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From idle speculation to rumor in an Internet second


The Internet. Ain’t it grand? I use it for all kinds of things. Even trivial stuff, like if I see an actor on a TV show and I think I’ve seen them before but can’t remember where or their name, I’ll look it up on IMDB. Or Google Maps, what a wonderful invention. There are hundreds of things you can do on the Internet. And that’s without brining up porn!

So every morning I do my ritual check of a select number of sites for the news of the day. It includes regular news and sports news. One site I use is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is my local newspaper. Usually I’m checking the Georgia Tech news and the Braves or the Hawks. While I’m there I occasionally check on the Falcons to see what they’re up to which is what I did this morning. They have an article up talking about their mini-camp and part of the headline was that Joe Horn wants out. The first thought that entered my mind was – vet WR who was once a pretty good player, I wonder if the Cowboys would be interested. That’s how conditioned I am nowadays about the Cowboys WR position. It wasn’t a matter of logical thought; it was just the first thing that popped into my head. The logical thought followed immediately after and went something like this – he’s kind of old and the Cowboys need to get younger at that spot, he’s not exactly the type of player we want across from T.O. anyway, and really, the likelihood of him getting traded is minimal so why am I even thinking about it. So I dismissed the whole thing in a blink of the eye.

I continued my morning surf and ended up over at the Sports Illustrated NFL page and bam, right there in the Truth and Rumors section was the headline: Is Horn heading to the Cowboys? What the…this couldn’t be true. Just minutes after having a millisecond thought about the possibility and then totally dismissing it, here was a headline positing that very thing. So I clicked through to see what was going on. Lo and behold – don’t you hate it when pompous writers use lo and behold – the headline led to a post on the DMN blog

This is where I kind of smiled in bemused disbelief. It’s amazing how the Internet works and how the lines between fact and fiction, substance and idle thoughts, become confused. The link led a Timmy Mac post that was nothing more than the kind of space-filling blog post that we all do during the dead-zone. Timmy Mac was just putting it out there for something to talk about without any hint of some kind of deal actually being worked on. I get it, we all do it, just throwing something out there to talk about without any serious consideration of it happening. But the fact that picked it up and put the headline on it - Is Horn heading to the Cowboys? – makes it seem like something might be going down.

There’s no real point here, I just found it amusing. In the 24/7 world of football news even the dead-zone must have filler. So there you have it, the inner workings of idle speculation leading to rumor in an Internet second.

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