Michael Felger put a crazy internet rumor to rest on his 890 ESPN Boston show shortly before 6:00pm today:
Felger: Alright, I’m not going to name names, because, I just don’t want to do it, but we’ve gotten a few calls today , and a few emails, saying “Did you know that so-and-so collapsed on…collapsed today and …could be dead?” And it’s a very well known local player on one of the pro sports teams…
Winter: Ok good, because I got a phone message from a buddy I thought they were sniffing drugs…
Felger: I got, and we’re not going to name names here Kevin, this started last night, there is some lunatic out there, there is some maniac, who has started a rumor that one very high profile pro athlete here in Boston has collapsed, perhaps died. This rumor first came to light last night, I talked to the agent and the agent said, “I just got off the phone with him.” OK that was last night. Um, also, and I’m going to try not to name names, a reporter called some teammates of this player, and asked “Did you hear about so-and-so potentially collapsing or dying?” The next thing you know, the public relations guy for this team, called this reporter back, and said “I just spoke to the player in question, and he asked me to ask you to stop calling his teammates and asking if he’s dead.”
Winter: That’s one way to put an end to that one, right?
Felger: This started last night…can you imagine getting that call from a PR guy…
Winter: Don’t call me I’m alive!!
Felger: “I just got a call from so-and-so and first of all, he’s alive, and second of all stop calling his teammates and asking if he’s dead.” Alright, so this happened last night, so the guy’s alive, we have gotten about three or four phone calls off the air, we’ve gotten three or four emails that we haven’t responded to, that’s the story. It started last night; this individual is very much alive as of last night. Unless there is a massive conspiracy theory that even I couldn’t come up with. So stop. Enough. It’s a vicious, vile rumor out there, I don’t know who or who started this or why they would start it, it is definitely not what we’re looking for, and if someone decides to, if this person wants to talk about it at some point, we’ll give you the name, and you’ll all remember this little talk we’ve had. But not true, when you hear it, maybe this thing is just going to grow, but it’s not true.
Finding out who the rumor is about isn’t that hard. It has been well circulated by this point. I’ve even gotten a few emails about the situation. It’s just another idiot on the internet starting rumors for fun. Felger showed good judgment by not repeating the name of the player and giving further attention to whoever started this.
I’m more interested at this point in finding out who the reporter was that was making the calls to the teammates. That is ridiculous. I do wish Felger had given that name out.
You’d like to think a guy could lose his job for acting so irresponsibly, but the media wagons are already circled in this matter. It doesn’t seem like anything will happen.