Update: Jason La Canfora has replied to this story and his comments are at the bottom of this post.
A while back, I wrote an extensive look at ESPN's shady practice of piggybacking on other news organizations' scoops and repackaging them as their own. Today the shoe was on the other foot as Chris Mortensen broke the news of Peyton Manning's release in Indianapolis, scooping the likes of Jay Glazer, Rob Lowe, the Yahoo Sports gang, and Jason La Canfora.
Mortensen teased the news a bit before his television appereance and then took to Twitter once the cat was out of the bag.
Colts and Manning will part ways, per team sources #NFL32— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 6, 2012
The first tweet was at 3pm PT, the other at 3:05 PT.
Twitter blew up as it spread like wildfire, Mortensen and others made the rounds on ESPN, and other media organizations were in Defcon 5 catchup mode.
Jay Glazer, usually ESPN's nemesis on NFL scoops, tipped his cap at the scoop shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately though, NFL Network did not abide by the same standards. Although clearly a scoop by Mortensen, NFL Network is continuing to scroll this on their breaking news bar.
"NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora Reports Colts Have Preliminary Plans To Cut Peyton Manning Wednesday"
Did La Canfora get this story before Mortensen or perhaps within minutes of him making it hard to realize who had the news first? Nope. La Canfora's tweet occurred at 3:17, 12 minutes after Mortensen's tweet and after his television appearance.
Colts have preliminary plans for a Payton Manning departure press conference on Wed. Awaiting final word from owner Jim Irsay— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 6, 2012
"The ending that most anticipated between the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning will arrive on Wednesday, league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, when the team is expected to release the four-time NFL MVP.
The team has made preliminary plans for the news conference Wednesday to officially announce the move, reported La Canfora."
Although this is not the worst offense in the world as the news was disseminated far and wide, a scoop of this size, and clearly owned by one person, certainly should be recognized and not ripped off. La Canfora's tweet didn't give ESPN and Chris Mortensen that courtesy and NFL Network subsequently played dumb trying to pretend that the biggest player release in recent history was something that organically came to light.
Meanwhile, as NFL Network was playing catchup, I found myself very impressed with how ESPN mobilized to cover the news.
They aired a 3 minute canned feature on Manning's career done by Jeremy Schaap. The typical well produced narrative contained back-story with clips and soundbites. While the quality of this piece was solid yet pretty standard, the fact that ESPN had it teed up and ready to go was impressive given they rolled it out within 15 minutes of the news breaking.
The Manning feature was followed up by a call with former Colts GM Bill Polian, who obviously is an ideal person to pow wow with on this subject.
An hour after the news broke, NFL Network had made some progress adding on to the story but still it was essentially Andrew Siciliano and La Canfora going back and forth with no produced pieces or guests.
While the NFL Network certainly has made inroads getting great talent, growing their viewership, and increasing their capabilities as a news organization, today they were totally outclassed by The Worldwide Leader and weren't very graceful in defeat.
Kudos to ESPN and Mortensen on this one, as well as Jay Glazer who has been snubbed multiple times by ESPN, yet showed some class giving a competitor some love. With all the work that goes into digging up these scoops, it's sad that people often try to duck who actually broke historical news like this.
Update: Jason La Canfora reputed our claim that credit wasn't given. I admittingly changed the channel after about 45 minutes of coverage (Seinfield reruns ftw). In the time frame I watched, I didn't hear ESPN or Mortensen credited although La Canfora chimes in (see below) that indeed they at some point they gave proper attribution of the scoop. Perhaps one of our readers can chime in as to what time that occurred.
Let's rewind the tape here as NFL.com has video of when the news broke on NFL Network found here. Just in case they pull the video here is how the story is introduced.
"Peyton Manning is soon to exit Indianapolis. Our Jason La Canfora reports today that the day that has been expected will come Wednesday as the Colts are making preliminary plans for a press conference. Jason says that according to a league source "to announce a parting of ways with their quarterback of 14 years."
Given this video and the NFL.com's article crediting La Canfora, I am not really buying that we wrongly accused NFL Network of ducking attribution on this scoop, at least initially.
