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”:
GOODELL: AS GOOD AS GONE
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…
It might be time for Roger Goodell to update his LinkedIn
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 10, 2014
In short — Goodell is toast,…new Commissioner?
— Andy Furman (@AndyFurmanFSR) September 10, 2014
Later Goodell RT @AP: BREAKING: AP Source: Law enforcement official sent copy of Ray Rice tape to NFL executive in April
— Zach Myers (@ZMyersOfficial) September 10, 2014
Bye, bye Goodell.
— Eric Wilbur (@GlobeEricWilbur) September 10, 2014
Bye Bye Goodell
— Bill Crawford (@dveBillCrawford) September 10, 2014
Of course, Roger Goodell survived these events and is still the NFL Commissioner.
THE U GETS THE DEATH PENALTY
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…
Take time to read this. EXPLOSIVE job done by Yahoo on Miami football. Over, done, goodbye.
Death penalty, folks http://t.co/B7NtIhY
— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) August 17, 2011
After you read @CharlesRobinson story on Univ of Miami and violations, tell me Hurricanes football isn't headed towards the "death penalty".
— SportsBusinessRadio (@SBRadio) August 16, 2011
Amazing, amazing story by @WindyCityScribe on Yahoo! Sports on the U. The Miami football program is FINISHED. Could b death penalty.
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) August 17, 2011
SMU might have some company…I'm convinced The U is going the Death Penalty when all is said and done
— Pat Malacaro (@PatWGR) August 17, 2011
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.
THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES ELIMINATE THEMSELVES FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION
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…
I hear Ohio St. has the National Semifinals and NC game on the schedules around its football complex. Guess they can take those down now.
— Joe Girvan (@JoeGirvanNBC2) September 7, 2014
Two games in, they need to edit that College Football Playoff commercial. Y'all can edit the Buckeye fans out after tonight! LOL #Small10
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) September 7, 2014
RIP: Here he lies, any B1G national championship hopes for 2014…Born August 31, 2014 – Died September 6, 2014.
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) September 7, 2014
The Big Ten is officially eliminated from placing a team in the playoff. It is September 6th.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 7, 2014
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.