Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Source Tells Me...

...that the word "source" is useless nowadays. What good does that tell us if a "source" told you something? That may mean absolutely nothing, or you're trying to prove you have a little more inside knowledge then us normal people. Is it helpful? Sure, sometimes it is, but most of the time you don't need a "source" to tell us this breaking news. So, why do we use it then all the time? defines "source" in this context as any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained; origin, or something or someone supplying information. In sports, sources are usually people or places where you go to get inside information about trades, acquisitions, or stuff that you can't get anywhere else. With the new breed of bloggers claiming to have "sources" now, the word means a lot less than it used to. The insiders at places like ESPN and TSN who have "sources" may actually have them, but what good does it tell us that a "source" told you this? Does this make it anymore than a glorified rumor?

When Woodward and Bernstein used the source "Deep Throat" in order to uncover more information about Watergate, it truly brought the word to prominence in investigative reporting, and then that trickled into sports, where not it seems that everyone has a "source" claiming they have the inside knowledge. We put our trust in these people because they give credence to the unfounded rumors that spread around the internet like wildfire. But in all honesty, a "source" is a secret code for telling us all, that "we're better than you because we have 'sources'".

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, because it really isn't. But I don't understand how much faith we put in people with "sources" when many of them claim to have them, but none of the stuff they report ever happens (hockey fans know this well). ESPN Insider is a just another glorified waste of cash to tell you stuff that "sources" may have reported. It has watered down the definition of "source" and that makes people who tell you that they have "sources" less credible.

In the world of sports, "sources" won't ever go away, and we all wished we had one or two at some point to give us good rumors. But we bander around the word so much that it means next to nothing now, and in the internet age we're now in, does it really matter that you have "sources" anymore?

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