I'm sure you've heard the saying "my phone is blowing up." I certainly have, but I've never said it. Prior to a recent Monday, my phone had never blown up; not in the figurative sense, nor in Ceelo Green-type fashion.
I'm being quite serious when I say that it's been months since more than two people have texted me on a single day. I'm actually checking my messages now. I'm writing this as of Thursday, May 25, so here are my most recent texts, in reverse chronological order:
May 25, 3:59 p.m.: From my friend Body Burner: "Lame." (in response to me telling him something a mutual friend of ours said to me via G-chat.)
May 25, 2:49 p.m.: From my fiancee: "Thanks." (for sending her a picture of the grocery list.)
May 24, 12:39 p.m.: From my friend Jimmy: "Haha I love that lol." (for sending him a picture of something I thought he'd find funny.)
May 22, 10:53 p.m.: From my friend Eric: "Be there in 5." (he was dropping something off that he borrowed.)
May 22, 7:42 p.m.: From Joseph: "Hi Insung - it's Joseph!" (from a wrong number.)
As of May 25 evening, these are the previous five text messages that were sent to me personally, and one happened to be a wrong number. If you think that's sad, imagine me when hearing my phone chime. It's like Christmas. I'm so excited to see who could possibly want to contact me, but it's usually Verizon telling me that I've used up a certain percentage of my data.
I don't get how people do it. How do you get your phone to "blow up?" I always wondered this, but I finally experienced it three days prior to this writing. I was leaving the gym locker room when my phone began buzzing like crazy. It wouldn't stop. I couldn't check it right away because I ran into my doctor, who goes to my gym, but as I was talking to him, the phone kept buzzing.
As I spoke to him, I kept wondering, Who keeps trying to contact me? Oh, who cares, my phone is finally blowing up! Maybe people actually like me now!
When our conversation ended, I quickly flipped my phone out of my pocket, fumbling it in the process. A hot chick using one of the leg machines laughed at me, but I didn't care. I was super popular for the first time ever, and no one was going to stop me!
When I checked my phone, my heart sank. Those buzzes weren't texts; they were Twitter responses. I seldom get anyone tweeting at me because I mostly just spam links to my site - I'm way more responsive on Facebook and through e-mail - but that was not the case this Monday evening. It was a bit confusing at first, but it became much more perplexing when I saw someone tweet something about plagiarism.
I was taken aback by this because I've never plagiarized anything. I let my friend copy my health class papers a couple of times in high school, but I personally never copied anything myself. I love writing too much to do that. Hell, I ran this Web site for eight years without making a single dime prior to receiving my first ad contract in October 2007.
I don't really know how to check Twitter on my phone - I can send tweets, but I have no idea how to look at responses or to see what anyone else has written - so I had to wait until I arrived home to see what the fuss was all about. I had no idea the level of absurdity I was in store for...
The genesis of the plagiarism tweets came from something some guy named Arif Hasan posted:
Hasan was referring to our Jordan Leggett: Why the Slide article. It had the same copy as the Bucky Hodges article, which surprised me at first. Then, I realized what happened.
When other writers - Charlie, Chet, David, etc. - submit articles, they send me the copy, then I check it and forward it to my editor, who then creates a new page (if needed) for it. I must have been tired that night, so I sent the wrong copy over to my editor; the Hodges article was posted one day prior to the Leggett article, so I apparently clicked the wrong e-mail. My editor was supposed to be off that night, but I had taken a vacation day as well (meaning I worked about four hours instead of the standard 10), so he was nice enough to post the page. Thanks to my blunder, he copied over the wrong article I sent him, and then did a find-replace, switching all instances of "Bucky Hodges" to "Jordan Leggett." Being exhausted, I didn't bother reviewing it, so I take full responsibility for this mistake. I shouldn't have been so lazy.
It also shouldn't have been a huge deal. We posted an article about Leggett that cited Hodges' stats and school, so it should have been clear that it was some sort of mix-up. Instead, people who saw Hasan's tweet accused me of plagiarism even though I didn't write the article. Apparently, no one understands the concept of a byline.
Yes, that's correct. I was accused of plagiarizing myself - even though I didn't write either article.
Like I said, I never would've imagined the absurdity.
Anyway, the reason my phone was buzzing so much was because so many people were replying to Hasan's tweet that mentioned me. Let's go through them all, just so you can see what I'm talking about:
So, the same guy who apparently plagiarized his own work despite writing neither article is the same person who correctly cited what QBDK (for short) did? I guess I missed the memo where drowning dogs and seeing how long they'd last underwater wasn't absolutely evil. Then again, I actually like dogs, so maybe I'm biased.
What's the deal with "petulant child," by the way? Being petulant means acting like a whining child, so it's just redundant. It's like calling someone a "stupid idiot." This Mike person just put that word there so he could sound smart. Instead, he's a stupid idiot.
