NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 08: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell holds a press conference on October 8, 2014 in New York City. Goodell addressed the media at the conclusion of the annual Fall league meeting in the wake of a string of high-profile incidents, including the domestic violence case of Ray Rice. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Some of the best Cold Takes are products of people making bold, immediate, reactive statements on social media declaring the ultimate resolution to a major incident. Unfortunately, after the dust settles, the result turns out significantly different than predicted. Here a few examples of some of these “premature determinations”:


On September 10, 2014, the Associated Press reported a source’s claims that the NFL had received the full tape of Ray Rice punching his now wife at a casino prior to Rice’s June 2014 NFL disciplinary hearing about the incident. The aforementioned hearing had resulted in a mere, and heavily scrutinized, two game suspension for Rice.   Goodell had previously denied he had seen the entire video before TMZ published it months after the hearing;  To make matters worse, just days after the AP report, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported allegations from four sources that Rice’s account at the hearing was consistent with what was in the video; contradicting Goodell’s earlier statements that Rice was ambiguous when giving his account at the disciplinary hearing. The two reports were enough for many anxious tweeters to proclaim Goodell was as good as gone as NFL Commissioner. Here are a few…

Of course, Roger Goodell survived these events and is still the NFL Commissioner.


In August 2011, Yahoo! Sports published a bombshell story detailing claims from a former University of Miami football booster turned felon that he “provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 [UM] athletes” (mostly football players) from 2002-2010. The article prompted some immediate declarations that the UM football program would receive the NCAA’s dreaded “death penalty” (i.e. banning a university from competition in a sport for at least a year). Some examples…


These tweets were all posted in spite of the fact that the NCAA has not handed down the death penalty to a Division I athletics program since 1987 (SMU).  Eventually the NCAA penalized “The U”‘s football program with “nine scholarship losses over 3 seasons,” a far cry from the death penalty.


2014 marked the debut of the College Football Playoff, which, for the first time, allowed four teams to compete for the national championship.  People’s inexperience with the format was on display on September 6 after Ohio State uncharacteristically lost a home game to Virginia Tech, as many were quick to eliminate the Buckeyes from playoff contention, including…


The Buckeyes went on to win 11 straight games over the next three months, were selected for the playoff, and won the national championship.

Now one may ask, why do people jump the gun at these types of moments?  Well for one thing, people enjoy being reactive and social media is one of  the best forums to blurt out anything that is on ones mind at any time. In these examples, it appears that a lack of information is the problem.  It’s hard to give a rational, calculated, take based on allegations from anonymous sources. Same goes for an article that only presents one person’s side of a story. And we all should really know not to overreact to a September loss in college football.  So when you are about to tweet something calling for a person’s head, or a team’s funeral, maybe take a step back and sleep on it.  Then again, it’s just Twitter.

About Fred Segal

Fred Segal, 35, grew up in the Miami, Florida area and currently lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife and two children. He is currently an attorney practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the law firm Broad and Cassel. Fred is a graduate of the University of Florida and is a rabid, borderline unhealthy, supporter of the Florida Gators.