Reviewing weekend Twitter spat with deleter Jason La Canfora

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So part of what I’ve promised you here is more of me unleashed.

At ESPN, I was not allowed to offer any media critiques, and that was understandable. The biggest sports site around didn’t want to be critiquing competition.

Now I am free to offer thoughts on other media both good (The Tennessean did a great job getting Predators captain Mike Fisher to give them a personal account of his retirement decision) and bad (The Tennessean’s Jason Wolf is not a good beat writer on the Titans -- at all.)

I’m not looking to blow people in the business up, generally. But it's all on the table now. I have a great deal of respect for the vast majority of sportswriting and sportswriters I come across. I love reading other people’s stuff and being part of the fratenity.


Recently I offered an account of how you should contextualize the perspective of national writers seeing several teams during NFL training camp tours. And Friday night, I got to mention one of those Nashville visitors a second time. Nashville’s least favorite sportswriter, Jason LaCanfora, couldn’t handle a jab I threw making fun of this old report:

This was my pretty mild tweet off what I saw at Jerry Jones' Hall of Fame party.

In my estimation, the proper response from his end would have been to ignore it or make a joke. He did not take either approach.FullSizeRender 15

I forgot that he also said in the spring of 2012 that the Titans were "likely to" use a franchise tag on cornerback Cortland Finnegan. They did not. Or that La Canfora said near the end of the 2014 season that GM Ruston Webster would be fired and Lake Dawson from the Titans' front office was a potential replacement. Not only was Webster not fired, but Dawson was.

(La Canfora is occassionally right about the Titans. He was first to report that Strunk and the Titans were fined six figures in 2016 for failure to comply with the NFL's ownership requirements. I followed up that report, crediting him and getting Strunk to confirm it.)

Friday night, La Canfora amped up the nonsense in response to my response.FullSizeRender 16

What does that even mean? I am not really sure. But I do like green beans.

I finished with this, and went on with my night.

And that was that. Minor Twitter squabble over. Several DMs in hand from others in the business complimenting me for the work.

Except La Canfora later deleted his tweets. Foolishly, I had not taken screen shots. Fortunately, one of my faithful readers did. Big thanks to Robert Rayburn.

So this was my final word on the matter on Twitter.

My final words on the matter right here, right now:

What kind of Twitter user with over 500,000 followers like he has thinks he can delete tweets and makes things go away?

Is he incapable of ignoring things or minimizing them? Diffusion lesson: “Hey PK, good one about Bon Jovi and Adams. Still think it could happen someday. Thanks for thinking of me upon seeing them.”

None of us could have gone too far from there, right?

A very famous newspaper editor years ago said, “When you’re wrong, get right as fast as you can.”

So La Canfora, when you write that Marcus Mariota is still coming back from a knee injury and the world calls you on it and says it was actually a broken leg, try: “My bad on Mariota injury. I knew it was a broken leg. Brain freeze. My apologies.”

Instead of deleting tweets and hiding, acknowledge it all. He seems incapable of self-correction -- a terrible quality in a reporter/analyst. 

Most football writers want accountability from executives, coaches and players. If we want it from them, we should want it from each other too. Why he doesn't is beyond me. And a lot of people.

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