Call this the story of how a Boston blogger broke the "Green Death Crazy Soccer Coach Email" story, yet somehow failed to get any credit for it.
You remember Michael Kinahan, who sent a quite insane email to parents of his Massachusetts 6- and 7-year-old girls soccer team that got him ousted before the season even began (Excerpt: "I expect that the ladies be put on a diet of fish, undercooked red meat and lots of veggies. No junk food."). I first saw the story at the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot-Ledger, which presented it as their own reporting.
But David Portnoy, the founding editor of the blog Barstool Sports, had it first, and the Patriot Ledger cribbed his post for their story four days later. How does Portnoy know that his was copied? He had changed a couple of the names for privacy reasons, and the Patriot Ledger had those altered names in their piece.
"I don't know that they did it intentionally," Portnoy told me by phone today. "It's not the biggest deal in the world. But the story really took off and got a lot of attention, and it would have been nice to get some credit for it. We don't have an opportunity like that very often."
Portnoy told me that he got wind of the story from "the friend of one of the parents (of the team in question)."
"He forwarded me the email, and we did a post on that. Then a few days later the coach resigned, and I posted on that the next day. Then the Patriot Ledger picked it up and the story caught fire."
The Patriot Ledger ran this story on March 31. Bartstool Sports had this on March 27, and this on March 30. So Wednesday, Portnoy sent an email to the newspaper, asking, 'Hey, what gives?' He got this reply:
We had a copy of the email from another parent, but apparently copied the version from your site without credit. That was a mistake and we apologize for that. We should have used our own copy. If it's any consolation, this kind of thing happens to us often. We don't like it, which is another reason we should have been more careful.
AP picked up the story from us, which is we you're seeing the credit on other sites. The LA Times and other sites credited the Herald.
We have gone into our site and added the credit to the original story and the folo, along with links to your site.
Hope that explains what happened.
So the Patriot-Ledger had an email that was forwarded by a parent.... but copied Barstool's account by mistake. I see.
"The story was on PTI, you guys had it, it went crazy," Portnoy said. "But I soon realized that the reason we weren't getting credit was that the Patriot Ledger didn't mention us. Hey, they did apologize. I was just hoping that somehow a few people would know it originally came from us."
Portnoy, who does this is his only job, has been running Barstool for three years out of his home in Boston. Here is his office. Ha. Oh, and you can commemorate this whole incident with a handsome Green Death T-shirt, available on his site. If Portnoy can find one to send you in that toxic mess.