Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Dish Best Served Cold

Almost nine years ago, a frustrated Fighting Irish football fan wallowing in the midst of a 5-7 effort by Bob Davie and crew, vented those frustrations by writing a fake news article for a Usenet newsgroup. In that newsgroup, creating such faux factograms was de rigeur, with participants trying to hook as many fish as possible.

Ironically, the furor that article created helped set me on the path of "legitimate" reporting that brought me to NDNation (via NDHoops) and book authorship and the wonderful community The Pit has become. But at the time, the hassles ended up outnumbering the laughs, and I swore off fake news, seemingly forever.

But that's the problem with lessons learned long ago ... they tend to fade in your head. And you end up in the shower on one April Fool's Day morning with an idea bouncing around in your noggin, and you forget (as many folks do) that a lot more people read posts on the board than the people who respond. Then you read blog entries about your little joke, and realize you got some 'splainin' to do.

Let's be clear: As far as I'm aware, no one from Indiana University has talked or plans to talk to Mike Brey about anything. My impression has always been Mike is happy as a clam at ND and has no plans to go anywhere anytime soon. Just so no one remains confused.

It's hard to determine how to react here.

On the one hand, as I constantly remind people (and should have reminded myself), plenty of people read the Internet and plenty of messages have unintended consequences. Two seasons or so ago, the father of a signed recruit sent an email to some friends where he shared some Ancient Chinese Secrets about how the coaching staff was doing business. The recipients forwarded to two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on, and next thing the poor guy knew, the email was being posted on every ND site and was traveling all over the world. He ended up very embarrassed, as did (I'm sure) his son.

Now I find myself in a similar situation. We here at NDN are certainly blessed with a large and active readership, but that readership comes at a cost. I usually pride myself on verifying info I'm going to share, and when I do things like this, I jeopardize that relationship with the readers.

On the other hand, though, it's freaking April Fool's Day. Part of me thinks the only thing I should be embarrassed about is the joke is so hackneyed a twit like Brendan Loy apparently thought of it too. And if we can read stuff like this about Juli Boeheim, perhaps I should tell people to lighten the !@#$ up about my relatively tame stuff.

But then again, I'm not and don't want to be either of those guys.

I see the points of those who wonder if what I did was a good idea. At various points during the day, I've wondered myself. But it's done, and I gave up second guessing myself for Lent, so onward and upward. Besides, IU seems to have their coach, and I get to watch the Marquette folks get all squirrelly to boot.

Maybe it's a better day than I thought....

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since this board and practically all message boards have basically no influence on events your joke was harmless. Whoever gets upset about it should remember this: It's a message board. The views expressed have zero influence/importance.

4/01/2008 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Father Nieuwland said...

With great power comes great responsibility.

Ka(bong)-El, it is forbidden for you to interfere in human history.

A second-rate poster like me could have posted your Brey story and it would have been recognized as a joke of the day. As a board op, I think you needed to make it less-plausible, or have the initial post's first lines spell out "april fool" (as your follow-up post did).

Your blog post closes it well though.

4/01/2008 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job. Keep up the good work. I really believe in you. I know you will succeed.

4/01/2008 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job...It was all in pure fun!!! Obviously, some people need a life...while yes, sports can be an obsession...IT IS MEANT TO BE FUN!!!

4/04/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the site, enjoy reading the articles. Even thought the joke was amussing. I also do realize we live a time where people are searching for recruiting tidbits and even the slightest rumor of a coach or even asst. coach leaving could have ramifications on a recruit. I guess we should have some sort of unwritten rule... anything that can jeapordize recruiting is off limits.

4/04/2008 11:46:00 AM  

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