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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



June 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

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An old-fashioned game of telephone dubs Tarvaris Jackson as Seahawks starter

Ever played the game of telephone?

You start with a dozen or so people, and arrange them in a line. The person at one end is given a word a phrase and told to whisper it to the next person in line. That person, in turn, whispers those same word(s) to the next person. Everyone can whisper it only once, and the last person in line is asked to say it aloud to see just how far it has deviated from the original message.

That's the best explanation I can come up with to explain the headline that has appeared on CNNSI.com stating, "Report: Tarvaris Jackson named Seahawks starter."

jackson report.jpg
That's quite a scoop, right? I mean, it's only the biggest question facing the Seahawks heading into next season and the latest word from coach Pete Carroll was that it was still a three-way race.

Except the report isn't quite as breathless as it sounds. First, the source of the report is John Clayton, the NFL reporter for ESPN yet CNNSI.com pulls off the feat of using him as reference material, and providing a link to a story from RotoWorld.com, which references statements Clayton made on ESPN's SportsCenter.

Hmmmmm, and now the game of telephone begins.

The starting point: Clayton on SportsCenter, making a two-pronged statement. The first is that Flynn hasn't "wowed" anybody in the offseason workout. That is his opinion, a summary that is certainly within Clayton's purview to make, but it's his assessment of where things stand with regard to Flynn. The second part of Clayton's statement was that Jackson will take the first snap in training camp, which doesn't truly constitute news. That's been the Seahawks' standard-operating procedure throughout the offseason workouts and something Carroll recently said would continue in training camp.

Clayton was not making a statement on who would start Game 1. He was summarizing where the situation stood heading into training camp.

It was the way his report was summarized, first on on RotoWorld.com, and then reprocessed and repackaged by CNNSI.com, which hung a sensational little "Report:" on it, stating Jackson had been named the starter when he hasn't been and Clayton never said he had been.

Oh, Jackson will take the first snap, but we knew that a few months ago.


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