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Alex Smith, The KC Chiefs & How Rumors Get Started


We’re not professional reporters here at Arrowhead Addict.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to hold ourselves to a high standard so that you, our readers, can trust the information we bring you.

There is a lot that goes on in the Chiefs world and we work really hard to bring you all the news and information that is out there concerning your favorite team. We try to stick to credible sources that are known for routinely breaking news. If Adam Schefter of ESPN or Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Chiefs may have an interest in a player or are in contract talks with a player, we do our best to bring you that information as quickly as possible. If it is a report, we tell you it is a report. If it is speculation, we tell you it is speculation. If it is confirmed, by the player, league or team, we tell you that.

In short, we try to scour the web for you and curate the most interesting and credible Chiefs information that is out there. We collect it in one place so you can come to Arrowhead Addict and have your finger on the pulse of all the Chiefs action. We supplement that coverage with our own columns and opinion pieces. We also occasionally,  break stories of our own.

This morning, while searching the web for Chiefs information for today’s “The Morning Fix,” I came across a headline that immediately sparked my interest.

Report: Former Ute QB Alex Smith will ‘likely’ be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs

This was news to me and it got me quite excited that the Chiefs would be having a very full news day. I clicked on the link and it took me to the DeseretNews.com.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I look at that headline I see a story that is claiming that there is a report out there that Alex Smith is likely to be traded to the Chiefs. It indicates to me that Smith and the Chiefs will almost certainly happen.

Upon reading the article, however, I could not seem to find where the writer, a Mr. Ryan Carreon, actually says that Smith to KC is likely. I found this strange, considering what the headline of the piece was claiming.

What I did find, was this:

Fast forward 20 years, and former San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith, who after recovering from a concussion was benched in favor of the younger and more mobile Colin Kaepernick, is being pursued by the Kansas City Chiefs, according to reports.

New Chiefs general manager John Dorsey recently told The Kanas City Star that the Chiefs likely won’t use the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback.

There are two things wrong with these paragraphs.

First of all, at no point did John Dorsey say the Chiefs were unlikely to use their No.1 overall pick on a QB. He said nothing of the sort.

This is what Dorsey said:

“There is no quarterback where personnel guys can definitely say, ‘He’s a first-round pick,’ There were so many inconsistencies in the collective group. There was not one guy that stood up and said, ‘I’m the guy in the position this year.’ There really wasn’t one clear-cut guy.”

So Dorsey is saying that there wasn’t a clear-cut guy, during the college football season, that separated himself from the pack. He’s saying there wasn’t a guy that showed himself to be a clear first round pick.

What Dorsey doesn’t say is that the Chiefs won’t use their first round pick on a QB. While Dorsey’s words might make us think his odds of taking a QB in the first round are less likely, Drosey himself has said nothing about his draft plans int he first round.

But the big error is in this statement:

Fast forward 20 years, and former San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith, who after recovering from a concussion was benched in favor of the younger and more mobile Colin Kaepernick, is being pursued by the Kansas City Chiefs, according to reports.

So just in this article alone, we’ve gone from the headline that says a Smith to KC trade is “likely” to that Smith is being “pursued by the Kansas City Chiefs.”

I’m sorry but saying that the trade is likely and that the Chiefs are pursuing Smith are two totally different statements. Also, I have yet to see a report anywhere, from anyone, that says the Chiefs are pursuing Smith.

Now in the Deseret News piece, the bit of text that says “according to reports” is a link.

“Ok,” I thought. “So the Deseret News got their story from another report and if I am to get to the bottom of this, I must go down the rabbit hole here and follow this link.”

The link took me to NBCBayarea.com.

And we’ve got another headline that appears to corroborate the Deseret News story.

Alex Smith to Chiefs Likely: Report

It’s slightly different. Notice the NBC headline doesn’t say “trade” it just says “Smith to the Chiefs” but it also says that the move happening is “likely” and it also throws in “report” there at the end.

So is NBC Bay Area reporting this?

Not exactly.

Reading the actual piece paints a bit of a different story than the headline.

Here is the important part:

No quarterbacks in the draft. Really no quarterbacks available on the free agent market.

That boils down to one solution for the Kansas City Chiefs, according to experts.

