FootballCoachScoop ruins lives

(NOTE: I finished this blog literally the exact minute I found out Turner Gill had been named Kansas University’s new football coach. It’s worthless now. But I wanted to post it anyway, because I really, really, really, really, really, really hate

Well,, you took another step forward Friday in your ongoing quest to single-handedly ruin American journalism.

Yesterday, for instance, you posted this little nugget about Kansas University’s search for a new football coach: “FootballCoachScoop has BREAKING NEWS and is the FIRST TO REPORT that Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is negotiating a contract with Athletic Director Lew Perkins to be the new Head Coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. Our sources tell us that Harabugh will be named the new Head Coach at KU when the contract details are worked out and finalized this weekend. According to our source he will be paid between $2.5 Million and 2.75 Million if they can finalize all the details.”

Here’s what happened next: Citing unnamed sources — almost certainly — multiple Kansas City-area TV and radio outlets reported Harbaugh was set to be named Kansas University’s new head football coach, using various pieces of information from the FooballCoachScoop Web site in their reports. Then — and this is the most disturbing part — other credible news organizations saw that TV and radio stations were reporting Harbaugh-to-Kansas, and so they picked up the story, too, meaning that when people awoke to find their morning newspapers in various cities across the country Saturday morning, they found stories indicating that Harbaugh was the new coach at Kansas.

Hey, it was a fun story. Got people talking. Created a buzz througout Lawrence, fans thrilled at the prospect of such a high-profile coach coming to coach the Jayhawks.

Except that none of it was even remotely true.

Perkins released a statement Friday saying the reports about Harbaugh were baloney, and then Harbaugh released a statement saying he wasn’t coming to Kansas, and, oh yeah, somewhere in the middle of all this tomfoolery, Turner Gill actually became the Kansas coach.

For those that don’t know (and I’m honestly dumbfounded that anyone would not know this by now), is a joke. Like, a complete joke. If it was a character from Batman, it would be the Joker. As far as I can tell, this is honestly the way the Web site works: It’s a really complicated and detailed system in which the Web site receives an anonymous e-mail making some ridiculous claim that is backed up with absolutely no facts, and then the FootballCoachScoop people post it online as fact.

Like, that’s the extent of it.

And I’m not exaggerating.

I’m 97.6-percent certain that, with a single e-mail to the Web site, I could get the following report posted:

“FootballCoachScoop has BREAKING NEWS and is the FIRST TO REPORT that Lawrence Journal-World reporter Dugan Arnett will be named the next Kansas football coach. Our sources tell us that Arnett impressed KU athletic director Lew Perkins during his interview by wearing a tie with footballs on it and describing in detail how he once won a game of Madden on PlayStation 3 by a score of 103-7, even though “the computer was totally trying to cheat me, like, the whole game!” Our sources also indicate that Arnett, a male model who’s currently dating Erin Andrews and all of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, will officially sign a contract today, before holding a Monday news conference in Lawrence. According to our sources, the deal will be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 trillion gajillion dollars and include a lifetime supply of the now defunct ‘Surge’ soft drink.”

Anyway, I hate