Profootballtalk.com is a news and rumor website that focuses on the National Football League. Though much of the information on PFT is aggregated from mainstream media sources, site editor Mike Florio often writes stories based on tips he attributes to a network of sources.
The main focus of the site is the "Daily Rumor Mill" consisting of postings of the aforementioned news items as well as editorializing by Florio. Throughout the season, weekly rankings of players at various positions for fantasy football are posted. Furthermore, the site maintains a year-round "Turd Watch" competition, in which teams are ranked based on the arrests of their personnel.
The site was created on November 1, 2001, by Florio, who is also the site's primary editor and contributor. Florio is responsible for the multiple daily updates to the primary page of the site, the "Daily Rumor Mill." In addition, content such as satirical photo-illustrations and periodic live blogs by Florio of NFL games or the draft.
On June 14, 2009, it was announced that Profootballtalk.com would become an affiliate of NBC Sports, which would hold exclusive rights to PFT content although Florio would retain ownership. It is a well known practice of ProFootballTalk to remove comments from its comments section, particularly those comments regarding Native Americans who speak out in support of the Redskins name.
|Mike Florio||Main contributor||Aside from his work on the website and appearances during halftime of Notre Dame games on NBC with Peter King, Florio works as a lawyer. He resides in West Virginia. Before creating the site, Florio worked at ESPN.com for a week. Florio is a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Vikings.|
|Gregg Rosenthal||Contributor||Joined the writing staff following the affiliate agreement with NBC. Moved on to NFL.com in March 2012.|
|Michael David Smith||Contributor||Re-joined the writing staff in 2009 while still working for FanHouse|
|Josh Alper||Contributor||Author of "one-liners," short team-by-team news blurbs posted at least once a day|
|James Clinton||Technical Design||JetBlackNinja handles the design and layout of the site.|
|Joe Brocato||PFTV Contributor||Participated in the PFTV segments by asking Mike Florio questions. His day job is a sports reporter for a local West Virginia TV station. Left the site before the NBC Deal|
|Ted Sundquist||Twice a week contributor||Former Broncos GM that writes previews and reviews of three high-profile games per week, going over several 'keys to success. His stay was short on PFT'|
Former contributing writers include Tom Curran and Aaron Wilson.
Site sections / elements
- Rumor Mill – The main aspect of the site. Multiple articles are posted every day on all sorts of NFL related information.
- Fantasy Mill – Embedded content from Rotoworld.com concerning NFL Fantasy information.
- Teams – Contains links to individual team websites (official and unofficial), message boards and updated daily news links.
- Draft – Draft order list and trade value charts.
- Power Rankings – Ranking the 32 NFL Franchises, commenting on each as they're ranked.
- All-Turd teams – Annual 'All-turd' teams and 'Hall of Turds' inductions, which feature lists of players that Florio asserts are the worst "characters" of the NFL.
- PFT Gear – External link to merchandise available for purchase.
- Events – Listing of radio appearances.
- Media – Links to audio and video content supplemental to the main site content. Also contains link to sister site CollegeFootballTalk.com
- Turd Watch – Tracking the arrests of every member of NFL organizations and assigned points in a ranking system until 2009
- Live Blogs – Florio holds live chats with fans during NFL events, such as games, the draft and Brett Favre retirement press conferences
- Pic of the Day – Contained satirical pictures (often photoshopped) made by Taco Bill.
- Interviews – Interviews with Matt Birk, Antonio Bryant, Ben Leber, and Steve McKinney
- PFT Chronicles – a cartoon series about ProFootballTalk put together by "Tech Guy Sean"
- Agent Talk – a column written by Ron Del Ducca
- Media Mutterings – a column written by Gene Amadao
- Dante's Draft Links – Dante Alighieri, better known as just Dante, ranked (made fun of) NFL draft websites
- The Simple Truth – A column by Fox Sports's Jason Smith
- The Dirty Dozen' – Florio's list of the 12 worst NFL franchise
PFT and "The Real Media"
While PFT has criticized a lot of journalists, franchises and media outlets, certain entities have become repeated targets of PFT. Some of these include:
- Michael Irvin – For his perceived defense of troubled wide receivers like Terrell Owens.
