Brett Mock examines the Colts announcement that Jim Caldwell will be relieved as the head coach — and the whirlwind of media activity that suggested he would be retaining his job over the past days.
The Indianapolis Colts have officially announced the release of Head Coach Jim Caldwell. This news comes in the face of numerous local rumors, and those that have spread on the internet — that were often reported as fact — pronouncing that Caldwell was going to be retained.
The rumors and reports were setting off widespread fan reactions and media discussions that, as it turns out, were not based in reality. It is for reasons like this that Colts Authority has an editorial policy in place that requires certain standards be met before we report on such things.
Consider that Jake Query tweeted that he expected an official announcement that Caldwell would be retained within 4 days on Saturday. The IndyStar’s Phil B. Wilson tweeted that he was under the impression that Caldwell was staying as well. Star colleague Mike Chappell likewise submitted that he expected an official announcement that Caldwell would be retained.
With this mountain of rumors, other sources started to run with the story as though it was a certainty. Stampede Blue recently reported that Jim Caldwell will indeed return as head coach. Covering the Twitter discussions would require more links than any one story could possibly contain.
It’s certainly exciting when journalists and bloggers have “inside sources,” who often choose to remain anonymous, providing information that has not been reported publicly. Everyone wants to break the story and everyone wants to feel like they have established enough rapport within the organization that they can begin setting the narrative for news about their favorite team — or can solidify job security by doing so.
The problem with the changes going on in the front office now is that General Manager Ryan Grigson and Owner Jim Irsay are probably going to be making important transitions in the way the Indianapolis Colts connect with the media. On the one hand, the team may way to foster improved relations with local media, fans, and possibly new media like blogs. On the other hand, the team will want to maintain control over how those relationships develop and grow.
It would not surprise Colts Authority if some of the confusion behind what is going on at Colts headquarters isn’t the byproduct of some of the coming changes — whatever they may be. Sports Illustrated’s Will Carroll tweeted that he thought this kind of confusion could be the product of Grigson running an internal leak test.
No matter what caused the misinformation to occur, and set off a series of wrong rumors about the Colts intentions with the head coaching position, these times highlight the importance of confirming sources and being responsible with reporting.