It’s not often that I have to come back to admit a mistake (or, perhaps more honestly, it’s not often I admit a mistake), but I think that the time has come.
Yesterday, I penned an article that could be described as “poorly-thought out”, but in reality, it really wasn’t thought out much at all. Gotta admit it. I didn’t see the blurb about Kampman’s signing to Jacksonville until late in the evening, and went immediately to put an “I told you so” article on the blog.
The responses I’ve gotten to the article, particularly over at PackerChatters, have been rather scathing: some deserved, and some not so much. The one thing I will offer is that I have had a lot of distractions from All Things Packers over the last month or so, and have not had my pulse on the daily ins-and-outs or the usual draft and offseason build-up that I usually do. I don’t offer that as an excuse, but simply as a cautionary tale to myself to not jump back in the saddle cold turkey, without having my usual awareness of what's been going on.
The tone of the article, in particular, was poorly executed. The “toldja so” made things come off as if I were trying to prove someone else wrong (interpreted by most as being “the Packer administration”), and that wasn’t my intent. What I wish I would have communicated better was to say “aw-shucks”, kick a rock, and wish we had decided to trade away a quality guy to a place he could have been successful last season, and gotten something in return…a win-win situation for everyone. That's what my April 2009 article clearly stated, and that sentiment is one that I still stand by.
Now, look. I am a Packer fan first, and a writer second. I am not bound by the alleged rules of journalism and neutral, unbiased writing (not that most real, live journalists abide by that nowadays, either). I write from the heart and from my head, and I will be the first to admit that I have a critical view of Ted Thompson. I have no qualms about offering criticism towards him or towards anyone in the Packer organization. Or, out of it.
But, I do believe that I maintain a balance in that writing, and do my best to present even my criticism in a fair manner. I also go out of my way to offer praise for the Packer brass when they do well (and when they prove some of my theories wrong, such as the Clay Matthews trade-up).
Not having my facts in order is something that I should be called out on, and to be honest, I appreciate it when readers do. I want to improve as a writer, and keeping my facts straight should be Job #1. I didn’t do so in the article I wrote yesterday, and the criticism I took for it is deserved and respected.