For the second time this year, the Indianapolis Star has written an article that does not paint us favorably here at Stampede Blue. However, instead of the venom coming from Bob Kravitz, it is getting spit at us by the normally reliable Phil Richards. Maybe the Star's staff are just mad at us because we have routinely voiced in the open what so many residents of Indiana have been saying privately for years: That the Star sucks as a newspaper, and that the management there is about as tuned in to their readers as Bill Polian is with Colts fans.
Whatever the reason, Phil woke up today and decided to write some things that are, quite frankly, wrong. Here's a section of Phil's article (emphasis mine):
Stampedeblue.com, a blog not associated with the club, charged that Polian became so incensed he stormed off and left host Bob Lamey alone for the show's final 10 minutes.
"He did not storm off," said Kent Sterling, program director for WFNI-1070 AM, which carries the show simultaneously with its airing on WLHK-97.1 FM.
The program normally goes to its first commercial break 13 minutes into the hour, Sterling explained, but given the compelling nature of the discussion, that first break came at 23 minutes. Commercials continued to be pushed back.
"We had six minutes of (commercials) left to play in seven minutes," Sterling said.
"So Bob just wrapped it up in the last minute."
That doesn't mean that Polian wasn't annoyed, or that callers were assuaged.
First off, we never "charged" that Polian ran off the set of his show. That's just sensationalism on Phil's part; the kind of stuff you'd expect to read from blogs. Or, so I'm told.
The blog article that Phil is likely referring to is this one, which is titled (emphasis mine), "Bill Polian called out by Colts fans on his call-in radio show, gets defensive, seemingly ends show early." I can't be 100% sure if this is the article, since Phil did not link to it in his story, but I'm pretty sure that's the one.
Phil went to journalism school, I assume. So, he likely knows that when words like "seemingly" are used to describe events, it means that it is how things appear at the time or how the seem. And for thousands of Colts fans who tuned into the Bill Polian Show, which is primarily carried on 97.1 HANK FM and HANKFM.com, on Monday Dec. 28th at around the 6:50pm mark in the show, while Polian was involved in a rather heated discussion with a male caller, the station switched in mid-discussion to music and commercial filler. Whether that was a technical issue, or a programming decision based on pre-determined commercial time, I don't know. What I do know is almost everyone who was listening at that time thought the same thing: They've cut the show off because something happened on set.
I wrote about my own experience listening to the show using the following lovely prose (again, emphasis mine):
All of this resistance to Polian, the Colts, and their excuses for not trying to win the ballgame seemed too much for the Colts president. Midway through the final caller, with about ten minutes to go in the show, the show was cut-off. The station immediately threw in music and commercial filler, and thus, the Bill Polian Show was abruptly ended. Perhaps there was a technical failure. Perhaps a major FM radio station in a somewhat large metro area lost their feed. Perhaps one day flaming monkeys will shoot magically from my butt.
To put what happened in a proper context, just like pulling the starters Sunday, Bill Polian seemed to pull himself out of the show early to avoid further injury.
You'll notice how in the original article we concede that the reason the show seemed to get cut short might have been technical problems. You'll also notice that rather than flat out stating "YES! Bill Polian ran out on his callers the way the Colts ran out on their fans Sunday!" we added that it seemed as though he did.
We also updated the original article with new information we received from people like Eric Hartz at ColtPower.com. In addition, we published an entirely separate update article, with links back and forth to the original one, with even more updated news. This was done long before Kent Sterling's rather passive-aggressive press release that all but called us liars, which we even made a special FanPost for much to the annoyance of our readers, who thought we were "over-killing" the story.
By the way Kent, "spurrious" is spelled with one "r." I linked to a dictionary in the event you accuse me of "spuriously" claiming you don't know how to proof read or spell.
In short, we did our job. We covered our bases. We did not charge that Bill Polian did something he seemed not to do. Phil Richards is incorrect in assuming we stated such, and that is disappointing. He misrepresented what I wrote, failed to quote the article where he claims I made the seemingly false "charge," and also failed to contact me to receive my side of the story before he published his article. He took the time to quote Kent Sterling and a random Colts fan who owns a sports grill in Fishers (uh, what?), but he did not take the time to email or contact me to hear my side. That, my friends, is bad journalism defined.
We expect better from Phil. Sadly, we didn't get it.