Avid readers of Rick Reilly®'s Wikipedia entry might've noticed a recent change: It is now, in every sense of the word, toothless.
Gone is any mention of Josh Levin's groundbreaking research into Rick Reilly's taste for dental yuks, and, as everyone knows, Rick Reilly without the dental yuks is like Gallagher without the melons. Nonetheless, one helpful but censorious Wikipedian saw fit to scrub the reference. Hmmm. Is someone protecting Rick Reilly, 11-time sportswriter of the year, from the barbs of the Internet?
First, here's how the entry read as of Monday:
And here's how it reads now:
As you can see here, the user responsible for this edit, as well as a series of innocuous changes, is someone called "Zim924," who, to judge by past contributions, takes a keen interest in Hoda Kotb, an assortment of sports personalities and the film work of Marlon Wayans. The latter, Zim924 helpfully informs us, "is currently in 'G.I. Joe.'"
This afternoon, we called up Mark Zimmerman, aka Zim924, a very kind man who assured us several times that he enjoyed our web site and who confirmed that Reilly is indeed a client of Headline Media Management (and has been since before Zimmerman joined the firm in 2007). "Nicest man you'll ever meet," Zimmerman said of Reilly.
We asked if he had made certain edits to Reilly's Wikipedia profile. He didn't hesitate. "Yes, sir," he said. "I just added that he's newly married and updated his book stuff."
We pointed out that a revision comparison clearly indicates his handiwork in the dental reference's removal. He denied it.
"No, sir," Zimmerman said. "Hand to God. I never saw that reference."
We e-mailed him the comparisons. He soon phoned us back and reiterated his denial. "I personally did not delete it," he said (italics ours, just to be pricks about it).
"Seems pretty innocent to me," Zimmerman added. "I can put it back if anyone is upset about it."
Rick Reilly [Wikipedia]