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Steve Smith won't be buying a PFT T-shirt

Panthers receiver Steve Smith has not reacted favorably to our report from Thursday regarding the locker-room reaction to rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s initial minicamp.

And that’s an understatement.

In response to a glowing Wednesday report from NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora with an assessment from an unnamed team official regarding Clausen’s performance, we heard from a source who shared a very different viewpoint, including an observation that Smith “basically thinks Jimmy is a punk.”

We thereafter reported that Smith texted Clausen to describe the report as “all BS,” and we pointed out that Smith would be appearing this morning on WFNZ in Charlotte to tell his side of the story. 

I declined an opportunity to appear on air with Smith; though it would have made for compelling radio, I didn’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to get Smith to understand that my most important job is to protect my source, and that any details I would give him in response to his questions potentially could compromise my source. 

And it’s good that I didn’t go on the air with Smith, because he apparently was poised to give me a verbal sucker punch.  Though the audio is not yet on the WFNZ web site, the folks at SB Nation’s Cat Scratch Reader have prepared a partial transcript

“[Florio] expected he could say it and get away with it, but [Smith] caught you homeboy,” Smith told the Mac Attack.  “I don’t like liars. If he wants to
talk about it we can sit down like real men.  Don’t worry, I won’t take a
swing at you.  Mike is false and the source is bogus. I’m not afraid of
speaking my mind, and if I have something to say to someone I say it to
their face. . . .

“Florio is making this up,” Smith said.  “I never talked to him personally, I don’t even
consider him to be part of the media.  There’s a reason I have a few
more zeros at the end of my contract than he do; and now he says ‘we
stand by our story’ well, you know what, O.J. stood by the ‘if the glove
don’t fit’ look where he at.”

So considering Smith’s comments, I’m now fully convinced that he wouldn’t understand my explanation and that he won’t try to comprehend the importance of protecting my sources. 

And given his anger level, I’m also even more convinced that I need to protect my source.

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205 Responses to “Steve Smith won't be buying a PFT T-shirt”
  1. tedskro says: May 7, 2010 3:51 PM

    You two obviously went to college for different reasons. Players need to understand a journalists job to protect sources. Why doesn’t he show some sources that say he didnt call jimmy a punk?

  2. Wukong says: May 7, 2010 3:51 PM

    Florio, stuff the “protect the source” nonsense. The reality is that you were too much of a bitch to confront him directly.

  3. GaziVicious says: May 7, 2010 3:52 PM

    Who are you fooling Florio? Your sources for small market teams are BS. Few years back you reported that Smith was getting traded and it was a done deal. 7 years later you’re still standing by your story?

  4. Plunketthead says: May 7, 2010 3:54 PM

    Looks like you will finally have to pay for all the Manure you spread.
    Remember the first one is just to set you up, dont duck!
    Just get your fists up in front of your mug and pray

  5. EverybodyGotAIDS says: May 7, 2010 3:55 PM

    Well one of 3 things happened here:
    1) Steve Smith is lying because he wants to backpedal out of something he said in the heat of the moment or doesn’t want people to know how he really feels (probability – 33%)
    2) Your source is lying to take a jab at Clausen or Smith (or both) (probability – 33%)
    3) You are lying and have no source other than an overactive imagination and a desire to make headlines (probability – 34%)
    Conclusion: I don’t really care. Don’t be the story.

  6. jfuz says: May 7, 2010 3:55 PM

    Yup, and Terry Bradshaw is still dead, eh Florio?
    Oh, and Tommy McDonald was criticizing Philly ownership for not honoring old-time players, right?
    You guys do great work reporting scores of stories per day. With that rapid-fire intensity, you’re bound to get a few wrong. Thus, every PFT story can be, reasonably, regarded with some skepticism.
    No doubt, though, that the editorial team has its biases and lots of stories fit, like at Fox News, into a pre-conceived narrative. Those stories, in particular, deserve skepticism.

  7. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 3:57 PM

    What were the reasons you declined his invitation to discuss it in the parking lot? Out of the media glare, so to speak.

  8. seagood says: May 7, 2010 3:57 PM

    Way to hide behind your “sources” Florio, like any good lying journalist. I hate that I come to your site every day – but it is a good aggregation of websites (that is really all you do).
    Your commentary is pretty lame and I am surprised you have any sources left, if in fact you do. You and Todd McShay are in a class all by yourselves.

  9. ITSMEJC says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    yea ur real lucky u didnt go on the set with him. must be nice to have NO BALLS!!!!

  10. Tcostant says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    Don’t we all know that O.J. did it, why would anyone quote ‘if the glove don’t fit'” for any reason?

  11. K-Rock says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    “Thou dost protest too much” Steve Smith.

  12. jd says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    You got punked Florio.

  13. mama tried says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    florio is a punk

  14. mama tried says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    i sense a schizm

  15. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 3:58 PM

    Worse than O.J!
    Now the truth comes out.

  16. James says: May 7, 2010 3:59 PM

    I think I’ll side w/Steve Smith on this one.
    As I’m sure most everyone else will too.
    “Media” members have the most BS excuse for getting away w/saying whatever they want – “a source told me and I need to protect that source.”
    You probably didn’t bother confirming the story was true and just ran with it as you figured it’d boost your profile and status.
    Bogus and lame.

  17. lesmilesneedsabrain says: May 7, 2010 3:59 PM

    He might hit you, watch out……..

  18. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM

    If you were afraid things might get physical Mike, you could have taken Rosenthal for backup.

  19. ebr362 says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM

    Only cowards hide from things they said. You guys just made him bigger than he already thinks he is.

  20. Ravens Fan says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM

    It’s okay if Smith won’t buy a shirt. I’ll buy one and send it to him. I’ll say courtesy of Mike Florio.

  21. Hugified Wang says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM

    Nice Grammar.

  22. GB3Pack4 says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM

    Gameplayer. If LT wants to know how a “set-up” is really structured, tell him to read the Steve Smith story.
    “… if I have something to say to someone I say it to their face. . . . ”
    Settling things “like real men” is two guys face-to-face NOT in front of a microphone.
    There are so many illogical and/or irrelevant bits among his comments, I don’t have the time to break it down. Suffice it to say, it was a smart decision not to provide SS with an opportunity to escalate the situation between him and MF, and throw the source under the bus in the process.

  23. Hugh says: May 7, 2010 4:01 PM

    You left out the part about Smith saying he didn’t care about your source. He just wanted you to tell him how he feels about his QB. But no one is SHOCKED that you left it out, either.
    And yes, you should be afraid of him. I’m 6’2″ and I don’t want to piss him off.

  24. kennethnoisewater says: May 7, 2010 4:01 PM

    Well, Mike, he must be right since he has more zeroes than you do….. what an effing punk

  25. Raider3:16 says: May 7, 2010 4:01 PM

    Sounds to me like you are hiding Florio. If you got the balls to spread rumors you ought to have them to stand up for it.
    COWARD!

  26. ItalianArmyGuy says: May 7, 2010 4:02 PM

    @Homeboy – I thought Smith’s extra 000’s at the end of his paycheck were because he can run fast and catch a ball.
    Now to find out it’s because he’s smarter than Florio???
    If that’s the only criteria – why don’t I have extra 000’s on my checks? I’m at least smart enough to know Bradshaw isn’t dead yet…

  27. AllThat says: May 7, 2010 4:02 PM

    i got more zeros at the end of my contract than he do.
    LOL

  28. Mark0226 says: May 7, 2010 4:02 PM

    So, now that you are part of the “real media” (NBC), you quote players that claim you are not part of the “real media”. You’ve got all the bases covered.

  29. momomo says: May 7, 2010 4:03 PM

    FLORIO GOT PUNKED AND HES TRYING TO MAKE A JOKE OUT OF IT….we kno why ur “protecting ur source” simply to protect ur own self….he offered to sit down like men, but we all kno Florio sits with his legs crossed.

  30. GreenBayJay says: May 7, 2010 4:03 PM

    so…basically you’re getting called out on another one of your made up stories.
    Good on Steve Smith!!

  31. Florio-is-a-tool says: May 7, 2010 4:03 PM

    Not speaking with him directly isn’t a surprise given you once got one of your “friends” beat up in high school because you hid in the backseat of a car.
    You should have just been a man and taken your medicine and/or defended yourself and your course, true story or not.

  32. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 4:03 PM

    Damn, Mike, you missed a golden opportunity.
    “Hey Rosenthal, I’m supposed to face Steve Smith this afternoon, but my throat’s killing me. I told them you’d be up there instead. Hell, Smith probably doesn’t even know what I look like.”.

