Above you see a photo from Instagram that inspired Twitter Emperor Darren Rovell to write an article for ESPN titled, "Expensive Dinner for Bears Rookies". Pretty standard. But was it really that expensive?
Deadspin has all the backtracking details here, but the headline to the article now reads: "Expensive Dinner for Bears Rookies -- Or Was It?" with Rovell adding the line: "But was it all a bit of rookie hazing? He later tweeted it was a joke to play on the first-year players. A source confirmed that the restaurant printed the fake bill."
Ok, a few things are great about this:
- Rovell citing a "source" to confirm the Bears' explanation only AFTER he "reported" by reading the instagram and writing stuff like this: "The restaurant charged $9,999 each for three Bears dinners, though it's not exactly clear how many players attended."
- The entire article was pretty embarassing--Or was it? Neither ESPN or the author issued an apology for getting the story wrong, and are instead pretending like the initial mistake never happened.
- The mistake isn't the problem--God knows we've done the same--it's pretending the mistake never happened and instead of laughing it off, "reporting" on the hoax like you're getting to the bottom of things. Our restaurant source says this is HARD-HITTING STUFF.
- You have to love ESPN getting itself ensared in the backlash against Rovell's horrible journalism, all in exchange for stories about Bears rookie hazing that never actually happened. Now that Rovell's working with Bristol, it's not just Rovell who gets duped, it's the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
So the answer to the headline is a resounding, "YES." All because ESPN hired Darren Rovell, cursing them to a lifetime of these stupid clarifications and after-the-fact editing jobs.
Even some horribly irresponsible Bears rookie could tell you: You get what you pay for.