NFL Media: On Mike Florio, Journalism and Some Guy Who Runs a Packers Blog

Aaron Nagler@Aaron_NaglerNFL National Lead WriterApril 6, 2012

I am not a journalist, but I play one on TV.
I am not a journalist, but I play one on TV.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I wasn't going to mention this sanctimonious pile of excrement from Mike Florio, but enough people have asked me about it that I think it best to put my thoughts into one post I can point to. 

To bring the uninitiated up to speed, a few days ago, Mike posted Morris Claiborne's supposedly confidential Wonderlic score, which was quite low, on his website that is visited by millions of people daily. Mind you, he didn't just post the score: he added his own unique (i.e. sad) attempts at humor to go along with it.

I, along with many others, thought that Mike's sophomoric attitude and schoolyard-level barbs (Vince Young now has someone at whom he can point and laugh. Ha.) in the post crossed a line.

I made mention of the fact, via Twitter, that many people had the information, but chose not to reveal it out of some sense of common decency and, more importantly, because the test itself is, to quote the Packers' Assistant Director of Player Personnel "archaic and overrated." 

While I received a surprising level of support on Twitter for my take on things, Mike came back to me and stated that the fact that the NFL mandates the test makes it newsworthy and that was good enough for him. 

Which would be fine, but what part of the open derision of Claiborne's score falls under "news"? That's what bugged me to no end, much more than the fact that the score was revealed at all. 

Fast forward to yesterday, when it seems that CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel shared similar sentiments.

On CBSSports.com Doyel writes:

A standardized test freaks some people out. I saw a guy walk out of our SAT test -- we were high school juniors -- in tears. He froze up, freaked out, walked out. How can that happen? I couldn't tell you, but that guy was a B student. The pressure got to him, is the only thing I can guess. He knew that test would determine what level of college he could get into, and he imploded.

It happens.

Is that what happened to Morris Claiborne? I don't know, you don't know, and Mike Florio doesn't begin to know. But this is a bell that cannot be un-rung. We all heard it, and how do you forget something like this, like a Wonderlic score of 4 -- the maximum is 50 -- from a famous football player? You don't forget it. You might get fuzzy on the details in a few years, maybe forget whether it was a 4 or a 5 or a 7, but there are now thousands of people, possibly millions of people considering how Mike Florio's infectious story went viral, who will always remember Morris Claiborne as that guy from the Wonderlic.

But if that score is going to follow Claiborne around, let's make sure of another thing: Let's make sure that the news story of Claiborne's Wonderlic follows around the guy who wrote it, who put it under a taunting headline and then made jokes about it.

Because when you get right down to it, the guy with the Wonderlic score isn't the dummy in that story.

Well, Mike wasn't having any of that. 

Responding yesterday on his site, Florio plays one of his biggest hits: sidestepping all accountability. (At one point he compares his efforts at humor with the likes of Letterman and Stewart. No, seriously.)

He writes a 600+ word post to call Doyel a hypocrite (which, it turns out, is true). But he makes no real effort to grapple with the larger point: that there is zero reason to be reporting Wonderlic scores. None. 

Oh, and he takes a swipe at me along the way. 

From Florio:

When Bob McGinn, revered Packers scribe from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who received the Dick McCann Award at the Pro Football Hall of Fame last August, reported that same month that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor got a seven on the Wonderlic, did some guy who runs a Packers blog—or anyone else, for that matter— peer down their noses and/or chastise McGinn for reporting that Pryor got a seven?

For those unaware, or too lazy to click the link, the "guy who runs a Packers blog" is me. Never mind the fact that I work here at Bleacher Report now. As usual, Mike can't be bothered with facts. 

As Mike suggests, Bob McGinn is my favorite beat writer on the planet. I respect the hell out of him and his work. But does that mean I just fall in lock-step with everything he says and does? Hell no.

While Mike's ability to find Tweets from years gone by is impressive, if he looked a bit harder, he'd find my calling McGinn out for his over-the-top lambasting of A.J. Hawk just a few months ago. That's just the latest example, but there are plenty more. 

Something else I've stated on Twitter, more than a handful of times, is my admiration for Florio and for how he's built his site into a must-read for anyone interested in the NFL. His example served as inspiration when we first started Cheesehead TV.

But that admiration doesn't blind me to what I consider Mike's unnecessarily vicious streak when it comes to covering the league. And he could care less whose reputation takes a hit because of his callous and careless ways.

Hey, someone on Twitter says Brandon Meriweather shot two people and a radio host texted Florio about it! Good enough for Mike: up goes a post for millions of people to read. Never mind the fact that Meriweather was in fact "nothing but a peace-keeper" during the incident in question.

Why bother waiting for facts to come out, right? Like, say, the fact Morris Claiborne has a learning disability. If Mike Florio wants to compare himself to a Dick McCann award winner, he needs to start adhering to some journalistic standards. 

In the end, I realize this post is just a blip on the radar and changes absolutely nothing. I highly doubt Mike will read it or care what I have to say. But as I stated above, I wanted a one-stop shop for folks to visit when they ask me, as many have done over the past few days, "What's up with you and Florio?"

So, that's what's up. 


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