  33. chargerrich says: May 7, 2010 4:04 PM

    “There’s a reason I have a few more zeros at the end of my contract than he do”
    “he do”? really? seriously? on the air?
    I get talking “thug” when rolling with your home boys drinking from paper bags, but when you are on the air, try acting like you actually went to class occassionally when in college (or grade school for that matter).

  34. Chapnasty2 says: May 7, 2010 4:04 PM

    Florio he just punked you, at a minimum you could have called in. Coward.

  35. notoriousbri says: May 7, 2010 4:04 PM

    i guess a verbal sucker punch is better than the one he hit his own teammate with

  36. The Wishbone says: May 7, 2010 4:04 PM

    In the third paragraph, you claim to have “a source”. Yet, in the next-to-last paragraph, you claim you have “sources” that need “protecting” from Smith. Then, in the last paragraph, it’s back to being one source.
    You can’t even keep straight how many “sources” you supposedly have!
    You need to grow a pair, Florio. 99 times out of 100, anonymous sources are just liars with an axe to grind. This seems to fit in that box. And you being too much of a coward to even admit that possibility is disappointing.

  37. Wrong says: May 7, 2010 4:04 PM

    Weak excuse Florio. Reality is, you’ve been taking digs at Smith for years on this website, so you know you would turn into a stammering mess if he asked you these questions on the air.

  38. iusedtobeteddybayer says: May 7, 2010 4:05 PM

    Wow. Its almost like real journalism. Not.

  39. MOH says: May 7, 2010 4:05 PM

    Florio, why can’t you admit that your source may have been lying? That wouldn’t compromise your source in the least, and it’s absolutely a possibility. As a journalist, I would think you would be upset if someone gave you potentially false information that would cause a backlash like this.

  40. JSpicoli says: May 7, 2010 4:06 PM

    Florio needs to learn the rules and regulations.
    89.

  41. Dewey Axewoond says: May 7, 2010 4:06 PM

    @tedskro,
    It’s pretty much impossible to prove a negative, that you DIDN’T do or say something.
    Well, my opinion of Steve Smith just climbed astronomically.
    It’s about time someone besides Channing Crowder holds you accountable to your own sensationalized, inflammatory, oft-contrived, innuendo-riddled, disingenuous, sleazy, muck-raking sort of “journalism”, Mo-Flo.
    Don’t get me wrong–it entertains me to hell, but it’s laughable to pretend that it’s in any way based in traditional standards of journalistic integrity.
    Then again, not much of anything that comes out of NBC or any of its affiliates really is, is it?

  42. shukey11 says: May 7, 2010 4:07 PM

    Mike you really know how to get to people…keep up the good work.

  43. jd says: May 7, 2010 4:07 PM

    Florio, just think of the number of page hits PFT would get if the top story was “Steve Smith beats Florio down in parking lot”
    Dream big!

  44. Really? says: May 7, 2010 4:08 PM

    “I declined an opportunity to appear on air with Smith; though it would have made for compelling radio, I didn’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to get Smith to understand that my most important job is to protect my source, and that any details I would give him in response to his questions potentially could compromise my source.”
    ______________________________________
    You’re weak.

  45. deezle21 says: May 7, 2010 4:08 PM

    @ItalianArmyGuy – Florio’s comments are def not and exercise in displaying his intelligence.
    Florio – You look like a massive punk in this, sorry, perception is reality.

  46. Omega says: May 7, 2010 4:09 PM

    Me thinks that this is not over.
    Should be interesting to watch

  47. MEGAMORE says: May 7, 2010 4:09 PM

    My dog runs fast and catch a ball.

  48. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 4:11 PM

    Tell Smith he may have more 0’s at the end of his contract number Mike, but it doesn’t have a 0 at the beginning like yours.
    You are owned, Steve Smith!

  49. stiller43 says: May 7, 2010 4:12 PM

    I bet you’re so giddy that a player like Steve Smith knows who you are and is taking interviews about you, even if it’s for a negative thing…
    Hell, I would be too.
    Stand by your guns (and your sources), Florio.

  50. SnarkAttack111 says: May 7, 2010 4:12 PM

    How’s your foot taste now that a player has actually given you the time of day to issue a response to the drivel you spew onto this site every day? Slap a bunch of mindless speculation on your site and see what sticks, ie what elicits a reaction…
    And then you make fun of how the guy talks? Pretty mature…..you don’t even have the cajones to go on the air and discuss your OWN REPORTING…..how do you expect to establish credibility? Own up to your words – it’s not like you have to fight the guy….

  51. Bing253 says: May 7, 2010 4:12 PM

    Protecting your sources is the dumbest excuse ever and it does make it sound like it’s made up or the “source” has an agenda. Florio the very idea that the source would say something different to you than he would in public brings into question that sources creditablity sinces he’s lying one way are another. So any unnamed source is not a source at all and not worth protecting because it sounds made up or for personal reasons.

  52. The Troof says: May 7, 2010 4:13 PM

    Wait a second…. a hot shot attorney is afraid of discussing a disputed story with a football player??? Not because he’s “afraid” of the potential confrontation, but because he might spill the beans on a source… Wow, court and depositions must’ve been pretty tough!

  53. spliffbunker says: May 7, 2010 4:14 PM

    if the media is going to stir up controversy they should have some accountability
    all of the above explanation about why you wouldnt go on air with the subject of your story is unbelievably lame…
    protecting a source is admirable but using it as an excuse to to avoid discussing a story you stand by seems kind of cowardly to me
    hopefully we can get 12 minutes of you vs Steve Smith booked again…
    be a gladiator Florio…he isnt asking to play football with you…or fight you…just to one on one answer your story that he says is a lie

  54. dakotah says: May 7, 2010 4:14 PM

    First Channing Crowder and now Steve Smith. Better watch your back Florio – although I’m confident you could make millions suing them.

  55. DeVoodoo says: May 7, 2010 4:15 PM

    Maybe your new BFF Tim Tebow can talk some sense into him.

  56. norton99 says: May 7, 2010 4:15 PM

    Never give up your sources Mike. even if it means going to jail.
    Someday there’ll be a Pulitzer in your future and we can’t wait for the movie either.

  57. robmart0906 says: May 7, 2010 4:19 PM

    come on florio! dont be afraid. i mean i heard u almost took on a dolphins LB

  58. copes cabana says: May 7, 2010 4:20 PM

    you source is a pansey. this is just bad mouthing someone even if it is true. He’s not refering to ability, just personality. Your source should man up if this is true and say to smith “this is why I thought that.” If your source is a player, trainer, coach, he should learn to keep things in house or be on the outside looking in.
    How would you like it if everytime your wife asked if she looked fat in a dress one of your friends (whom you have confided her weight issues to) told everyone you really think she does. If I were Steve Smith, I would say different things in front of the different suspects and see what story gets out. Then you have your leak and you punch them in the film room.

  59. ItalianArmyGuy says: May 7, 2010 4:20 PM

    @Florio –
    I’m there for you if you need me, pal. You just start swinging, I’ll go for his knees
    Might want to start filling that sock with pennies again…

  60. FRESNORAIDER34 says: May 7, 2010 4:21 PM

    I love all the people who come on here and rip Florio yet they continue to return to this sight daily.

  61. Huskersrule says: May 7, 2010 4:21 PM

    I am on your side 90 percent of the time florio, however you should have jioned the interview at least by phone, what were you scared of releasing info about your source under duress?

  62. Yash says: May 7, 2010 4:23 PM

    To make it all come full circle here Florio, don’t take a page out of Ernie Paladino’s book and be part of the story. He pulled it and LT choked his A$$. You’re posting about yourself, it just looks pathetic
    Good for Steve Smith for calling you out though.
    “I don’t even consider him to be part of the media.”
    BOOM. Roasted.

  63. jerkstore says: May 7, 2010 4:23 PM

    This is Pro Football Talk.com not Pro Football Facts.com
    I’m in your corner Mike.

  64. Yash says: May 7, 2010 4:24 PM

    To make it all come full circle here Florio, don’t take a page out of Ernie Paladino’s book and be part of the story. He pulled it and LT choked his A$$. You’re posting about yourself, it just looks pathetic
    Good for Steve Smith for calling you out though.
    “I don’t even consider him to be part of the media.”
    BOOM. Roasted.

  65. Mustard says: May 7, 2010 4:24 PM

    A few more zero’s after your name?
    If only money bought respect, Steve… you’d be king of the Panthers.

