The title of this post is not the whole story.
Some of you may or may not know, I work at 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh. I've worked as a producer on the David Todd Show, the afternoon drive show, since February 2013.
About a week or two ago, I received a phone call from an anonymous tipster who asked if we were talking about Martavis Bryant.
Obviously, nobody was talking about the Steelers wide receiver that day and I said "no." He then proceeded to tell me that Bryant would be suspended four games four violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy.
Now, anybody who has screened calls for a sports radio talk show know you get the occasional crazy caller, telling you something they heard from his buddy at the bar.
After hearing this news about Bryant, I asked anonymous who his source was on this piece of news. He had no source. I proceeded to play along like "yeah. OK. This is real" to appease him.
Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon as I prepared for the show. While talking with two co-workers, Adam Schefter tweeted that Bryant was facing a four-game suspension.
Now. I've kept anonymous' call in the back of my mind. When the news broke, I was stunned. I told my one co-worker, who does work with the HD Radio station devoted to the Steelers and I was dumb-founded for the hour or so leading up to David's show Thursday.
I did not tell anyone about the call until Schefter broke the news. They were as surprised as I was. Even though the anonymous source was right about Bryant's suspension, what was I supposed to do?
I know several Steelers beat writers who knew NOTHING about this until Thursday afternoon. If I took this guys "sourceless" report and blogged about it or had David talk about it, the local media would have ripped me or him apart for reporting a story without a reliable source. Then again, we'd both look like geniuses with today's news. Either way, I decided to disregard what I thought was a false rumor.
This afternoon, I received a call from the anonymous tipster. Like some callers, I was waiting for him to gloat and tell me I was dumb for disregarding his report.
Instead, he let me know he was the guy who gave me the info a week or so ago, and that he was a fan of David's show. After reiterating that he wasn't just blowing smoke out of his "you know what" with his report on Bryant, he said he'd be calling us again between 4 and 7pm with any new information regarding the Steelers. I kept my condescending "OK" reply and thanked him.
I have the mysterious insider's phone number in my guest book. His number indicates that he is from the Pittsburgh area, but I don't know what to expect as the 2015 season unfolds for the Steelers. Should I trust this anonymous source with any possible, future info he passes along, or be skeptical like I was with his report on Martavis Bryant?
Next time, I'll at least ask for a name (or at least an alias).
Also, this would make for a good "Twilight Zone" episode (if it were still on the air).