A source, who for reasons likely related to making the monthly mortgage payment has asked not to be identified, has forwarded to us a version of ESPN’s internal “Hot List,” which provides a detailed rundown of the current stories that might merit mention on the various ESPN properties.
It’s a lengthy collection of news and nuggets regarding all of the major sports (and golf). At the bottom, there’s a description of one specific story that should be avoided.
Under the heading “DO NOT REPORT . . . DO NOT REPORT . . . . DO NOT REPORT . . . DO NOT REPORT” (um, we get the point) appears the following:
“Yesterday, FoxSports reported that Brett Favre spent 60 to 90 minutes before the Week Two game between the Lions and the Packers educating the Detroit coaching staff regarding the Packers’ offensive strategies. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD BY RELIABLE SOURCES THIS REPORT IS NOT TRUE. We did NOT report it yesterday. Today, the NFL responded to the report, saying even if Favre did this he did not break any league rules. We are NOT reporting it today, because that would mean airing the erroneous report. DO NOT REPORT IT.”
The popular theory is that ESPN does not want to jinx its cozy access to Brett, which, I suppose makes some sense as if they did piss him off he would be on the phone to SI the next day telling them all about how Chris Mortenson vets all of his stories through his imaginary friend Crinkleberry the Magical Sports Cow.
At any rate, they should probably change the name of ESPNews to ESPNscooped or something like that.