Alex Smith.

The much-maligned, then briefly-beloved San Francisco 49ers quarterback could be the best fit under center for the rebuilding Chiefs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which analyzed the words of Chiefs GM John Dorsey.

There are clearly a lot of things wrong here. This is how the article starts.

Lets break it down:

No quarterbacks in the draft. Really no quarterbacks available on the free agent market.

As Jeff Bridges’s character “The Dude” so famously delivered to John Turturros character “Jesus” in the bowling alley in the beloved cult-hit movie “The Big Lebowski…”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, ah, your opinion, man.”

That boils down to one solution for the Kansas City Chiefs, according to experts.

Alex Smith.

Err, ok. I am not saying there are a ton of options out there for the Chiefs but I’d be so bold as to suggest that there is more than one option, outside of the NFL Draft, for the Chiefs at QB.

But that is cool. If this is a blog post or whatever, I’ve got no problem with the writer throwing in their opinion. None at all.

What do do have a problem with is when I am unable to reconcile whether or not what I am reading is supposed to be opinion-based or if it is a news report. The title of this piece, sure as heck makes it seem like news is being report here…you know, because they used the word “report.”

Then we really get down to it.

The much-maligned, then briefly-beloved San Francisco 49ers quarterback could be the best fit under center for the rebuilding Chiefs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which analyzed the words of Chiefs GM John Dorsey.

Holy crap! We’ve found ourself making yet another tremendous leap from the headline to the actual part in the article that is supposed to be the explanation of the headline. In the Deseret News article we went from the “Alex Smith will likely be traded to Kansas City” to Smith is “being pursued by the Kansas City Chiefs, according to reports,” to this article which leaps from “Alex Smith to Chiefs likely: Report” to “quarterback could be the best fit under center for the rebuilding Chiefs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.”

By now you should be pulling out your hair because it is becoming pretty evident that these guys are just making stuff up. Smith likely going to the Chiefs and a veteran QB, maybe Smith, maybe being a good fit under center in KC aren’t remotely the same thing. There sure as heck isn’t any reporting going on.

Going further down the rabbit hole, we must click on this San Francisco Chronicle article and it is there where the trail runs cold.

The Chronicle, has a totally different headline than the other two.

Alex Smith, anyone? Chiefs GM doesn’t see clear-cut, first-round QB in draft

This headline, unlike the other two, is based in reality. It appears as though the Chronicle is suggesting Alex Smith as an option for the Chiefs and it is basing that suggestion on the recent words of the team’s GM, John Dorsey.

Let’s explore the article.

First the opening of the piece:

Two weeks after ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said Chiefs coach Andy Reid “really likes” Smith and courted him a bit last offseason, there is another bit of news suggesting Kansas City could have interest in making him the latest 49ers quarterback to end up with the Chiefs.

And then later:

Assuming Dorsey’s assessment is genuine, it would seem likely Kansas City would look to a veteran to improve its quarterback play in 2013. In 2012, the Chiefs went 2-14 while Matt Cassel and free-agent-to-be Brady Quinn each started eight games. The duo combined to throw eight touchdowns, 20 interceptions and post a 63.9 passer rating.

Similar to this year’s draft class, the group of available free-agent quarterback isn’t exactly loaded, with Miami’s Matt Moore and Carolina’s Derek Anderson among the headliners.

Now just to catch you up on the Dilfer stuff, the former QB mentioned that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was interested in Alex Smith “last year,” meaning when Reid was with the Eagles. That statement, naturally, set folks off on the path that the Chiefs might consider Smith, given Reid’s past interest in the QB.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Chronicle article. The writer of this article is doing what we do on Arrowhead Addict all the time. They are gather information and buzz and are speculating on what that information could mean for KC’s QB strategy moving forward. The headline is not misleading and the article makes it very clear that the writer is in no way reporting anything. The writer is simply saying that the move is a possibility and here is some evidence to back up my theory.

The whole mess seems to stem from these two lines:

there is another bit of news suggesting Kansas City could have interest in making him the latest 49ers quarterback to end up with the Chiefs.

it would seem likely Kansas City would look to a veteran to improve its quarterback play

Notice the parts in bold?

