I wish to begin this piece on the Rio Ferdinand by attempting to paraphrase a sermon from the play and movie Doubt. Doubt is not about the LA Galaxy or MLS or even Rio Ferdinand, but it does contain a sermon about gossip at a point in the piece when the priest is beginning to face allegations of misdeeds. I won't name the awful deed since this isn't a piece about bad priests.
Again, paraphrasing: A woman came to a beloved priest and confessed that she was guilty of the sin of gossip, but that she just couldn't help herself. The priest told her to go up to the top of her building with a pillow and a knife. She was then to stab the pillow and gather all the feathers. She came back the next day and the priest asked her if she had all the feathers. She told him the wind had picked up and blew many of them away and then he told her: this is gossip.
The silly season is full of rumors. Some of them have quotes and reports of signings; those are fun. Then there are some that just decide to claim player X is going to team B. These articles usually are written about players who are sure to provide plenty of hits. And it's just so boring and predictable.
The Mirror decides it wants to run a rumor that Rio Ferdinand has been offered an MLS transfer. Here's the lede in that article:
Rio Ferdinand is being offered big money moves to the MLS this summer.
There's no quote to support this. There's no mentioning of any specific MLS club that would be in on Rio Ferdinand. There's not even anything supporting the notion that the Mirror knows anything about MLS beyond the fact that David Beckham once played there.
I'm not entirely sure they even realize that the Canadian club that just bought Jermian Defoe plays in MLS.
If transfer markt is believed then Ferdinand is probably within MLS' budget. The 35 year old has a market value of about one million, three hundred thousand pounds. That's do-able. It's also foolish.
So the next day the Daily Mail wakes up and realizes "oh no the Mirror is getting all that traffic making up things about Rio Ferdinand, we better write something too" so we get this. Still no quotes, just "the player is said to be seriously considering..." Said by whom? Said by the Mirror? Yeah, we read that. Yesterday. Good job.
The Daily Mail did at least site a concrete offer that the Chicago Fire made some time ago for Ferdinand. Is that real? Well the Mail reported it three years ago, so at least we know their source. We've gone from the red banner Mirror to the black banner Daily Mail (wiki it) and so you can see we're moving along the chain.
Well if those two tabloids (and yes, they are tabloids) are reporting it, what's stopping the Metro (another tabloid) from taking it a step further. Gotta keep pushing paper, and hey has anyone noticed how bad Manchester United is playing these days? Hilarious. Well the Metro is the one to finally link the LA Galaxy to Ferdinand. It's not even the lede. The article prattles on about Beckham and Defoe having played in (the) MLS and then finally arrives at a throwaway line about the Galaxy wanting him.
Now mind you, on twitter folk have assumed Ferdinand was going to LA since the Mirror article. The fire is really going at this point.
Today Jeff Carlisle does his due diligence and e-mails the Galaxy to ask if the rumors are for reals. It's here where we finally get our first quote. Someone on the record, huzzah! "No truth to the rumor". So does it end there?
Of course not, for at 6:30 Eastern Time Steve Davis decided that if ESPN had a piece with Rio Ferdinand in the title then so did NBC Sports. He writes a takedown of the Mirror's assessment claiming MLS was high on Ferdinand. 'Cause everyone knows the Mirror is a reputable news source and they really set the pace of the news cycle. The only quotes in the Davis article are when he's quoting the Mirror to take them down.
So let's recap. Three days worth of Rio Ferdinand reporting and the only person to do any actual journalism is Jeff Carlisle. The extent of that journalism was an email which probably read "LOL Ferdinand's not for real, right?" and then the response "playa, please".
I want to bang my head against the wall and throw things. This is not helping anyone and only serves to stir an empty pot.
No Rio Ferdinand isn't coming to the LA Galaxy in the summer. Nor is Wayne Rooney, Robbie Van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Sergio Aguero, Brett Favre, Neymar, the cast of Glee, Ellie Kemper, or Daft Punk.
Thank you for your time.