Remember a couple weeks ago when both Indy Star's Bob Kravitz and ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky lamented the fact that the Colts were holding "secret" workouts? They now have a third mainstream writer joining them, and that's Yahoo! Sports writer Michael Silver.
It was announced yesterday that the Carolina Panthers hired a uniformed police officer to stand outside where they were holding team workouts, a local Charlotte high school. Silver ripped them to pieces for doing this, specifically calling them out:
You guys are acting like morons – and wimps.
We've held the same views as Kravitz, Kuharsky, and now Silver, that holding workouts "in secret" is ridiculous, as well as counterproductive to what the players are trying to accomplish during this lockout. Look at any informal poll, and you'll see an overwhelming majority in favor of the players side in the lockout. Why would these players not want the fans to come watch them workout? It's the first week in June; teams clearly aren't putting in their game-plans for Week 1. How would this be any different than Training Camp, which is open to the public? At the very least, selecting a few media members to be there seems like a small price to pay for continuing the good PR the players are getting in the Court of Public Opinion.
Silver talks about the Colts "secret" workouts as well, and how they relate to the situation the Panthers put themselves in:
I think the actions of the Dolphins and the Colts in question were as absurd as those of their Panthers counterparts, but at least they had some semblance of an excuse: They’re accustomed to control-freak regimes whose obsession with secrecy has been hammered home repeatedly by esteemed football men (Colts president Bill Polian and former Dolphins vice president Bill Parcells, respectively), and their perspective is consequently warped.
Silver continues with his argument about how dumb it is for the Panthers, Dolphins, and Colts to take this position, when he brings up "media access". I've brought this up personally with respect to the Colts, and how frustrating it is to not hear from your favorite team, when the majority of the other teams at least offer something up to chew on. As a fan who frequents and writes on a blog dedicated to a single team, I want to know everything possible there is to know about our favorite team, no matter what it is. We all know how official announcements from the Colts are always two weeks behind the times, so the only way to get real-time news is a place like Stampede Blue, 18to88, or Coltszilla. That's why you all come here (presumably): you want to know as much as possible about your team. Silver agrees:
I know there are many of you out there who think I’m merely whining and profess to prefer a reality in which reporters are routinely denied access and stonewalled at every turn. And I think you’re delusional. I demand access because, in most cases, you, the fan, seeks information. From what I can tell, many of you have a ravenous appetite for stories and rumors surrounding your favorite NFL teams and players, even in the middle of the offseason. Would you be cool with subsisting on team-issued press releases and players’ Twitter feeds?
Now, Twitter is a great place to interact with Colts players, and several of them are great at answering questions. But what about those players that aren't on Twitter? Do we really only want to learn about our favorite team in 140 characters or less? If you come to this blog, or any other team blog, the answer is no. You want more, or else you wouldn't be here.
Do the players think the media is the enemy? Silver thinks so, and sums up his argument with another perfectly written line:
Usually, it’s the Polians and Parcellses of the world who go to great lengths to keep my fellow journalists and me from getting the real story. This time, it’s a bunch of well-compensated athletes who’ve incorrectly identified the enemy while appearing clueless and intimidated in the process.
We're not asking to know what schemes they'll run on 3rd and short against a certain package. We're not asking for a copy of their first 15 plays. We're asking for a little bit of general insight into our favorite team during a time we only get fed news stories about lawsuits, arrests, and mediators. The Players are the only ones that can help us out, which is why holding "secret" workouts seems so backwards.