  66. Free_Ryan_Leaf says: May 7, 2010 4:25 PM

    OH MY GOD!!!
    What a shibacle.

  67. JRC007 says: May 7, 2010 4:25 PM

    “I didn’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to get Smith to understand that my most important job is to protect my source, and that any details I would give him in response to his questions potentially could compromise my source.”
    Lame, lame, lame.
    You pubished a BS rumor and got called out. Rather than face the person your accusing, you hid.
    Smith says he never said it. All you have (or claim to have) is a source who claims to know what Smith thinks. You wouldn’t even confirm whether your source (if he exists) had heard Smith say it. So you publish triple-hearsay and “stand by” its truth. You have no idea if it’s true and it looks like your source (if he exists) has no real idea if it is either.
    It’s funny how you attacked the SI writer for quoting unnamed sources from the Dolphins re the Dez Bryant interview and accused him of being a sell-out, but now try to position yourself as the champion of unnamed sources.

  68. realitypolice says: May 7, 2010 4:25 PM

    This is why real journalists always get a second source to confirm things they hear before they report them. It prevents the journalist from allowing a person with an ulterior motive to fabricate damaging information about someone. Florio can’t be bothered with this since he really doesn’t care about printing the truth, only creating controversy.
    Which makes it truly laughable when talks about protecting his sources as though he is some sort of bastion of journalistic integrity.

  69. LE says: May 7, 2010 4:27 PM

    I love how everyone busts Mike’s balls all the time and hates on his website, yet here you all are, all the time, bitching.
    You don’t like the site? Stop coming.

  70. guywhousedtolikeflorio says: May 7, 2010 4:28 PM

    “my most important job is to protect my source, and that any details I would give him in response to his questions potentially could compromise my source. ” …..what a bull crap line that is.
    Florio- you are not a journalist. Man you sound pathetic. This site gathers info. Which is good, but don’t act all high and mighty about “protecting sources”. Next you’ll be wanting to play woodfruff in the remake of All the President’s Men.
    “And given his anger level, I’m also even more convinced that I need to protect my source.”
    This line is even dumber.
    For a guy who claims to be a Christian, you sure are shady sometimes.

  71. jc says: May 7, 2010 4:28 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy that sucker punched his teammate from behind instead of being face to face?

  72. tbeetles says: May 7, 2010 4:29 PM

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Mr Florio own profootballtalk.com, that is now sponsored – sort of owned by NBC? Aside from his salary, I would have to assume he was incredibly well compensated by NBC when it took over, (Mr Conan O’brien just got 30 some odd million dollars not to be around, so clearly NBC will spend money on something profitable.) So Steve Smith, take your “my contract has more zeros” and shove it up your ass. After reading your quotes, you are clearly talented physically, but not mentally. By the time you are 36 and out of football, Mike will have many more years collecting paychecks. My guess is you will be broke by 50. So enjoy those zeros now, since that is what you will be in 25 years.

  73. TouchMeNot says: May 7, 2010 4:29 PM

    The full interview is up at the link below. If you want to be entertained at the expense of Florio for 30 minutes its a must listen.
    http://wfnz.cbslocal.com/2010/05/07/steve-smith-fights-back-on-mac-attack/

  74. Doohickey says: May 7, 2010 4:31 PM

    Your first job is to protect your source? How much does the protecting your sources industry pay?
    Shouldn’t your first job be to report football news accurately, fairly and completely?
    I don’t have any reason to doubt either you or your source. However, we readers are the ones that ultimately decide whether your worth your pay, not your sources.

  75. ClayMath52 says: May 7, 2010 4:32 PM

    Ha Ha, Hilarious!!! Steve Smith is a great wideout, but off the field he is just another loud mouth. Good thing you didn’t show because he would’ve thrown a blow at you. We all know he has no self control and goes to fists with teammates.

  76. sand0 says: May 7, 2010 4:32 PM

    Shady journalism 101.
    1) Get a source to make an observation, guess, or logical interpretation of some event. Not an objective description of what happened, but rather a subjective interpretation. It is actually best if this guy isn’t reliable or qualified.
    2) Publish this opinion of some dude as a story. Frame the story to look like something specific was said or some particular event occured, when in reality you are just reframing an opinion.
    3) When called out, refuse to discuss where you got the crap from. Use a blanket statement like “I don’t disclose sources”. Or say “the dude is so dumb he wouldn’t understand what I say anyways so why bother”. Just run away from it.
    This is nothing special here. This is just a guy with a blog stirring the pot.

  77. roosterwes says: May 7, 2010 4:33 PM

    Steve Smith is an idiot. He has gotten away with way too much crap. I’m not talking about honest tough guy stuff either. We’re talkin punches from behind, kickin a guy when he’s down, etc. Now he threatens a reporter? Yeah, great dood.

  78. Chapnasty2 says: May 7, 2010 4:34 PM

    @ jfuz
    Really? Again with Fox News? The ignorant should lose their right to comment.

  79. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 4:35 PM

    I can understand the station being a bit upset at you not showing up, Mike, but for them to put that empty seat next to Steve Smith with a puddle of water in the middle of it was uncalled for.

  80. Martin Keamy says: May 7, 2010 4:39 PM

    You really are bitter that we beat the ever living crap out of your vikings last year arent you?

  81. CleanSlaton says: May 7, 2010 4:40 PM

    Mr. Florio,
    in all seriousness, you did the right thing.
    The crux of this story exists with Steve Smith’s anger problem. Unfortunately, you have to endure some criticism, which you do everyday. A lot of the bloggers here quickly forget that we’re on your site, your ‘baby.’ Even Steve Smith has visited your site, undoubtedly. People are calling you a bitch, but I’m sure you’re content with being an educated man that will be able to provide for his family for years to come, unlike most (67%) former pro-football players. Thanks for the black hole of my time known as ‘profootballtalk.com’.
    Dear Steve Smith,
    All of the zeroes in your contract haven’t bought you any common sense or class yet; You’re a great football player–that’s it. Take that away & what do you become? An angry man with several assault charges & no valuable skills set. While we’re on the subject of how overpaid you are, here’s a stat: 67% of former NFL players are broke 3 years after their careers. Look at how you’ve spent your money. I’m guessing there are more rooms in your house than people and that you also have several non-economical cars. Yes, you’re just like most overpaid athletes.
    A transcript of your interview reveals that you can’t speak correctly [or assumingly, write correctly either, so there go the former-player Public Speaking gigs.] In a decade, the odds will be stacked against you for being skill-less and jobless. I would not hire you to mop my floors and take out garbage with your arrogance, even though you’re very fast and catch footballs well….now. You have a great football work ethic, but you’ve exhausted all good will and credit that your MVP award has earned you. I realize that I’m just some blogger, but you can’t just lose your temper every time someone speaks poorly about you. Have some temperance, humility, and confidence to ignore what other people say. Like it or not, they say it behind your back too–don’t give them reasons to say more. Pull your head out of your ass, because the stories about you lately are not about your ability– They’re about how you’re kind-of a turd. Now get out there and be somebody.
    sincerely,
    an engineer for the department of defense with too much time

  82. fleet10 says: May 7, 2010 4:40 PM

    know what I love? How the Florio protectors seem to think a Florio-backing-post is gonna get you a cookie…………………
    …and jerkstore, you’re right, it is profootballtalk.com, not “profootballfacts.com” as you stated……………
    ……….this would also rule out, “profootballimakeupwhateveriwanttoandthenattributeittoanonymoussourcesthatdontexistandthendonthavetheballsto”standbymystory”onafreakintelephonecall.com

  83. darth_vincent says: May 7, 2010 4:40 PM

    Wait?????????????? I thought Florio won a Pulitzer for his “QB from the Future” book.
    By the way Mike, your book would be a perfect gift to send to Steve Smith as a peace gesture… or at least that’s what I would do in this situation. ROTFLMAO!!! PFT is awesome!

  84. oyoy84 says: May 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    Florio’s a joke… And show my comment this time you rag waving coward.

  85. JRC007 says: May 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    “Now he threatens a reporter? Yeah, great dood. ”
    Hey dood, he didn’t threaten a reporter, he threatened Florio.

  86. Wukong says: May 7, 2010 4:43 PM

    @ tbeetles
    Florio won’t make in a lifetime what Steve Smith makes in a year, NBC or not. Get over your mancrush and start thinking sensibly.

