the Seahawks are NOT “shopping” Wilson. Only that calls have been answered.
A) That’s literally not what she said on Pat McAfee.
B) She didn’t explain why she was walking back her comments, and didn’t even seem to acknowledge that’s exactly what she’s doing.
C) She didn’t explain what it means to “answer” calls.
D) There sure are a lot of “heroes” in Twitter replies to defend this contradiction that is causing a news storm in a world that is almost assuredly 98 degrees and clear. The Seahawks are not going to trade Russell Wilson.
I’ve been fooled before. Covering the Rams for the past year, I said it was virtually impossible for LA to rid themselves of Jared Goff prior to 2022. The fact is that with players like Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott left blowing in the wind in March, anything is possible. But these reports from the likes of Mike Silver and Russini only seem to fan the flames of a fire that does not exist.
And the only people who I know who think they are on fire despite the absence of actual flames — are not living in reality.
I don’t believe that Russini is doing anything more than hoping for a story and potentially asking her sources for any possible way that she can spin this as one. I can imagine her talking to someone in Wilson’s camp and saying, “Look, I know I can’t say that you’ve ‘demanded’ a trade, but can I say that Russell is unhappy in Seattle?”
I can imagine her talking to an opposing team and saying, “Look, I know I can’t say you have a legit offer on the table, but can I say you’d have an offer that can’t be beat?” (A tactic used by ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on the Watson situation this week.)
I can imagine her talking to someone in the Seahawks organization too. “Look, I know I can’t say you’re “shopping” Wilson, but can I say you’re answering the phone?”
(Watch the McAfee clip — she takes particular interest in clarifying the importance of what words are used in statements)
I wouldn’t come out and say that reporters are dumb. Maybe I’ll find some examples in the future, but reporters don’t seem stupid to me. Ones like Russini, who explains that she’s learned from some of her reporting mistakes of a decade ago, may be especially adept on knowing how to craft not only a full story, but sometimes just a headline. Or more appropriate for our era, a viral tweet.
That’s all we’ve seen so far in the Russell Wilson saga — tweets and maybe a Dan Patrick interview — and I don’t imagine that the substance will get any more fulfilling than that. So when the next two, three, or 40 headlines about Wilson’s situation in Seattle come out over the following weeks and months, just remember what you’ve been fed so far.
And feel every pang of that empty stomach.