For Super Bowl Week this year on ESPN, the ESPN Radio show Mike and Mike will be in Indianapolis Monday-Friday before flying back to Hartford,Connecticut for a special show on Super Bowl Sunday, The Herd With Colin Cowherd, The Scott Van Pelt show and the Schlereth side of Hill and Schlereth will originate from Indianapolis this week, themened Sportscenter specials Monday- Friday from 3-4 E.t., NFL Live, NFL32, Sportsnation,the NFL Countdown Pregame show will be on for a special 4 hours,NFL Primetime and NFL KIckoff Friday from 7-9 E.T.on ESPN, also Sportscenters from 9 A.m.- 2 p.m.E.T, Monday- Friday,.5-6, Monday- Friday, 9-10 e.t..Monday-Thursday, 10-11 E.t. Friday,10-11 A.m. and 6-7 E.t, Saturday,9-10 E.t. and 11;30 P.m.-1;30 a.m.Sunday will all air from the Super Bowl in Indianaplois this year!
For NFL Network's coverage of the Super Bowl this year they will have Rich Eisen and Melissa Stark on the 1- hour red carpet show Super Bowl Saturday night,NFL Gameday Morning was on the NFL Network for 6 hours before the AFC and NFC Championship game and for 8 1/2 hours before the Super Bowl this year and Charles Woodson is a special guest on it this year for Super Bowl Sunday!
During Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday they will be having Rich Eisen, Warren Sapp and Marshall Faulk at the desk,Deion Sander and Lindsay Soto providing interviews with players and coaches and between the Giants and Patriots Media sessions,Scott Hanson, Willie Mcginest and Jay Glazer will offer further analysis and reflect on their own experiences perticipating in Media Day!
Rich Eisen will take the Rich Eisen Podcast on the road for a special television edition on Thursday night on the NFL Network!
NFL Total Access at The Super Bowl, a show called Super Bowl Live will be on from 2-7 E.T. Monday, 11 A.m.- 6 P.m. E.t. Wednesday and Thursday and 8;30 A.m.-6 P.m.Friday e.t, they will air the Coaches show live from Indianapolis,Michael Irvin, Deion Sander,Willie Mcginest and Warren Sapp will be doing no huddle in front of a live audience Thursday night, Sterling Sharpe,Brian Baldinger,Joe Thiesmann will be doing Playbook from the NFL Experience in Indianapolis Wednesday- Friday night and after the game they will have a 1 1/2 hours edition of NFL Gameday final!
The NFL Network will have 30 announcers with a combined 18 Super Bowl Rings working their coverage of Super Bowl week this week!
of thoe 30 announcers, here are the rest- Brian Billick, Heath Evans,, Michael Irvin,Daryl Johnson,Kurt Warner, Kara Henderson,,Fran Charles, Jamie Dukes,Alex Flanagan, Steve Mariucci,Mike Mayock,, Andrew Siliciano and the reporters will be Jason La Canfora, Scott Hanson,Michael Lombardi,Albert Breer, Steve Wyche, Steve Cyphers,Melissa Stark, Stacey Dales and Lindsay Soto reporting from both team hotels,the NFL Experience,the Super Bowl Media Center and additional locations!
Marshall Faulk, Tom Waddle and Fran Charles worked the Pro Bowl Practices for NFL Network this year!
They even had an NFL Total Access Pregame show on for 3 hours and NFL Total Access Postgame show on NFL Network for 1 hour this year!
Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jawoski will be on Sportscenter Specials throughout the week and contribute to Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday this year!
Marvin Lewis will be on the coaches show on Tuesday and Wednesday and Jack Del Rio will be on the coaches show on NFL Network on Thursday and Friday this year!
Bob Costas, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison will have the pregame, halftime and Postgame show live from Indianapolis during this year's coverage of the Pro Bowl on NBC and Alex Flanagan and Randy Moss will be the sideline reporters!
It suprises me that NBC dosen't have USA involved in it's Super Bowl coverage this year too, Jimmy Fallon will most likely have a skit,Jim Cantore will definitely be used for the weather at least 3 or 4 times, if not more during the Pre-game show, Alex Flanagan and Michelle Tafoya will be providing updates on both teams and it wouldn't suprise me if NBC decided to add 3 or 4 more analysts for their coverage of the Super Bowl this year, because remember that last time that NBC had the Super Bowl they had 3 Studio hosts, 7 studio analysts and 3 reporters on both teams during their 6- hour Super Bowl Pregame show!
Miranda Lambers and Blake Shelton will be singing America the Beautiful and Kelly Clarkson will be performing the National Anthem before the Super Bowl this year too!