So about that earlier post — titled “The New York Times inexplicably chopped this quote in half” — which accused the Times of twisting Seahawks DE Michael Bennett’s words: Mea cul…pass (?)* It turns out that when I wrote it (at some point between 3 and 4 AM), I somehow failed to notice that the gap between the NY Times and the quote I remembered was wider than I thought.**
*I suppose I don’t have to make a mea culpun every time I make a mistake, but I’m also not entirely sure just who made the mistake here, so I’m not going to worry about that now.
**[This paragraph exists for the sake of completeness. Feel free to skip it:] Specifically, I thought the New York Times only removed the words “in this city” from the end of Bennett’s quote; by the light of day, I noticed it had also changed “you can do anything” to “you can do whatever you want.”
The detection of such wholesale changes prompted me to consider the possibility that Bennett repeated his joke more than once, and that it came out slightly different each time. Which prompted me, in turn, to embark upon a quest to track down as many different versions of his quote as I could find. Feel free to send along any others should you happen to come across them:
Prodded about the bike, Bennett said, “I took it. When you win a Super Bowl, you can do anything in this city.”
“I just took it,” Bennett said when asked what the cop said about getting his wheels swiped. “You go to a Super Bowl you can do anything you want in this city.”
“I just took it. You go to the Super Bowl you can do anything in this city.”
“When you win a Super Bowl,” Bennett said, “you can do whatever you want.”
Michael Bennett explains riding a cop’s bike: “When you win a Super Bowl, you can do anything”
– SBNation Twitter feed, which did precisely what I accused the NYTimes of doing
“Took it from a cop,” Bennett said with a laugh. “Like I said, when you win a Super Bowl you can do everything you want.”
– Kansas City Star, which includes the words “Like I said,” in support of my theory that Bennett made the same joke several times
Go to? Win a? Anything? Everything? Whatever? You want? In this city? What did the man say???????
My main takeaway from this exercise is that either Michael Bennett made the same joke to (at least) six different reporters, or that they aren’t really very good at transcription.
That said, I will point out that the local papers (Seattle Times, TNT & Bikehugger) all include “in this city”, while the out of towners (New York Times, KC Star, SBNation) dropped it.
It’s possible Bennett added that bit selectively. It’s also possible reporters dropped it selectively. Neither explanation explains the other various discrepancies. It’s certain I have put way too much thought and effort into this inquiry. My life would be a lot better if only I could bring myself to pay such close attention to Federal Courts. Go Hawks.