  87. Martin Keamy says: May 7, 2010 4:45 PM

    @ jc
    no. it was face to face. its really really hard to punch someone in the face when standing behind them.

  88. Panther's Balls says: May 7, 2010 4:49 PM

    Sounds like you better send Steve Smith a box of some Bojangles Chicken as an apology Mike.
    You should have gone on the radio show and simply told Smith “it is what it is.” Or “We picked bad day to have a bad day.”
    As a panther’s fan, I see this as a good thing. I never saw Smith call a radio station to defend Jake Delhomme (for good reason). I’m sure Smith is just thrilled to finally have someone that can throw him the ball without starring him down the whole play, and he doesn’t want some blogger punk trying to start something.

  89. albaNY Hawker says: May 7, 2010 4:50 PM

    Just tell that your source is Ken Lucas!

  90. cobrala2 says: May 7, 2010 4:51 PM

    Florio, we’re waiting for you to flail your hands in the air yelling “Draamaaa” and immediately dance-off your frustrations.
    Man up, dude, and get over this. This is 7th grade locker room level shit.

  91. the chief chief says: May 7, 2010 4:51 PM

    Think I’ll past on a PFT T-shirt too.

  92. Wallacej says: May 7, 2010 4:52 PM

    I think it’s funny that so many of you rip Florio for putting all these things on the site, yet you’re faithfully here everyday reading it. If you think he’s such a liar and hack, and he’s making it all up, why do you come here?

  93. mama tried says: May 7, 2010 4:52 PM

    screw that punk steve crybaby smith.
    where can I buy my PFT tshirt?

  94. TouchMeNot says: May 7, 2010 4:52 PM

    CleanSlaton,
    Do some freaking research before you start talking crap about people you don’t know much about. The only things that you probably know about him is that he is a football player that has punched two of his teammates. From that you come to the conclusion that he is dumb, skill-less and wasting all of his money. Maybe you should read the article below about him and realize there is more to people than what PFT tells you.
    http://www.bvonsports.com/2008/05/23/carolina-panthers-steve-smith-spends-offseason-as-financial-int/

  95. SeanKav9 says: May 7, 2010 4:53 PM

    Florio,
    I’m going to go ahead and agree to disagree with the comments everyone else has posted here. I’m sure your source was indeed correct, and being a person who breaking into a similar field in the media as yourself, I agree with you standing by your source. The way I see things here is we have another ignorant athlete who got ousted on some comments he made and he finds it easier to blame you and lie about actually making them. I think people need to take a step back here and think about some things; Steve Smith is not more credible than Mike Florio as much as others want to believe the contrary. Florio you clearly have a purpose in the media and to anyone who thinks different all you have to tell them is if you weren’t good at what you do you wouldn’t be associated with NBC. And if Steve Smith weren’t good at what he does; catching balls, slugging teammates, whatever it might be wouldn’t be paid to do so. But, who is more likely to lie here Florio or Smith….hmm I’m going to say Smith.
    People need to ask themselves this: what does Mike Florio get out of stirring up drama in a Charlotte locker room, because god forbid I have to read about it on this sight for the next 3 months, and what does Steve Smith get out of lying about his comments and blasting Florio? I would say a few more balls in his direction and maybe one less ‘punk’ to slug in training camp.

  96. Opie says: May 7, 2010 4:53 PM

    @ CleanSlaton: Really? Glad to see that an engineer for the Dept. of Defense has so much time to waste. Makes me all warm inside to know the extent of gov’t waste.
    @ FRESNORAIDER34: hope you get a t-shirt out of taint tonguing.
    @ Cornflorio: my question is why you wouldn’t go ahead and do the interview? It was by phone, right? You could still have not named your source(s), depending on which sentence in the above it is either one or more than one source. Why not go on there, talk it out, and see what happens?
    It’s not like you were challenged to a match & had to remove your squirrel?!?

  97. DrewBreezyFoReal says: May 7, 2010 4:53 PM

    Which side to choose…..
    1) Steve Smith is afraid to say how he really feels about Clausen???
    When has Steve Smith ever been afraid to say anything???
    2) Florio is a lying coward that’s scared to face his lies like a man?
    Ummm, yeah…Florio you coward

  98. Wrong says: May 7, 2010 4:54 PM

    Smith wasn’t asking to meet in public to discuss this, he was asking for Florio to participate in a conference call with him and the radio station. It’s not as if Smith was going to come through the phone to punch Florio, hence why Florio is rightfully being called out for hiding behind a thinly veiled “source” excuse.
    As far as who the source is, my guess is that the source is someone in Matt Moore’s camp (maybe his agent), especially for the part of the story about John Fox “loving” Matt Moore. This is the same guy that forced Moore to sit behind Jake Delhomme for 11 games last year when he was stinking it up, waited until Jake broke hsi thumb to play him, and rewarded Moore’s 4-1 record as a starter by drafting 2 other quarterbacks.

  99. John El Way says: May 7, 2010 4:55 PM

    i’ll take florios side on this one. just because steve smith is a grown man and he still be talkin like dis……why would anyone believe someone who speaks like a tard.

  100. DeuceDropper says: May 7, 2010 4:55 PM

    My sources tell me Steve Smith is awesome.

  101. dboom92 says: May 7, 2010 4:57 PM

    In an interview on Sirius NFL, Clausen said As a rookie chore Smith asked him to pick up a 6 pack of some soft drink you can only get in So Cal, and he delivered… He said he’s looking forward to working with him and It didn’t really sound like there was any friction.

  102. ZombieRevolution says: May 7, 2010 4:58 PM

    “I didn’t want to spend 12 minutes trying to get Smith to understand that my most important job is to protect my source…”
    Except you were implying Smith said something that he mayhave not said. And since you cannot and will not name your source (who could be a teammate or the team janitor) its hard to take anything PFT says at face value. Unnamed sources are double edged weapons- you get great stuff from them which you can provide no proof.

  103. Deb says: May 7, 2010 4:59 PM

    @tedskro …
    Florio went to law school, not journalism school. Bloggers of his nature are not journalists. Responsible journalism schools–and responsible news outlets–require reporters to confirm material from unnamed sources with AT LEAST one other separate source. Otherwise anyone could make up anything about anyone else, supply it to a reporter, and be assured that it would be passed around, no questions asked.
    Since Florio is the one making the allegation, Smith is under no obligation to supply sources to prove the reverse.
    EverybodygotAIDS is right: With no corroborating information, there’s an equal chance that Florio is lying, his source is lying, or Smith is lying. So the story is irrelevant and should never have been posted as anything but baseless gossip.

  104. swervinmervin says: May 7, 2010 5:00 PM

    Florio dogs LT for not speaking up and questions his innocense based on that.
    Well, the same logic is applied to Florio here. IF you were speaking the truth, you couldve had a conversation with Steve Smith without compromising your source.
    Just admit that youre a puss and move on.

  105. GaziVicious says: May 7, 2010 5:01 PM

    Steve Smith said he didn’t care to know who your source was. He just wanted to know how you know what a guy “thinks” not what he “said”. Do you or your made up source have superpowers Florio?

  106. spliffbunker says: May 7, 2010 5:03 PM

    as a matter of fact I think Clausen might want to have his say as well
    all too often anymore I think sources are a codeword for “I made this up”…
    not just here but throughout the media
    avoiding this probably damages your credibility & reputation far more than anything I have seen here over 5 years

  107. RayDaMayor says: May 7, 2010 5:08 PM

    “There’s a reason I have a few more zeros at the end of my contract than he do; and now he says ‘we stand by our story’ well, you know what, O.J. stood by the ‘if the glove don’t fit’ look where he at.”
    Another ebonics major …….
    Dumbass idiot who knows how to catch a ball but not english class.

  108. Chiefs2010 says: May 7, 2010 5:09 PM

    Love the OJ line
    Steve Smith, +1

  109. WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 7, 2010 5:10 PM

    and Florio u stated yesterday that u would go on air with that radio station…now he showed the bitch in u and u can’t even speak up for yourself
    your mother must really be proud of u

  110. Catamount says: May 7, 2010 5:11 PM

    Florio, You are a shady sleeze who profits from gossip. This time, you are the source. I read this looking for facts or rumors than might materialize into personnel changes or whatever. Nobody is hurt. You, on the other hand, are trying to create internal strife on a team so you can giggle. What a punk you are.

  111. BonnieD says: May 7, 2010 5:12 PM

    You have admitted yourself on many occasions that everything you post here is designed to get more hits on your website, so I rarely believe anything you say, especially since you sold out to NBC.