The Chronicle doesn’t even use Smith’s name in conjunction with the word “likely.”

The NBC Bay Area and Deseret News articles took this article and turned it in to something it is not. They totally ignored parts like “would seem likely” and “suggesting” and “could” and turned them in to “trade” and “likely” and “report.”

So we can see what happened here. The NBC writer read the Chronicle article and turned it into something it wasn’t, complete with a sensational and untrue headline and then the Deseret News came along, read the NBC Bay Area piece and picked up the story, clearly not bothering to trace the information back to the source, which really wasn’t source at all.

What NBC and the Deseret News did here is not much different than passing along the opinion a friend gives you in a sports bar or bowling alley as a factual report.

For instance:

Jeff Lebowski:

Hey Walter, man, what do you think the Chiefs are going to do at QB?

Walter:

Let me tell you Dude, in ‘Nom, QB’s were the first ones to get killed. But I did read in the Kansas City Star that that new GM, John Dorsey, isn’t sure if there is a QB worthy of a first round pick. If that’s the case dude, the Chiefs might have to pick up a veteran like Alec Smith or Nick Foles in a trade. OVER THE LINE! MARK IT ZERO.

Meanwhile, Donny, who also freelances for The Daily Planet, begins composing a piece for tomorrow’s paper with the headline “Alex Smith trade to Chiefs ‘likely’: Report.”

Nothing is likely. The Chronicle isn’t reporting anything.

The Chiefs may have interest in Alex Smith and they may trade for him. That isn’t likely.

It’s just my opinion.

 

I reached out to both NBC Bay Area and the Deseret News concerning these stories. I have yet to hear back from them. If I do, I will update this post.

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  • Ron White

    Thanks Patrick, entertaining read on the trials and tribulations of the Internet. You forgot to mention that it is all true since it was posted on the internet though…..

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      LOL. I saw it on the internet!

  • TAZMOSIS

    Patrick,
    Hey, love your stuff, but this was hard to get through to the end. Like Charlie Harper, I’ll mix up a batch of my favorite cocktail, take a nap, them re-read it when my mind is right.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

  • chiefridgy

    AAARRRHHHHH!

  • berttheclock

    First of all, Ryan Carreon has only been out of Brigham Young U less than a year. His work with the Deseret is to be their Web Editor, do infographics and write occasionally about the local pro soccer team and the Utah Jazz. Apparently, he wrote this piece only due to the local UofU connection with Smith. So, he put together some statements from various web sites and he misinterpreted their respective intents. However, lack of reading comprehension appears to run rampant on the web,
    BTW, one point about that Salt Lake City paper. It is the DeserEt which comes from the the word deseret, meaning bee hive, and has been used by the Mormon Church for decades. All work for the bee hive. In fact, the Mormons wanted the state to come into the union as “Deseret”. Early maps in the 1800s show Deseret to run from what is now Utah to San Diego and northwest in the what is now Oregon and Washington. Congress refused this name and forced the word Utah upon the state, a name many Mormons at the time despised as it is taken from the band of Native Americans instead of being a Mormon concept. The word Deseret is used for many other functions by the church, such as thrift stores which only employs the handicapped of the church. The newspaper has several respected sports columnists who cover various sports, but, Mr Carreon is very young and trying to find his niche.

    • berttheclock

      Completely off thread, but, as to both UofU and BYU, in the eighties, there was a very good bar on State owned by an UofU grad. On the walls, he displayed white toilet seats with blue crepe paper.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      It is an unfortunate error but the real blunder comes from the NBC article.

      • berttheclock

        Yes, they do blunder a great deal, Remember the old cartoon on the cover of “The New Yorker”, which showed the map of the US to be a very large New York City and a waste land west of the Hudson River? Much of that thinking still remains today on many different cable and regular networks including views held from “Inside the Beltway” crowd.
        But, Mr Allen, I have come to appreciate, not only your fine work, but, others who post blogs on this site. Having gone through that period of articles only published after prior approval by Pioli and with the loss of Kent Babb, this site is a real pleasure.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    WOW Allen! I love the way you do your work! Sometimes it takes forever to finish reading but it’s always worth it!

