Our pal AJ Daulerio, reporting for Philadelphia magazine, heard a rumor about a potential dogfighting case involving members of the hometown Eagles. Like any diligent reporter, he made a few calls, including one to the Eagles' office, and he found nothing, and reporting nothing. But that wasn't the end of the story.
Today, just a few days after he called the Eagles' PR office, Daulerio showed up at his office and was greeted by James Clark, a "security representative" of the NFL. (He was an unannounced guest.) And he had all kinds of questions.
Mr. Clark and I had about 10 minutes of conversation that he wrote down on his yellow notepad, most of which was me explaining how I found nothing in any of the conversations I'd had with other people that was worth reporting. However, Mr. Clark explained that the league had received a call from the Eagles, and that this is what the NFL does in certain criminal matters — regardless of how, in this case, unfounded or questionable the source of the allegations may be.
So, I never published the story— I had nothing, really — and, yet, the NFL felt it had just enough loosely based info to send someone over to check it out without even the courtesy of a phone call. So, either these rumors (with a big, blinking capital "R," remember) have a little more credibility than suspected, or the Eagles are completely paranoid right now and have resorted to public relations buffoonery by turning a non-story into one.
OK, this is kind of a fun game. Everybody, let's come up with "rumors" that we've "heard" about NFL players, and see if we can get James Clark to visit us.
We'll start: "Sources" hear "stories" of Jeff Reed's illegal and rampant cockfighting ring. What will the NFL do about this national disgrace?
The NFL And The Eagles Are Highly Sensitive To All Matters Dog-Related [Philadelphia Magazine]