  112. CanadianVikingFan says: May 7, 2010 5:13 PM

    Hahah, Steve Smith is awesome.
    Never a dull moment with this guy, great athlete and he speaks his mind. Too bad his team is a shell of it’s former shell. He deserves better.

  113. raiderrob21 says: May 7, 2010 5:17 PM

    Gloryhole,
    Go out to Carolina and take your ass whippin like a man! Then come out to the BAY AREA, RAIDER NATION is lined up for a chance to dot you up!
    Too many BS stories from you Gloryhole. You think you woulda learned by now. Go grab a gig on BSPN with Schefter and Mort. You fit right in with those two MORONS!

  114. WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 7, 2010 5:18 PM

    Florio holds a grudge against anyone who embarasses his butt buddy favre and thats exactly what the panthers did to the viqueens last season

  115. GirthyOne says: May 7, 2010 5:21 PM

    I don’t think you made this up Mike.
    I think Smith said that Clausen is a punk and probably worse.
    He compares you to O.J.? Wow, what a little bitch ass punk he is.
    It’s not like you’re reporting some unbelievable thing, like Terry Bradshaw passing on (nudge, nudge). Steve Smith is an asshole and it’s being reported all over that Clausen is being….pushy. What’s not believable?

  116. blackglass says: May 7, 2010 5:21 PM

    I actually believe you in all this, Florio. Steve Smith is a known shit talker, and I imagine he did say this about Clausen.
    Also, IS there a PFT t-shirt? Can I get a bundle package of the shirt and a copy of “QB Of The Future”?

  117. SterilizeTHenry says: May 7, 2010 5:23 PM

    Florio, why would you post a story that basically shows that you are a little bitch? It’s like you are proud of it.
    I would have taken this to my grave. Embarrasing.

  118. WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 7, 2010 5:26 PM

    first u make up a story from some made up source about Steve Smith, then u criticize Vince Young for giving back to the people in his community, ur credibility just went out the window
    the only reason why i visit your site is because of the other bloggers, not because of u…u make Rush Limbaugh seem liberal
    ur a short crass, just for men using lame individual

  119. agent89 says: May 7, 2010 5:26 PM

    engineer for the department of defense with too much time
    I understand where your trying to come from but one thing you may want to do is get your facts right and know who you are talking about first 2.5 yrs after playing and divorced , broke..
    I took a intership
    with morgan stanley 2yrs in row and will be taking my test to be come a financial planner you can call me overpaid it sounds like you wish you were overpaid
    can’t speak correctly I choose to speak the way I want just like you try to sound so much better than me… I am father of three all from the same woman of 10yrs of marriage.
    ‘I would not hire you to mop my floors and take out garbage’
    you wouldn’t hire me good because(CUZ) to be frank I have already done that for most of my high school and college life after and before school to feed my oldest son now so please don’t do me any favors. you can sound like you know who I really am but one thing you that is clear the odds were stacked against me long b4 ur great words of wisdom. So maybe one day we will meet and you will see 20yrs from not I am still a lil turd that made from nothing who seem on the outside to be a dumb shit and really has his stuff together. I hate to disappoint you but I really do hold my own in corporate America
    I just never see you at the meeting I at speak at or I am invovled in at the office so go do some else with my tax money then waste it on the net :) and I am a a turd with no debt

  120. Rick Rickerickski says: May 7, 2010 5:26 PM

    You got caught homeboy

  121. Iceberg34 says: May 7, 2010 5:27 PM

    Is this reporting or gossip? When you are “reporting” on a sources opinon as to another players opinion as to another player, in my opinion that’s gossip. It’s probably also unreliable.
    If Smith called the guy a punk, or said something to that effect, you should quote him on it. But when a “source” says Smith “basically thinks Clausen is a punk” you have to wonder what the hell he’s basing it on. It’s probably pure speculation. Or it could be based on one comment in the heat of the moment that doesn’t mean anything or is taken out of context.
    Think about it: if there was this was something Smith shared with someone in private, he’s pretty much going to know who the source is. If he said it around a number of other players, you should have corroborated it with another player (then it’s a story). As it is, this source probably someone with an agenda or someone who is speculating unreliably. Therefore, you should have used journalistic discretion and not published the story. Smith has a valid point in being upset with this–you haven’t even given him specifics that he can deny.

  122. Rick Rickerickski says: May 7, 2010 5:28 PM

    You got caught homeboy

  123. ZingZang25 says: May 7, 2010 5:30 PM

    Florio you’re a little bitch.

  124. darth_vincent says: May 7, 2010 5:32 PM

    For the 1/2 of you that are confused:
    Rumor Mill = Baseless Gossip
    You can thank me for clearing that up by buying me a beer…

  125. spdy3450 says: May 7, 2010 5:34 PM

    Florio is a Pu$$¥! sorry but I’m not buying your lame excuse. To all the readers on here I would just like to remind you that this is just the sports version of TMZ and you probably should not believe everything you read here.

  126. Steeleheader says: May 7, 2010 5:34 PM

    Did Smith say anything positive about Clausen during the radio interview or did he just rail on Florio the whole time?

  127. Pantherfan10 says: May 7, 2010 5:36 PM

    Maybe its because every article Doucher writes about Smith he thinks he’s cute with some tounge and cheek comment or trying to be cute and funny. When in reality if you know anything about the Panthers and Smith you realize that Florio comes off like a smug little bitch with an unknown adgenda. But, Florio and his drones defend their baseless and bullshit articles no matter how stupid they are by saying “its the rumor mill”. You could infact make an article saying ‘Big Ben training to be an astronaut’ and have just as much crediability cause “its the rumor mill”

  128. The Hogster says: May 7, 2010 5:41 PM

    Florio has sources???

  129. The Hogster says: May 7, 2010 5:43 PM

    Florio, so how do you protect your “source” when you are the “source”?
    Oh, you avoid going on air with the guy you’re talking about. Nice.
    Way to protect yourself.

  130. JoeSchmoe says: May 7, 2010 5:47 PM

    I’ve never once agreed with ChapNasty2 on anything… until now. That even hurts to type.

  131. Raider B says: May 7, 2010 5:50 PM

    “Steve Smith won’t be buying a PFT T-shirt”
    Same with the rest of the country.

  132. polishkingski says: May 7, 2010 5:52 PM

    OK MIKE, CALM DOWN, CALM DOWN…..deep breaths, thats it, in….out….in….out….in…..out. are you calmed down a bit? good, stay calm mikey, stay calm. are you ok to talk? good. listen, you just came real close to getting your ass kicked by a very tough real live nfl football player. congrats! i really hope you did do what you did to protect your source because if not your a pussy! ah, don`t worry mikey, anyone in that situation would be scared shitless too! this is sooooooooo funny.

  133. FreeAgentPro says: May 7, 2010 5:54 PM

    Well said, Steve Smith. I always suspected that real NFL football players and FO personnel don’t consider Florio as a bona fide member of the media. Here is the proof of that. This may be the best post of all time on this site. Smith just called out Florio as a sniveling little liar, and Florio hides behind his ‘ my source may be lying but I can’t expose his lying’ excuse. I can’t wait until Florio finally gets beat up like Geraldo did one time by an enraged guest.

  134. spliffbunker says: May 7, 2010 5:55 PM

    a month ago some lunatic was challenging Florio to a duel in a mall parking lot outside Sears Automotive in Sarasota…
    many PFT readers leaped to his defense at that time…as far as I’m concerned Florio is on his own next time

  135. SF Saints Fan says: May 7, 2010 6:01 PM

    Florio, you are a shrimp with a bad weave, but you could probably take Steve Smith one on one, but I would watch out for the sucker punch.
    Steve Smith, Florio was a “successful” attorney (in West Virginia) before he went big time and sold out to NBC to work on PFT full time. I would hazard a guess that his house is paid for, his VW Bus is paid for, he has a nice chunk of change in the bank and the complete DVD Box Set of Seinfeld. You, on the other hand, live paycheck to paycheck and will probably be broke five years after you are eventually cut from the Panthers or any other team you wind up with.
    So who is better off, you or Florio?
    I wouldn’t trade places with either of you, West Virginia is too boring (Sorta like Minnesota without the lakes.) and you are a punk, but good luck with that.

  136. DanRooney says: May 7, 2010 6:07 PM

    A new low Florio? Finally realizing you’re losing a crowd writing about Roethlisberger every 20 minutes and you make up for it by selling t-shirts?