    But anyway….reading what you posted would be just as bad as me saying “Jason Taylor said FA Revis from the Jets would fit in great with the 49ers and Smith would fit in great with the Jets. Jets need a QB and the 49ers would have a stronger defense with Revis so they are talking about a trade”. But that’s not what he said, that was his opinion.

    Something I heard on NFL AM from a few of the hosts was if the Jets would agree on making a trade with KC, Revis for KCs second round pick would be great for both teams. Revis, Flowers, Abdullah(if that’s how you spell his name), and Berry all behind the awesome LBs!! Look out players, you are gonna get crushed!

    • Michael Shaw

      I wouldn’t give up THIS year’s #2. I would offer them a conditional #3 next year. The thought being that it could be upgraded to a #2 next year if he plays either a full year or a certain number of games. Remember, he is coming off the dreaded ACL injury and not every player is as durable as Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson!!

      • Daniel Mayfield

        True. Maybe trade this yrs #3 plus next yrs #2. I don’t know how much he’s wanting, never heard about him wanting paid the highest. He’s a FA recovered from an ACL and he still wants paid higher then all the other defenders? I don’t see very many teams making an offer.

        I do know the man is good. I’ve always seen his name on plays and ESPN. I didn’t know about the ACL, or either new and forgot, or about him wanting paid so much. Both things on 1 player just doesn’t work good for ANY PLAYER! IMO

        • Danny W

          Oh he’s the best cornerback in the NFL period. But if he’s wanting like 70 or 80 million I mean sheesh.

          • Daniel Mayfield

            Not worth it! Ive seen him in the game many MANY yrs. His age and the ACL just says…you aren’t worth that much. Don’t try to be like QB Brees. A CB can’t cary a team.
            We have younger players that can learn to play like Flowers.
            Now getting Abdullah next to Berry. I’ve seen and heard of how could he is. So what if he was out for a year. I’m sure he’s still got the ability to bring those skills with him. Lewis might be good for a CB if he’s trained in that spot but he shows he dont have the durability or the strength to make a lot of plays on his own like a Safety should.

            Ok, ok. I’m not a reporter or a writer so I’m gonna stop there. lol Nothing against you reporters or writers! I have very high respect in what you do Patrick. Keep it up! I check on here every day with my phone.

    • TAZMOSIS

      Yeah, but then you have 2 d-backs getting a ton of money, and we need that pick. Besides, we would still have to sign Revis. And he has said that he wants to be the highest paid of all defensive players….and he could still hold out. No way.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Thanks!

  • Daniel Mayfield

    Read a post on Chiefs360 getting a report from PFCentral.com about a possible contract deal with Bowe. A 5 yr, $55mil. Have you heard about it?

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Yes. PFCentral does not appear to be a reliable source. Just take a look at some of the stuff on their website. They appear to be throwing stuff at the wall hoping things stick. No sources or anything. They also claim the Chiefs are after Miles Austin. I’ve heard not a whisper of that from anyone but them. Not sure why Chiefs360 would report that. I asked them about it and they seem to think that because the site has a radio show that they are a credible source.

      I do not agree.

  • Michael Shaw

    Nice article again Paddy. If you guys keep these articles coming I won’t be able to miss the regular season…………….ok I lied, nothing can replace that, sorry!!!

  • TheBillTheCat

    I read a report that Mr. Ryan Carreon did his journalism internship with Fox news.
    (Well, to be more accurate, I am reading said report as I type it.)

  • Danny W

    PA

    I think it’s hilarious when John Goodman ends the argument with the guy when he goes over the line by pulling out his piece. I take bowling that serious too! (not really though) All those guys in Saigon man. I would say thanks for pulling the fact from the fiction but you get paid for this now. Live it up bro! :-)

  • KCMikeG

    Thanks Paddy! I really enjoy the hard work all you contribute. So many are unaware of what is really “news” and what is just an opinion, especially on-line. We should all make an effort to verify information before mindlessly forwarding on the “truth”. Wouldn’t a ? in the headline have absolved the sin? I just can’t get excited about Alex Smith – I have tried but just can’t. I think we will have Geno, Foles, Stanzi/Tanney and Cassel camp competition. I worry Reid thinks he can fix Cassel and he drafted Foles for his offense. I fear Geno will be the one we won’t have.