Hasan then replied with something I wrote about Calvin Johnson. His tweet was unbelievably confusing. First, let me explain what this was. When I write Disaster Grades and reactionary articles like that, they're usually snap judgments. People want instant reactions, and I like making them. The danger with that is I don't have all the information right away, and sometimes it's released days, weeks, or even months later. I eventually learned how utterly banged up Johnson was during the 2015 campaign, so his decision to retire made much more sense. That's why I changed it to this:
What's completely confusing to me is why Hasan has this old copy. I changed the writing more than a year ago, so he apparently had saved that on his computer, preparing to use it against me for more than 12 months. I'm scratching my head as to why this even happened. I've never thought to store possible dirt on people to use against them in the future, but maybe I should. Is this something people do nowadays?
Oh, and I couldn't care less that I wrote it. At the time, without complete knowledge of the situation, I think I was correct in my assessment. It was a selfish move. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't know why the word "selfish" comes with such a negative connotation, because sometimes the selfish decision is the correct one. Johnson was looking out for his own best interests rather than that of his team, which, by definition, is selfish. But considering everything that came out afterward, he made the right choice for himself, especially if his heart wasn't into the game anymore. His team could have used him last year to defeat the Seahawks in the playoffs, but if he wanted to hang up the cleats, that's fine. It's his career; not anyone else's.
See what I mean about absurdity? I get that we live in an era where people can irresponsibly report and name-call people anything without any repercussions, but I'd like to know where he got that I was a homophobe from. I support gay marriage and have said as much before, so I'm not sure how I can be a homophobe. If I'm a homophobe, I'm certainly not doing a good job of being one.
By the way, how are the two interrelated anyway? Are all homophobes plagiarists? Did the leader of the anti-gay movement copy his manifesto from somewhere else?
The Ryan McCrystal tweet was extremely surprising to me. McCrystal runs a football Web site of his own, but I'm not shocked because this is an instance of football site-on-football site crime. Maybe I'm forgetting something, but I've never openly bashed another privately owned football site. I've criticized ESPN before, but they deserve it.
I won't mention what McCrystal's site is, only because McCrystal wants the publicity from me. I know that because he has e-mailed me in the past and asked me to send traffic to his site.
And yes, I have proof. Unlike @14TeamMocker, I don't throw around absurd, false accusations. Here's an e-mail McCrystal sent to me:
Oh, so it's OK to ask for traffic from a site that looks like it was made by a middle schooler in 2003, but it's not OK to trust them because they apparently somehow plagiarized their own work despite writing neither article?
I can't believe this guy. Seriously, he had the nerve to blindly criticize us - I say "blindly" because if he investigated what happened, he would've seen it was a simple mistake - after he asked for us to send traffic to him? This sort of behavior is unreal. It's a huge dick move.
Well, I've asked my editor to completely remove his site from our mock draft database and to make sure it's never listed there again. And don't worry; no changes were made to this year's database because he doesn't even have a 2018 NFL Mock Draft yet, even though both Charlie and I have done about 10 updates to ours already.
Quickly though, I'd like to touch on what he said about the graphics of the site. No, they weren't made by a middle schooler in 2003; they were made by a high schooler in 1999.
I'll admit that the optics of the site suck. It definitely looks like something from Geocities. I could make an upgrade if I wanted to, but I'm not sure if I do want to. Traffic means more to me than aesthetics, and the way the site is designed is meant to be optimized for search engines. For instance, if you Google "2018 NFL Mock Draft," our mock drafts are the first two results. If I change the site graphics, that could change because every SEO-thing I implemented 10 years ago could be nullified.
I honestly don't think most people care about the look of the site. Shallow individuals might, but people like that probably aren't reading our site anyway. Content is most important to us, which is why we have so many new articles every day.
Yes. Everything is copy-pasted. Everything. Including this article.
I will admit that I keep the same write-ups for several mock draft selections, but really, how many different ways do you want me to say the same thing?
The Texans need a right tackle.
The Texans have to find help at right tackle.
The Texans must find a right tackle.
The Texans definitely have to get right tackle help.
The Texans should consider upgrading right tackle.
Right tackle is a need for the Texans.
Right tackle is a position the Texans must address.
Right tackle Texans right tackle Texans Texans right tackle.
Do I really need to find new ways to write the same thing?
It's great that these two fine gentlemen were able to give their opinions about my site on Twitter. I thought my site was great, but then I read what both of these people had to say, and now, I'm thinking, meh, maybe this site sucks. I'm so glad that these two grand arbiters set me straight.
I needed to see this. For a second, I thought everyone was insane. Did I really plagiarize something I wrote despite writing neither article? Was I in some sort of parallel universe in which this was possible?
Fortunately, someone else noticed how absurd this was, and Serious Punch even shook his head. I don't get very many texts, but even I know what that means.