One of my biggest pet peeves about sports reporting in today's technology driven world is the desire to be the first to report a story. As a result, the number of stories citing "sources close to the situation" has sky rocketed. Now, this trend has led to ESPN becoming the sports news version of John Kerry with regards to the "is Carson Palmer starting on Sunday?" question. I am just waiting for someone from ESPN to let us all know that "I reported for it before I reported against it".
Earlier in the week, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Carson Palmer would be starting for the Raiders this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. At the time, Hue Jackson, the only person who really knows if Palmer will start, had stated that he had not yet made his decision. Despite this fact, something that Schefter and ESPN knew, they went ahead and ran with the misleading story that lead many to report Palmer was going to start against the Chiefs.
Which brings me to the latest "news" to break on ESPN.com. Now, ESPN is reporting that Palmer will likely not start on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Shockingly, ESPN fails to mention the fact that they had reported earlier in the week that Palmer would be starting for sure. But it is ok, because they have "sources".
Here is the problem with all of this. I have a source too. His name is Hue Jackson and no one is closer to the situation than he is. According to my source, there has not been a decision made as to whether or not Carson Palmer will start. In addition, Jackson has shown that in true Raider fashion, he is going to be tight lipped about a decision like this until the last second. In all likelihood, the "sources" noted in the ESPN article were nothing more than Raiders employees who were simply giving their opinion. An opinion, by the way, that holds about as much water as my opinion.
The only person whose opinion counts in this situation is Hue Jackson's, and let's face it, guessing what Hue Jackson will do is about as easy as guessing winning lottery numbers. So, until he has his Irish coffee, there is no way of guessing who will be the starter against the Chiefs on Sunday.