B/R Extends Olive Branch, But Is It Poisonous?

Daniel ShanksAnalyst IJuly 17, 2009

In the last few days, I have been ranting and raving about the cbssports.com correspondent contest.

Whether you agree with what I'm saying or not (some have been 100 percent behind me, others think that I've experienced some sort of psychotic break), it's easy to decipher my true emotions on the situation.

One of my biggest problems with the screw job is the fact that it seems that this could have been handled so much better if b/r and cbs had just been honest about what was going on.

A spirit of full disclosure would have been very helpful.

If we writers knew what was going on before the announcement, we definitely would've been pissed.

But we wouldn't have been so angry that we were ready to wage literary war against "Little Brother" and his minion.

In an effort to explain things (or placate to my ego, or shut me up, or whatever), b/r's Dave Morrison sent me an e-mail yesterday, asking me to share whatever thoughts and feelings I might have about the Summertime Shakedown.

(From here on out, the Summertime Shakedown is how I will refer to everything dealing with the cbs contest. Think of it as the Boston Massacre.)

Anyway, Morrison is the B/R Community Coordinator. I figured, "Since I have the guy's year, what the heck? Let's scream a little louder so he can hear me."

(You see Cecilia? Someone is starting to hear us loud and clear. But we still need more noise....)

So I fired off some salvos: Did b/r know cbs was getting ready to hijack the contest? Did the non-b/r winners of the Summertime Shakedown have to go through the same things we did?

And, one of the most important questions was: When did b/r know about the Shakedown and why didn't they tell us sooner?

Here are the answers I received in Morrison's e-mail:


1) Our expectation was that all 32 correspondents would come from the B/R application process. We did not know how many correspondents from B/R were actually selected until CBS had made the final roster. 
Obviously we're disappointed that all 32 correspondents didn't come from B/R but ultimately CBS had to chose the writers they felt most comfortable with.
2) The fact is that with this being a high-profile position and with the state of the economy, a handful of veteran sportswriters and NFL beat writers contacted CBS directly.
3) We simply did not know until every team had been filled out by CBS. As soon as we knew the score, we let you guys know.
Honestly, I'm greatly satisfied with these answers. It helps take some of the sting out of the Summertime Shakedown.
However, there were two things about Morrison's e-mails that had my "BS antennae" on high alert.
As the foremost revolutionary (nutjob?) on b/r, I would have been remiss if I had not asked him when cbs was going to post the winners, and when the bleacher creatures would be allowed to see the full list of b/r's 64 recommendations.
Morrison responded that cbs will be announcing the winners near the start of training camp, and that list would be available to b/r.
Here's the problem I have. Morrison said that b/r will NOT be releasing the 64 recommendations b/r made. He said they will be contacted individually, but didn't say when.
After all this good will and full disclosure, suddenly b/r doesn't want to share what could arguably the key to closure of the Summertime Shakedown.
All we writers really want to know is where we stood.
But after popping off at the mouth, I want to see if that influences their decision.
That's why I want to see the list.
Also, it would be nice recognition for the 64 who were talented enough to be recognized. They deserve their kudos, don't they?
Finally, and this is where the conspiracy theorist in me starts to creep in, would any of you be really surprised if b/r said that they were going to tell winners individually, and then only told 32 people instead of 64?
That way, they saved about, oh, $16,000 in a crap economy.
Just sayin....