The biggest storyline as far as the coverage of the NFL Draft heading into the 2013 version was the commotion about NFL insiders tipping picks. After a couple years of reporters like Adam Schefter beating television with their reports, ESPN and the NFL Network came to an agreement to not spoil picks ahead of time on television. No tweets. No insider flashes. No draftees on phones in the green room. In truth, ESPN and NFL Network were listening to the fans as a wide majority wanted to first hear the selections from the podium. Both networks by and large held firm to that strategy over the three days of the draft and kept fans happy by preserving the drama of those announcements for their viewers.
But tipping picks on television and tipping picks on Twitter should be two separate things. Just because ESPN hid Adam Schefter's blackberry didn't mean picks weren't being tipped by others. A number of NFL reporters NOT working for ESPN and NFL Network were free to try and do what they always do - break news. One of those individuals was Jason La Canfora of CBS, who was under no pressure, edict, or moral obligation to stop doing his job to protect the television product that is the draft. He even warned followers last Wednesday:
To all the Tweets about people unfollowing me, I have a job to do and if you dont want the info, that's cool. I get it. No one has to follow— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 24, 2013
I'm not trying to win votes and for every person unfollowing, others will want the info. It's about reporting info, not silly Twitter count— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 24, 2013
La Canfora also tweeted the link to an interview at the Sherman Report that specifically said he would be tweeting any and all draft information (aka tipping picks) as often and as soon as possible...
How will I approach covering the draft Thurs nigh, including on Twitter?:shermanreport.com/no-restriction…— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 24, 2013
At this point it should have been clear that La Canfora would be trying to have the draft picks before television viewers. And it was a great situation for him with his top competition (Schefter, Mortensen, Glazer) not engaged in tweeting picks. La Canfora had the breaking news space almost to himself, which at any other time of year would be a reporter's dream.
Nevertheless, throughout the entire draft, people on Twitter were angry at Jason La Canfora for doing what he said he was going to do. Very. Angry.no comments