Social media is a very good thing. Social media is also a very bad thing.
I believe we’ve covered this before in this space previously. I happen to enjoy social media as a melting pot of internet people talking about things in a lighthearted manner, breaking news straight from the source and just another way to talk with friends.
Others who aren’t big fans of social media — which is turning into a boogeyman, catch-all term — will point to the nasty back-and-forths that can turn out in Facebook comments sections. Generally speaking, the trolls are always waiting for someone to slip up.
That happened last weekend to the New Castle News.
One of my favorite Twitter accounts, Freezing Cold Takes, tweets out poorly aged sports opinions just as a way of reminding its followers that even the so-called experts sometimes aren’t any smarter than the viewer at home. They just have better hair and makeup teams and get paid more.
On Friday, the account sent out a clipping from the April 18, 1998, sports section with an NFL Draft preview. The column listed Peyton Manning as our pick for “biggest flop” and called him an “overrated collegian.”
Manning gave his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech Sunday night in Canton after winning two Super Bowls.
Charles Woodson, the dynamic two-way Heisman Trophy winner at Michigan, was going to flop. Woodson played 18 seasons and, like Manning, went into the hall of fame last weekend.
Our “best bets” were Penn State’s Curtis Enis, who retired after three seasons with knee problems, and Michigan’s Brian Griese, who had a respectable career and is now on the Monday Night Football announcer’s booth.
Every draft analysis has to have someone listed as a “dark horse.” It’s practically a law. You have to show off your smarts somehow.
Anyway, perhaps we should not have listed a dark horse, because our dark horse was Ryan Leaf, who ended up going No. 2 overall to San Diego behind Manning. We predicted Denver should consider kicking the tires on Leaf to be a successor to John Elway.
While Manning set the rookie record for interceptions, Leaf — well, we know how that went. I don’t know who wrote the original story and wasn’t able to find it in an online archive.
Maybe that’s for the best. In our defense, they’re the only mistakes we’ve ever made in nearly 141 years of publication.
There’s also hope this was written in another New Castle newspaper.
Sure, we could fight back and hate-reply to everyone calling us dumb. But in the spirit of discourse, we’re just going to go blame these bad opinions on someone down in our Wampum office.
Partly because it’s the right thing to do. Mostly because there are so, so, so many tweets telling us how bad an opinion that was.
(Pete Sirianni is the managing editor of the New Castle News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)