  137. vegassquire says: May 7, 2010 6:07 PM

    Good thing he can run and catch, because that Ewte education is not going to make him successful.
    “Florio is making this up,” Smith said. “I never talked to him personally, I don’t even consider him to be part of the media. There’s a reason I have a few more zeros at the end of my contract than he do; and now he says ‘we stand by our story’ well, you know what, O.J. stood by the ‘if the glove don’t fit’ look where he at.”

  138. jibfest says: May 7, 2010 6:08 PM

    Smith just wants to know who outed him. I’ll side with Florio on this one, I doubt he would make this up out of thin air.

  139. FootballFreak says: May 7, 2010 6:21 PM

    …weak kneed little girl running from the playground…

  140. funi says: May 7, 2010 6:22 PM

    Who the hell is Steve Smith anyhow? He is an overrated punk who beats up teammates and then goes an apologizes. I would not be surprised to see this punk in jail in a few years. Florio rules and if you do nto like him, do not read his info. He is correct over 98% of the time. ESPN is correct about 80% of the time. I am still waiting for these McFaden to Lions trade ESPN reported on draft day!

  141. tj.52 says: May 7, 2010 6:26 PM

    There’s t-shirts?

  142. navyation says: May 7, 2010 6:31 PM

    This just in from a named source (all of Charlotte and the Carolinas): Florio’s a huge pussy.
    Every single article about the panthers and other teams you know nothing about always have some little tired comment about something that happened years ago. Everyone knows Smith punched a teammate. Everyone remembers. No one finds the constant “Watch out for sucker-punches durrrr!!!” funny or even humorous.
    Seriously, stop it. Just report something that wouldn’t appear in the NFL edition of Teen Bop.

  143. Kaveech says: May 7, 2010 6:36 PM

    Take your beating like a man Florio! You’re a huge wimp and pathetic. How do you not relish in the opportunity to grill Steve Smith, if in fact, your source is so good? Real reporters would die for that chance to catch an athlete in a lie, but you, you just proved to everyone reading your website that your a poser. I’ve had enough of you and your attempt to stir the pot, as soon as you get called out you back down like a little bit#$. You’re a disgrace and a loser, I hope you get sucker-punched by Smith, you’re the type of guy who talks smack then runs away, get life you wanna-be punk.

  144. GaziVicious says: May 7, 2010 6:41 PM

    Raider B says:
    May 7, 2010 5:50 PM
    “Steve Smith won’t be buying a PFT T-shirt”
    Same with the rest of the country.

    ROFL

  145. BenRoethlisburger says: May 7, 2010 6:42 PM

    # ebr362 says: May 7, 2010 4:00 PM
    “Only cowards hide from things they said. You guys just made him bigger than he already thinks he is.”
    #1)AllThat
    #2)ampats
    #3)Child_Please!
    all pussies…

  146. Hugh says: May 7, 2010 6:43 PM

    agent89 says:
    May 7, 2010 5:26 PM
    engineer for the department of defense with too much time
    I understand where your trying to come from but one thing you may want to do is get your facts right and know who you are talking about first 2.5 yrs after playing and divorced , broke..
    I took a intership
    with morgan stanley 2yrs in row and will be taking my test to be come a financial planner you can call me overpaid it sounds like you wish you were overpaid
    can’t speak correctly I choose to speak the way I want just like you try to sound so much better than me… I am father of three all from the same woman of 10yrs of marriage.
    ‘I would not hire you to mop my floors and take out garbage’
    you wouldn’t hire me good because(CUZ) to be frank I have already done that for most of my high school and college life after and before school to feed my oldest son now so please don’t do me any favors. you can sound like you know who I really am but one thing you that is clear the odds were stacked against me long b4 ur great words of wisdom. So maybe one day we will meet and you will see 20yrs from not I am still a lil turd that made from nothing who seem on the outside to be a dumb shit and really has his stuff together. I hate to disappoint you but I really do hold my own in corporate America
    I just never see you at the meeting I at speak at or I am invovled in at the office so go do some else with my tax money then waste it on the net :) and I am a a turd with no debt
    ————————————————————————————————-
    You tell ‘em Smitty.

  147. FreeAgentPro says: May 7, 2010 6:48 PM

    SF Saints fan, you will never be 10% of the man Steve Smith is. Wait…5%. You are worse than Florio: you make assumptions about Smith without even having a lying source.

  148. Howie Handles says: May 7, 2010 7:04 PM

    “# Wukong says: May 7, 2010 3:51 PM
    Florio, stuff the “protect the source” nonsense. The reality is that you were too much of a bitch to confront him directly.”
    ———-
    And that Wukong, is why he’s not only an attorney, but also banking from a website, and you make fries for a living.

  149. SF Saints Fan says: May 7, 2010 7:06 PM

    FreeAgentPro, Steve Smith is a punk. He can run fast, can catch, runs good routes and is a great football player, but that doesn’t make him a man. He can also throw sucker punches with the best of them, that is what makes him a punk…..
    I would side with Florio on this one. I am sure he has a “source” who told him that Smith said what he said. It is possible the source is lying, but the source is only as credible as Florio says he is. If the source has been solid in the past, I would suspect he is telling the truth now. Florio is not one to lie about things. He does speculate on many issue, but he lets you know when he is speculating. When he goes with a “story” based on a source, he is not lying, he is only posting what a source told him. It is probably another player or a staff member of the Panthers, and they probably don’t want to run the risk that Smith would slash their tires or sucker punch them…..
    As “funi” posted earlier, Florio is right about 98% of the time, while ESPN is right about 80% of the time. Steve Smith is right when he says he’s right……..because he is a punk.

  150. Tim says: May 7, 2010 7:07 PM

    Protect your nose Florio.

  151. ethan robert says: May 7, 2010 7:07 PM

    “And given his anger level, I’m now even more confident than ever that I need to protect my…….ARSE.”

  152. kristoff says: May 7, 2010 7:15 PM

    florio,u didnt show up 2 talk 2 steve smith face 2 face???? OMG what a suprise!!! LMAO!! you must not have good health insurance.

  153. Rick says: May 7, 2010 7:17 PM

    how does copying and pasting and providing links to stories make one a journalist? Protecting sources is only for journalists.

  154. LT_no_trespassing says: May 7, 2010 7:17 PM

    You’re the man, Mr. Florio!

  155. Mike D says: May 7, 2010 7:23 PM

    Florio, you should arrange to meet him somewhere, then sucker punch him while yelling “HERE’S YOUR SOURCE!!”

  156. TouchMeNot says: May 7, 2010 7:28 PM

    Of course the SF Saints Fan thinks Steve Smith is a punk and Florio is right. There is no team in the league against which Smith has made better plays against than the Saints. He has single handily won at least 5 games against the Saints in the last few years. If I were a Saints fan I would hate Smith too.
    And you say Florio is right 98% of the time. This is the man that has said that Terry Bradshaw is dead and that used to hate on Tebow pretty hard until Tebow gave him an interview and his mind changed. This is also the same guy that since Culpepper issued his retirement through PFT has made Culpepper look like a god among other QBs. Come on now!

  157. Dufus says: May 7, 2010 7:37 PM

    Steve Smith is an idiot. Learn to speak English, retard!

  158. SF Saints Fan says: May 7, 2010 8:00 PM

    TouchMeNot:
    I wrote that Steven Smith is a punk and a great football player. (“Steve Smith is a punk. He can run fast, can catch, runs good routes and is a great football player…”) You don’t have to tell me that he has had some great games against the Saints, I have seen most of the personally.
    And the Terry Bradshaw thing has really taken on the stuff of legend here on PFT. I have ragged on Florio on it myself, but all he did on that story was go off of an internet news posting of a local North Louisiana TV or radio station (I can’t remember which.) and he reported, what they reported as fact, and editorialized as to how important Bradshaw was to NFL history. Florio didn’t “kill Bradshaw” he just wrote about another “news” organizations’ report on the “Death of Bradshaw” and other Sports outlets ran with what Florio reported, but failed to see that he was basing it on the reporting of others and they also failed to attribute the “report” to Florio until after Bradshaw busted a Weekend at Bernies move and rose from the dead.
    And on Tebow, I don’t think much of him myself, but most people who have met him and spent some time with him come away impressed. I have never met him, but maybe he has some special powers or something?
    Again, Steve Smith is a punk, a great football player, but a punk.

