I woke up Monday morning and Googled “Steeler news” just to see what was going on in this post-draft, ongoing sports shutdown world of, well, Steelers stuff.
What was the first thing that popped up? A headline that read: “Steelers offered a better deal to Andy Dalton than Cowboys.”
This headline was for an article from the website ClutchPoints (a name that now sounds tragically ironic). The writer merely touched on the news that Dalton signed a one-year deal to play for the Cowboys in 2020 and spent most of the article speculating on Dalton’s decision to not sign with Pittsburgh, a team that “offered him more money.”
Why did the writer spend so much time doing that? Because of a now-deleted Tweet over the weekend from Trib writer Jonathan Bombulie that inspired his “clutch” article in the first place:
“Andy Dalton was offered a more lucrative deal by the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source. In the end he decided to learn under Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy.”
Bombulie did offer an explanation as to why he deleted the original Tweet.
I deleted my Dalton joke tweet because Cowboys fans were finding it and they didn’t know the back story and I felt bad. Next time, I’ll post pictures of my dog in a hat in a way that can’t be misconstrued.— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) May 3, 2020
You can find the Bombulie Tweet in the ClutchPoints article linked above. So good job by the writer for citing his sources. But a very poor job in detecting sarcasm, because Bombulie was clearly trolling. The person he was trolling was Nick Sitro, who Tweeted the exact same thing last week regarding Jameis Winston and his decision to sign a deal to be the Saints backup quarterback in order to learn under Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Only Sitro, a guy who didn’t seem to be connected enough to have a source close to the Steelers organization, was serious—very, very serious—and spent most of last week defending his claim, one that the Steelers brass—including general manager Kevin Colbert—vehemently denied.
I never went to any sort of journalism factory (or whatever they call school), but I know you have to vet things before hitting submit. Heck, the writer could have waited a minute and would have known that Bombulie’s secret source was actually his dog. Better yet, he should have just read the replies to the Tweet (always a good way to detect sarcasm). But the author was too busy speculating on Dalton’s decision to pass on Pittsburgh’s more lucrative offer to vet anything:
“Having whiffed on Dalton, does this mean the Steelers might look into signing Cam Newton?”
What is this obsession with wanting the Steelers to sign a veteran back-up quarterback? Seriously, the desire to see it happen has reached an almost absurd level.
At any rate, I hope the obsession continues, because one of my favorite pastimes is watching people fall for satire—especially mine.
To that point, I’d like to leave you with some news of my own:
(Insert free agent quarterback here) was offered a more lucrative deal by the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source. In the end, he decided to learn under (insert quarterback and head coach here).