Yahoo! Sports has been taking it on the chin ever since ESPN seemed to shoot down their “Brett Favre is retired and that’s the end of it” story with their own “Favre sent X-Rays to the Vikings so na-na-na” story. This has created enough bad feelings at Yahoo! Sports that one of their editors, Mark Pesavento, has gotten into a pissing match with PFT’s Mike Florio, screaming at Florio – via email – that Rick Schwartz is right and Jeremy Schaap is wrong, and those alleged X-rays that passed from Favre to the Vikings never passed, and Favre is still retired. Per Florio:
"[Pesavento] said that Yahoo! Sports knows that, contrary to multiple reports, no X-rays were sent by Brett Favre to the Vikings.“I don’t want to come off as defensive, but since we’re talking about the reporting of this story, please hear me out: Despite what [ESPN’s Jeremy] Schaap reported (something other media outlets have latched onto), we know there were no X-rays sent to Minnesota. Our (highly-placed and very reliable) Vikings source told us so and Bus Cook has since confirmed that.”"
Indeed, Bus Cook told Rachel Nichols that he doesn’t know anything about any X-rays. And indeed the Vikings have not confirmed that they are in possession of any X-rays. And, indeed, every time Bus Cook has refuted a story, and the Vikings have failed to confirm said story, that story has turned out not to be true. So what does it all mean? Basically that, if you apply the Bus Cook refutation/Vikings non-confirmation standard, then the Yahoo! Sports story is right and the ESPN story is wrong. Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, ESPN has the high profile, and will always be believed ahead of a mere internet entity like Yahoo! Sports. Which makes Mr. Florio’s apparent dismissal of Yahoo! Sports in favor of ESPN somewhat ironic, given Florio’s history of defending the credibility of internet journalism against the old guard of ESPN and the newspapers and magazines, who tend to dismiss web reporting as weekend warrior crap.
There’s actually kind of a significant battle brewing here: the young turks at Yahoo! Sports vs. the Titans of Insiderism at ESPN. And if Yahoo! Sports should win? It could mean a major change in how we view the web vs. the TV and print. It could also mean that ESPN stops being the first source the rest of us bloggers run to when we’re looking for scoops to regurgitate. Whatever happens, one thing remains certain: Mike Florio is an asshole.