  159. 60eagles says: May 7, 2010 8:14 PM

    After he said he has more zero’s after his salary than Floria, I immediately sided with Florio. The guy (Steve Smith) is a punk. Hey Smith, those zero’s do relate to intelligence. Learn to speak English. Your college buddy Chad Ochocinco explains a lot about you. On the other hand, you took your college education seriously and are to be commended for that.

  160. The Hogster says: May 7, 2010 8:19 PM

    Fans, fans, fans. Do you not realize that you sound like douchebags criticizing a football player’s language skills??
    I’m pretty sure you would trade your pathetic life and good diction for a few million dollars, a Lamborghini, and a harem of beauties.
    Just sayin.

  161. God's Own Silver and Blue says: May 7, 2010 8:31 PM

    Stop coming.
    Did you misdirect this advice to LT, LE?

  162. Randy Inman says: May 7, 2010 9:28 PM

    I listen to WFNZ all day at work and it is how I heard about this site as a matter if fact. The morning show kissed up to Steve Smith.
    Brenston Buckner on the noon to 3 show just about called Smith a punk and seems to believe he said it.
    Mark Packer on the evening show (son of Billy) seems to think Smith did not badmouth Clausen.

  163. BonnieD says: May 7, 2010 9:55 PM

    Seriously, Florio I think you are going to wear out your welcome in the NFL. Starting bad blood between two players on the same team by posting gossip that may or may not be true could get you in hot water with the NFL. Nobody is going to want to talk to you pretty soon.

  164. Frostbite says: May 7, 2010 10:05 PM

    Florio Karma is a bitch huh?

  165. vanhelsing says: May 7, 2010 10:13 PM

    florio is quite the liberal lawyer and media dude. and i have been been pointing that out for quite a while…
    but i believe the source. smith will sucker punch anyone his size or larger that he has differences with, and he thinks his schitt doesnt stink. he is just another illiterate jackass who had no business being in college. if u dont like that, screw yerself back in to the ghetto.
    florio should have been there in person because he would probly be injured and now own the little suckerpuncher.

  166. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: May 7, 2010 10:14 PM

    Florio, the week prior to the 1st meeting between the Falcons & Panthers can you post an article about a source who states that Dunta Robinson bent Steve Smith’s mother over a sink and Mama Dez Bryanted her so good and hard that she wanted to marry Dunta? “Who’s your Daddy?”, indeed. Thanks.

  167. Dave The Panther says: May 7, 2010 10:20 PM

    Your source is about as real as Peter Pan. This is nothing more than you attempt to disrupt a new situation for Carolina. Steve Smith is and has been the heart of this Carolina team. Why in the world would he try to alienate his future starting QB. Makes no sense and your reasoning for protecting your source is. IT is that small piece of biological material between your ears YOU CALL A BRAIN.
    Don’t makes sources up, it makes you look idiotic.

  168. mwcarolina says: May 7, 2010 10:21 PM

    Buckner seems to think there’s mis reporting, but he didnt like the bashing of Florio. In my view, IF your wrong, Then Florio should get bashed by Smith. False reporting is a problem and Clausen has enough bad publicity as it is and Florio isnt helping, he has been on Clausen’s case since before he got drafted. The point is, Clausen (as heard from other sources in Charlotte) isnt doing anything that is hurting the team.

  169. Randy Inman says: May 7, 2010 10:38 PM

    I wonder if Smith will be mad at Buckner? I wouldn’t want Buck mad at me.

  170. BigSkyCatGuy says: May 7, 2010 11:10 PM

    This puts an entirely new spin on yellow journalism. Heavy emphasis on the yellow.

  171. wizillie says: May 7, 2010 11:23 PM

    sounds like quality reporting….relatively speaking

  172. LiLsWISHA says: May 7, 2010 11:26 PM

    Damn Florio, you’re the Mayweather of bloggers. You’re the best at what you do, yet people still hate you. Don’t worry Steve Smith ain’t shit, you just have to swing first.

  173. XxGoCanesxX says: May 7, 2010 11:30 PM

    LOL! This is great! Florio finally somebody showed you for exactly what you are. If you continue to operate as the TMZ of the NFL this is going to happen more and more. You can’t just print everything you hear without knowing exactly what the truth may be. Clearly you must have been a little mistaken on the original story, and you got called on it. The best part is that Steve Smith called your bluff and you did exactly what sissy journalists usually always do. You hid behind your computer and then proceeded to take another shot at Smith in this article. Granted Steve Smith has not always made the best decisions over his career, but I do believe that if he did think Clausen was a punk he would have walked right up to him and said it to his face in front of everybody. Now you on the other hand have shown that you are a badass behind your computer, but won’t face the music when called forward on your false reporting. COWARD!

  174. Wukong says: May 7, 2010 11:43 PM

    @ Howie Handles
    There’s nothing more pathetic than a man riding another man’s nutsack online. Also, fries? Real original, dolt. Why don’t you take that fresh new material on the road. The world has been looking for a bold new comedic voice.

  175. thebirdofprey says: May 7, 2010 11:58 PM

    Steve Smith just put somebody’s credibility in check. That whole I’m def. not giving up my source now that Smith is weak to say the least. I don’t think many of the NFL fans were respecting the journalism credentials anyway.

  176. diskoh says: May 8, 2010 12:19 AM

    It’s hilarious to listen to the interview and then read Florio’s spin on it.
    Smith: “I don’t care about the source.”
    Florio: “He just wants to ask about the source!”

  177. therealtruth says: May 8, 2010 12:26 AM

    The sucker punch jokes are funny & right on. Oh, the irony! ” Real men, face to face”, ha ha ha. Some of you want to sweep it under the rug, but if that happened anywhere else he would have been arrested. Oh–he has more zeros at the end of his contract–guess that makes him a better person(sarcasm). Unfortunately he has 2 zeros at the beginning of his IQ.

  178. angel says: May 8, 2010 2:17 AM

    I love you guys….thanks for the laughter this evening!!!!

  179. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT says: May 8, 2010 7:58 AM

    “Look at OJ, where he at”.
    Umm… dude was successfully found guilty in the civil lawsuits, was busted in Las Vegas for trying to sell memorabilia hidden away from the debtors and is essentially broke.
    I don’t think I want to look at OJ any longer than I have to, Steve.

  180. drainthe;izard says: May 8, 2010 8:20 AM

    What did he do instead of going to his English courses?

  181. Route36West says: May 8, 2010 10:09 AM

    Dont get mad that Smith called you on your Shit. You make things up all the time and say it was a source. Either that or you try to spin what a guy said into something else and that right 5 stories about the about he said and meant even though he never said or meant any of it. Then you say because of that the guy is probably going to be traded. And if hes not traded you just say its because the market isnt their.
    Anyone with a half a sack in the media would of went on the air and defended their story and would have just said you cant give your source. No one would try to explain why they cant give up their source. And certainly no one believes thats why you didnt go on the show. You just didnt go on the show because your afraid to make the same smart ass snarky comments when you dont have a computer screen in front of you and you knew everyone would see the persona you try to create online is really just an act and your really just a mouse. You also knew your story was garbage and you wouldnt have been able to hide it over the phone.
    The only thing worse then a telphone tough guy is a internet tough guy was afraid to get on the phone.

  182. Route36West says: May 8, 2010 10:14 AM

    Your also a hypocrite you get on guys doing interviews when they ask players fluff questions and dont go after the guy. But then you get a chance to get on the phone and really stand behind your report and ask Steve Smith the hard questions and your back down?
    That proves your a hypocrite and liar. You lied about stand behind your story and probably even lied about the story and your a hypocrite for talking trash about analysts doing fluff interviews while your to afraid to even talk to a guy.
    How you can you go from that to suggesting Bradshaw should interview Big Ben.
    Thats a Joke and so are You.

  183. comment_submission_error says: May 8, 2010 10:31 AM

    “And given his anger level, I’m also even more convinced that I need to protect my source.”
    By that you mean “my jaw.” Don’t feel bad, Florio. Even ray Lewis admitted he doesn’t like getting hit in the face.

  184. akuehn713 says: May 8, 2010 11:06 AM

    What is it with that little bitch Steve Smith and other little bitch pro athletes that think they measure of intelligence and successfulness are measured in dollars?
    Santonio Holmes, Steve Smith and countless others have said this recently and the funniest thing is if those d-bags didn’t have financial advisors they’d blow all the money on jewelry, cars and booze. Some of them still do. Go ahead Steve, flaunt your scrilla, but when you’re 40 and broke, you can feel more than welcome to wash my Honda.

