By Stefen Lovelace
The latest NFL news is that mercurial wide receiver Randy Moss will be traded from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings for a third round draft pick.
Every major outlet is reporting this is a done deal. News of the deal was announced late last night, when outlets were reporting that Foxsports.com had broken the story.
The story may have actually been broken by ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons by accident. Last night Simmons tweeted “Moss vikings”. The tweet didn’t make a lot of sense, and Simmons clarified a couple of minutes later that he meant to send the tweet as a direct message, as he had heard a rumor that a Moss trade to the Vikings might be in the works. He had no intention of sending the tweet to his one million-plus followers. He deleted the tweet a few minutes later, but was too late.
Moments later, ProFootballTalk tweeted “Unintended tweet sparks rumors of Moss to Minnesota” in reference to Simmons‘ mistake. Then Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer tweeted “Yes, vikes and pats have been working on trade that sends randy moss to vikes and r very clode (sic) but can't be done ...” Once that was tweeted, every major outlet started reporting it and credited Foxsports.com on the story. To Glazer’s credit, he later acknowledged via tweet that Simmons beat him to the story, but he had been following it all day.
Simmons has always maintained that he’s not a reporter, but rather a columnist. He hails from Boston, and part of his persona is that he writes from the perspective of a fan and just comments on what he sees. But through Simmons writing, expertise, and platform, he’s managed to make some pretty major contacts in sports. If Simmons says something about the NBA or a Boston sports team, there’s a good chance there’s some truth to it.
This is probably the first actual story Simmons has broken since working for ESPN. I’m pretty sure he never thought it would be like this though.
Stefen Lovelace is an Associate Account Executive. Contact him at email@example.com.