Borges lifts article from Tacoma News Tribune

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Mar 03, 2007



(Ed. Note: Last week, we reported on the problems that plague the Hall of Fame selection process. When you consider those problems, you might remember that Ron Borges is one of the 40 HOF electors. Explains a lot, doesn't it? Also, as letters from flabbergasted readers are sent into the Boston Globe, we're publishing many of them in our blog.)
 
By Cold, Hard Football Facts publisher Kerry J. Byrne
 
Broadsheet Bully Ron Borges is down for the count.
 
Or at least he will be, once the editors of the Boston Globe get wind of this disaster.
 
Simply note the incredible similarities between his "Football Notes" column in the Boston Globe on Sunday, March 4, and this story written by Mike Sando and published in the News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, on Feb. 25. The links were sent to us Sunday by a number of alert readers who, well, they had the same reaction you will. They were shocked.
 
We'll call a spade a spade here: Borges apparently lifted great stretches of his column from a previously published report. The question now is if his editors at the Globe will once again go to bat for him after another ethically malignant tumor of a column.
 
In the past, the Broadsheet Bully relished tossing his victims into the locker of gridiron analysis. Now, he's stealing their homework and trying to pass it off as his own.
 
Our conclusion? Borges wants to to get fired.
 
It's worth noting that the Borges column has the following disclaimer at the end: "Ron Borges's e-mail address is borges@globe.com; material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report."
 
Still, even a 90-pound weakling of a newspaper copy boy has enough sense to change some of the words.
 
We won't come out and call it plagiarism. But you read the two pieces and decide for yourself. Maybe pass along your greetings to the Globe bigwigs afterward, too.
 
In a matter of days, you'll probably hear all of the kids on the pigskin playground cheer when they get the news: "Down goes Borges! Down goes Borges!"
 
On Feb. 25, Mike Sando wrote (14th & 15th paragraphs):
Jackson was leading the NFL in touchdowns last season when a turf-toe injury forced him to miss the final three games. The injury prevented Jackson from achieving his third 1,000-yard season in four years and the fourth overall.
 
Jackson still led the Seahawks with 63 catches for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns.
 
Jackson was leading the NFL in touchdowns last season when a turf-toe injury forced him to miss the final three games. The injury prevented him from reaching his third 1,000-yard season in four years, but Jackson still led Seattle with 63 catches for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns.
 
***
 
On Feb. 25, Sando wrote (16th & 17th paragraphs):
But trouble arose in March 2004 when former Seahawks president Bob Whitsitt allegedly shorted Jackson on a contract offer. Jackson said he signed the deal anyway at the urging of his father, who has since died. Whitsitt has dismissed the charge as preposterous, while Ruskell has resisted honoring a promise that a predecessor denies making.
 
The dispute has escalated ever since, with the Seahawks and Jackson's agents exchanging a series of blunt letters, sources said.
 
On March 4, Borges wrote (3rd paragraph):
Trouble arose with Seahawks management two years ago after former team president Bob Whitsitt allegedly shorted Jackson on a contract offer. Jackson said he signed the deal anyway at the urging of his father. Whitsitt has dismissed the charge as preposterous, while present club president Tim Ruskell has refused to honor a promise that another person denies making. The dispute has escalated, with the Seahawks and Jackson's agents exchanging blunt letters.
 
***
 
On Feb. 25, Sando wrote (18th paragraph):
When Ruskell became Seahawks president in February 2005, one of his first moves was to issue a letter to players outlining his expectations. He urged full participation in the team's offseason program, including minicamps, but Jackson let it be known he would honor his contract but nothing more. Jackson subsequently skipped the voluntary portions of minicamps.
 
On March 4, Borges wrote (4th paragraph):
When Ruskell became Seahawks president in February 2005, one of his first moves was to issue a letter to players outlining his expectations. He urged full participation in the team's offseason program, including minicamps, but Jackson let it be known he would honor his contract, but nothing more. Jackson subsequently skipped the voluntary portions of minicamps.
 
***
 
On Feb. 25, Sando wrote (21st & 22nd paragraphs):
The damage did not show up on initial tests. The team recommended rest. Holmgren avoided giving a timetable other than to say he thought it would be "shorter more than longer" after speaking with Jackson. The team ruled out Jackson for the next game.
 
Jackson, acting on the advice of Florida-based agents Mooney and Kendall Almerico, sought a second opinion from Dr. John Uribe, a prominent Miami orthopedist known for treating pro athletes.
 
On March 4, Borges wrote (6th paragraph):
The cartilage damage did not show up on initial tests, and the team recommended rest. The team ruled out Jackson for the next game. Jackson, acting on the advice of his agents, sought a second opinion and later underwent surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee.
 
***
 
On Feb. 25, Sando wrote (24th paragraph):
He (Jackson) wondered if the team was trying to rush him back.
 
On March 4, Borges wrote (7th paragraph):
That led Jackson to wonder whether the Seahawks had rushed him back.
 
***
 
On Feb. 25, Sando wrote (28th & 29th paragraphs):
The Seahawks had shipped a 2006 third-round pick to Minnesota after signing Vikings receiver Nate Burleson, a restricted free agent. Ruskell followed that deal by sending a 2007 first-round choice to New England for Branch shortly after the 2006 opener.
 
D.J. Hackett flashed starting potential last season, setting career highs with 45 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns. The team is expected to retain Hackett's rights by making one of the higher qualifying offers under rules for restricted free agents.
 
On March 4, Borges wrote (8th paragraph):
By then the Seahawks had shipped a 2006 third-round pick to Minnesota after signing Nate Burleson, a restricted free agent, and a 2007 first-round choice to New England for Deion Branch. When D.J. Hackett also flashed potential, setting career highs with 45 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns, it made Jackson expendable.
 
***
 
Well, folks, we could go and on. But by now, you get the picture.
 
Like we said, we don't know if this is plagiarism. Maybe the esteemed editors at the Boston Globe can help us decide what to call it.
 
Here's some advice, Borges, for when they call you into the office: Blame it on drugs or alcohol. Then you'll be a "victim," and the Globies will, once again, rush to your defense. 
 
***
 
By the way, frequent readers of the Cold, Hard Football Facts know that the Broadsheet Bully has a history of belligerent behavior. One reporter, who walked with a cane, accused Borges of striking him at a press conference. The former prize-winning pugilist was also fond of bullying former New England coach Pete Carroll. And Borges once went on the radio and said that if he went to school with New England coach Bill Belichick, he would have taken all his lunch money.
 
***
 
Most people this weekend were reporting on the duplicity between Borges's Friday column on MSNBC.com, in which he declared linebacker Adalius Thomas the No. 1 value in the free-agent market, and a Boston Globe column Sunday in which he used an anonymous source to paint Thomas as a highly flawed player.
 
It turns out that this duplicity was just a warmup for the wholesale reproduction Sunday of a column published a week earlier. Remember, this reproduction of a News Tribune article comes on the heels of a Borges column that bore a number of similarities to a story we published here two years ago. But those were merely superficial similarities. This most recent example was virtually word-for-word lifting of content from a previously published article.

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