  185. bluestree says: May 8, 2010 11:55 AM

    You have to laugh at all the guys who are posting that Florio has no source and just made this stuff up and how that’s what he always does is just print stuff that he makes up and what a douche he is. One guy posting unequivocally Florio has no sources with small market teams. He just makes stuff up and what a POS he is for doing that.
    And as proof they sight……………..nothing.
    It’s almost as funny as the guys that say the stuff on this blog is nothing but a bunch of supposition and innuendo!
    Here……… on the ………. Rumor Mill.
    It’s as funny as the ones that think Steve Smith should learn to speak English. I imagine them calling their buddies after they post; “Hey, youse gIyz wanna go get some beerss?”
    Whitey-bonics. Oh, that’s not the same. Uh huh, right. You have no dialect, you speak English.
    Fer sher.

  186. MasterShake says: May 8, 2010 12:19 PM

    A couple of months ago, I posted that I didn’t know if he was brutaly honest or a complete dick. A couple of months later, I still don’t know. He’s looking more like the later. Bias is due to Mr. Florio allowing jackasses like us to post here.

  187. kevin says: May 8, 2010 12:38 PM

    You should have faced the music on the MAC ATTACK- you are a coward for not coming on live.

  188. ambientnoise says: May 8, 2010 12:59 PM

    getting punched in the face by steve smith would be the best thing that ever happened to florio. think of all the extra traffic to the site.

  189. BonnieD says: May 8, 2010 1:03 PM

    The more I think about it, the more it is obvious you have graduated to trying to mess with a team’s chemistry. First the Panthers. Who is next? Your national sports gossip column has gone too far.

  190. CKL says: May 8, 2010 1:56 PM

    The way someone talks doesn’t have that much to do with how smart they are anyway…and I say that as an English major. One can speak in a certain dialect and be smart as hell. Say whatever you want to about Smitty (and some of the “negatives” are true) but the guy is NOT dumb. I bet you when he is done playing, he will never be found down by the river in a van a few years later. He’s protecting his finances smartly like other players should. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Smitty and others think Clausen is a punk…for many many reasons. And I don’t blame them for not wanting that thought to escape the confines of their practice fields.
    To Deb re: your comment on having two sources…this was Pats fans biggest problem with the whole Matt Walsh BS. Tomase had no corroboration from anyone and just ran with an EXTREMELY damaging rumor at a horrible time (right before the SB) from his one unnamed source. This resulted in Pats brass having to take time to respond to all that garbage the night before the SB. No truth to the story whatsoever and the turd kept his freaking job @ the Herald. His editors who allowed him to run with an uncorroborated story should have been removed as well. None of them lost their jobs for lying.

  191. Hugh says: May 8, 2010 2:37 PM

    One last thing Florio. If Smith actually said this, he would know to whom he said it. So your excuse of “he wants to ask me who my unnamed source is and I have to protect that source” just doesn’t hold any water. If this statement from Smith was true, Smith would know who the source is, so there would be NO need to protect the unnamed source. Sorry, but by logic, you are caught in your own lie.
    Also, your coverage of some small markets, and especially the Panthers is very lame. Here’s just a few examples:
    Steve Smith fakes injury to get a contract extension (it was proved he did have an injury and returned to the team when healthy WITHOUT a contract extension)
    Steve Smith to be traded (um, he’s still with the Panthers, another swing and a miss)
    Steve Smith tells Delhomme “You are not my QB anymore” (although this statement is true, you conveniently left out that Smith was joking with Delhomme at the time he said it, trying to cheer Delhomme up after an INT)
    Marty Hurney lame duck G.M. (Hurney has had a contract extension on the table for almost a year)
    Face it Florio, you Carolina “sources” suck ass. I’ve been coming to this site from almost the day you started it. I’ve defended you many of times. But not any more.
    The fact that the 180+ comments (and many of these comments are from fans of the other 31 teams) are calling you out for your cowardness just goes to show that the fans of this site (you know, the ones who generate the “hits” you can show to advertisers so that you can put food on your table for Mrs. Florio and Florio Jr.) are pretty much fed up with BS reporting on your part.
    I’m glad Smith called you out on your BS. And I hope you learn two valuable lessons from this:
    1) Just because one “unnamed source” says something, try to verify it with someone else that may not have an agenda. Unless you don’t really care if your credibility continues it’s downward path in the crappy.
    2) For Pete’s sake, get some reliable sources in Charlotte and other small markets. Your track record in Charlotte alone sucks ass.
    Skew

  192. Deb says: May 8, 2010 4:33 PM

    @CKL …
    I didn’t follow the Walsh situation as closely as I have some others, but that doesn’t surprise me. What passes for journalism now wouldn’t have met any reasonable libel standard a few decades ago. If you read up on it, the Washington Post editors undertook a painstaking vetting process before printing each article in the Watergate series. Woodward and Bernstein were required to have multiple sources for their material. People were willing to go to prison to protect their sources because livelihoods and sometimes lives were at stake.
    I’m not trying to impugn Florio’s integrity, but today’s bloggers work without any editorial training or supervision. They can say anything they want about anyone, it goes viral, and supposedly legitimate news outlets quote them without question. Even IF the subject of their commentary is capable of refuting the information, it’s too late. Damage done.

  193. Eric Q says: May 8, 2010 8:04 PM

    Hey Florio, or whomever; can you send me an email link to the piece a couple years ago where you said Steve Smith was going to get traded and it was a done deal? Thanks!

  194. mac465 says: May 9, 2010 9:41 AM

    I will be laughingly surprised if my first response gets released for viewing, doubt it…lol
    But seen another thing in this article that just makes me laugh out loud.
    Panthers receiver Steve Smith has not reacted favorably to our report from Thursday regarding the locker-room reaction to rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s initial minicamp.
    “OUR”, gutless once again, can’t even put “MY” report.
    Now to see if both of these show up in responses. Doubt it though. GUTLESS people don’t like to be called on their comments.

  195. spliffbunker says: May 9, 2010 11:52 AM

    congratulations Florio:
    this is my all time favorite PFT story…
    stand by the story & never back down!!

  196. shiftyshellshocked says: May 9, 2010 1:50 PM

    Steve, you got one thing correct, you are a zero.

  197. tryfuhl says: May 10, 2010 1:08 AM

    Damn, Smith got you shook and it was just a phone call.

  198. shockatelly says: May 10, 2010 8:43 AM

    Loved the quotes from Smith and your response. If anyone ever explains your insults to him you could end up with a crushed eye socket. LOL.

  199. Rapistberger says: May 10, 2010 12:16 PM

    Tyke Tolbert….

  200. Opie says: May 10, 2010 1:31 PM

    I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t be on the air at the same time? You don’t have to “give up” your source(s) to chat.
    Hugh brings up very interesting points.
    Deb, please don’t use words like “impugn.” They make my head hurt…..

  201. FAS says: May 10, 2010 3:08 PM

    Everyone loves the action here on PFT until:
    A. Your favorite player turns out to be a serial rapist;
    B. Florio weighs in on something legal;
    C. Someone mistakes this plus-sized message board for something akin to actual journalism
    Face it folks, the only reason this place still exists as a football blog is that its easy to register and most of the comments aren’t edited or filtered much.
    Relax, Stevie…Clausen will know if you think he’s a punk by how you treat him, not by what some blogger says on his page.
    Florio is half lawyer, half football fan, and all blogger…while he does us all a favor by rounding up the tidbits of football crap every day (or hour), I don’t think his efforts are getting him the Pulitzer anytime soon.

  202. floriohasintegrityissues says: May 13, 2010 2:38 PM

    Once again- my login name says it all…

  203. dougefresh0182 says: May 13, 2010 2:45 PM

    this is so stupid. florio wrote an article based on some guy’s perception of what steve smith THINKS! how the heck could this guy know what the man thinks? what a waste of time.

  204. Occam says: May 13, 2010 5:46 PM

    “”Florio is making this up,” Smith said.”
    Florio???? Making stuff up????? Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! Not……Florio!!!!!
    Oh wait, happens all the time. My mistake.

  205. odiemon65 says: Jun 21, 2010 3:10 PM

    You guys do realize, no matter how hurtful your comments try to be, every single one HELPS this website. Most of you should be shoving your feet in your damn mouth for coming here every day just to hate for no reason.
    As for Smith, he parlayed a few good years and one great one into a big contract, will never get another one because he’s an ass who punches his teammates, doesn’t give the effort or produce the stats anymore, and is shorter than my grandmother, and frankly there are few football players I like less, and this is coming from an Eagles fan…

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