Anatomy of a Rumor: Favre-to-Redskins

You may have already heard a little something about a Favre-to-Redskins rumor this morning. If you haven’t, there’s a decent chance you will at some point today. Now, first of all, calling the rumor shaky would be an understatement. Actual rumors are offended that we’re even labeling this rumor a rumor. There is nothing to it whatsoever. [/Jinx]

Having said that, I thought it would be fun to explore the anatomy of a rumor, or “why the internet is a horrible, unethical, no good, speculative, and extremely awesome place.”

Two Days Ago: ProFootballTalk.com/NBC’s Mike Florio goes on sports talk radio in Minnesota to discuss Favre and the Vikings’ impending acquisition of his services. But that just isn’t sexy enough. Florio shows some leg (as transcribed by Matt Terl):

Florio: I do not rule out Daniel M Snyder waking up one morning between now and the end of July and realizing, “You know what, we run the West Coast offense, I’ve been trying to get a quarterback other than Jason Campbell, I want Brett Favre for a season.” Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Brett Favre detours at this point, ’cause he’s pretty much locked himself into the Vikings based on what he said to Joe Buck. […]

HOST: But the whole thing is settled now. I mean, it’s … there’s a zero percent chance he even thinks for a second about playing for the Washington Redskins.

Florio: I disagree. Here’s why: with Brett Favre there never is a certainty.

This rumor is then transported by carrier pigeon to Chicago, where it catches a two-day train ride to D.C. via the B&O, stopping once in Cleveland to visit its cousin Plaxico-to-Browns.

6:09AM Today: Our dear friends The Junkies tweet a blog post they’ve published about the Favre-to-Redskins rumor. This is then re-tweeted by Matt Terl, whose tweet is in turn re-tweeted by many D.C. area Twitterers. Thus, the rumor spreads around the DMV.

8:35AM Today: I tweet that the rumor is “typical baseless speculation” from Florio (similar to the rumor he started last week about LaRon wanting to be traded). Florio does not appreciate this comment; tells me the rumor does, in fact, have a base. And calls me Chachi, a reference so timely it requires me Google’ing it to understand. I email him to learn more.

9:42AM Today: Florio responds to my email. Here is the base:

yes, it was speculation. but based on favre’s history and snyder’s history and the current circumstances in washington, i don’t think it was “baseless.”

There is a reason he’s a successful lawyer.

10:22AM Today: I publish this blog post on Mister Irrelevant.

Sometime in the Not-So-Distance Future: Redskins sign Brett Favre to one-year deal. I bow to Florio’s powers of speculation before ingesting enough Xanax to kill a mule.

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