The NFC East is regarded by many as the best division in the NFL, which leads to higher expectations and a magnified pressure to win.
Each team has its exclusive set of issues, all of which become nationally known because these teams reside in large markets: New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Dallas.
Professional football is a major part of the culture in these cities, and media attention has been ramped up to smothering levels in recent years.
The division has become a contest of one-upmanship, as the teams leave no stone unturned in attempting to improve their lots. As a result, there are always questions of motive when it comes to acquiring or drafting players. Those motives are usually smoke-screened through patronizing pressers and interviews.
Today's GMs and head coaches have mastered the politician's art of saying plenty while saying very little in the same sentence.
Lately, it's the offseason that has piqued the interest of fans. It's beginning to surpass the actual season itself. The four NFC East franchises are all playing it close to vest when it comes to divulging and sharing information. The four entities are operating in bunkers, it seems, including the Cowboys.
Intelligence has become the most coveted commodity.
So, when somebody comes across a morsel of information that has not been covered by the mainstream media, that morsel makes the rounds in the media's secondary market—blogs and social media.
That's where things can get blown way out of proportion. Bloggers have a tendency to overlook facts and replace them with conjecture. Everyone is online these days, and sometimes you can't tell if you're reading a 15-year-old's blog or an accredited member of the media's posts.
These teams and their fans can't make that determination either, since the presentation of many fan-based sites are so well-produced they appear to be mainstream on the surface.
When someone from Bleacher Report or Yardbarker posts an opinion as if it were a fact, the rumors begin to circulate exponentially. Readers assume the writer has factual knowledge.
Much of this confusion has led most professional teams to declare martial law on web-only publications over the years, limiting or denying access to them while narrowing the scope and truncating the information they themselves release to the public.
If you're an outsider, now you can only connect the dots you are allowed to see; whereas, the accredited media gets to see almost all the dots. That being said, you would think their articles would outshine those of bloggers. You would think.
So, here we are on the apron of what promises to be another season of discomfort in the NFC East. And, here we are looking into the widening chasm of rumors, facts, and and innuendo, attempting to disseminate the truths from the lies while laboring to wade through the mis- and disinformation being spun about our four clubs.
Maybe, I'll just get back to basics and go out and get the stories this year. How novel—a writer going out into the field looking for a story. Don't laugh, I've heard this approach was successful back in the last century.
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