If you were watching the pre game build up to Week 15 on the NFL Network last Sunday, you may have seen seen a breaking news segment from Ian Rapoport revealing some “insider” information about the true extent of the rib injury Ben Roethlisberger suffered at the hands of the Oakland Raiders.
Detailing a scoop no one else in the media was privy to, Rapoport informed viewers that Big Ben was actually dealing with a much more significant injury than Pittsburgh was letting on. Citing sources within the Steelers’ organization, Rapoport revealed that Roethlisberger would essentially be dealing with cracked ribs for the remainder of the season.
“I was able to get to the bottom of this, to solve this great mystery. I’m told that Ben Roethlisberger did in fact have cracked ribs during that game ... Yes, unlike that X-ray machine, I can actually tell you they were cracked. “
Given the nature of the internet, the story would spread quickly in some quarters, but when asked asked about it during his radio show on Tuesday, Roethlisberger left no doubt about the credibility of the report from a man who has become synonymous with the words “fake news”. Speaking on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger could not even bring himself to mention Rapoport’s name when addressing the false report.
“You shouldn’t even say his name on this show because nothing of what he says there is any truth to. I have no idea where that came from. My wife texted me before the game like, ‘Did you hear about this?’ I’m in the locker room like, ‘This is unbelievable.’ I don’t know where that guy gets his information from so we’re not even going to give him credence on this show if that’s OK with you.”
This is far from the first time Rapoport has tried to peddle some insights from anonymous sources about Roethlisberger that have proved to be patently false. His erroneous reporting about Big Ben’s desire to be traded a few years ago being the most obvious example.
Throughout much of 2018, Rapoport has dedicated a lot of his time to filing misleading reports about Le’Veon Bell, citing numerous different return dates for him each week and perpetuating rumors about non-existent trades. None of which came to pass obviously.
As a member of media who often seems more interested in making himself the news story rather than reporting the actual facts, Rapoport has carved out a career for himself based more on wild rumor and speculation than anything else. That being said, if he is hoping to get an exclusive interview with Roethlisberger in the near future, it would appear that none of his anonymous sources are likely to be able to help him with that one.