- Joe Theismann – For his alleged contradictions and general lack of NFL common knowledge. For example: He has referred to The University of Miami as "The M."
- 'ESPN Monday Night Football' – For promoting non-football related products by interviewing various non-football "celebrities" live during games.
- Len Pasquarelli – Florio often alleges that Pasquarelli, a senior ESPN.com writer, defends players represented by certain agents by writing overly positive articles in an effort to help out the player and thus the agent. Florio claims that Pasquarelli does this to keep on the agents' good side so that the agents will continue to supply Pasquarelli with inside information. PFT often refers to Pasquarelli as "Pastabelly" and "Don Vito". PFT has also alleged that Pasquarelli has a bias against the Washington Redskins, writing columns that have criticized the organization, the death of Sean Taylor, the second retirement of Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, and owner Daniel Snyder. He later admitted that his attacks were "in the early days when we we're trying to get noticed."
- Emmitt Smith – For using phrases such as "debacled", "blowed out" and "rightsize the ship." Florio criticizes Smith for his reputed refusal to prepare, which Florio views as an indictment of ESPN for hiring an inexperienced announcer in hopes that viewers would tune in based on name recognition. Smith has also infamously referred to one of the league's teams as a "golf club" and has repeatedly used the terms "conference" and "division" interchangeably.
- Vince Young - For a reportedly low Wonderlic score and perceived lack of maturity
ProFootballTalk posted and thus spread the unconfirmed rumor on January 25, 2007 that broadcaster and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw had died in a car accident. This proved to be incorrect.
PFT reported that Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley may have been arrested on weapons charges, when he was stopped by a Port Authority Police Officer when crossing over a bridge from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. However, it was later confirmed by the "real media" that in fact Jabar Gaffney had been the one arrested and not Bunkley.
A similar instance occurred on the September 14, 2009 when the crew of Profootballtalk.com erroneously reported a quote from Keyshawn Johnson in referring to Joe Flacco as a "bum". A correction to this was posted on the September 15.
Florio has also made mock drafts during the offseason, usually one before the NFL Scouting Combine and another after. Even though he makes them himself, he has claimed several times to despise mock drafts.
The site also commonly deletes comments when they express views opposing Florios.
The site also sometimes reports news items using reoccurring nicknames in place of the real names of the reported players and media personnel. Past examples include:
- "Lord Favre", Brett Favre
- "Santurdio Holmes", Santonio Holmes
- "Uncle Rico", Vince Young
- "Joey Sunshine", Joe Theismann
- "Len Pastabelly" or "Don Vito", Len Pasquarelli
- "Ron Mexico", Michael Vick
- "Dookie", Najeh Davenport
- "Big Show", Mike Holmgren
- "Hot Garbage", Jarvis Moss
- "Koronholio", Tony Kornheiser
- "Coach Kevlar", Mike Shanahan
- Farmer, Sam (June 15, 2009). "Profootballtalk.com acquired by NBC". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Sandomir, Richard (November 20, 2009). "Far From Field, Lawyer’s Blog Is Player in N.F.L.". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- "OWENS EXPLAINS HIS EMOTIONS FROM SUNDAY". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- "IT’S OFFICIAL — "PACMAN" IS NO MORE". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- "BEST WISHES TO LEN". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- "EMMITT’S NEW WORD OF THE WEEK". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
- "OUR BAD ON BUNKLEY". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2006-07-28.
- "Ravens offense explodes, on and off the field". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "apparently-keyshawn-called-no-one-a-bum". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "GREETINGS FROM LATROBE". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2006-08-14.
- "SPRINT MAKES "UNPRECEDENTED" MOVE". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- "Rough start for Lord Favre". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "UNCLE RICO ERA BEGINS". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20.