We owe you an apology.
We in the media -- we ink-stained wretches, in the words of the great sportswriter Dave Kindred -- get lost once in a while. We get a little confused as to what's really relevant, especially in this day of total media saturation.
Sometimes it seems as though there's too much air, time and space to fill, so we come up with stuff to write/talk about.
So I'm here to offer an apology.
I'm sorry for times we make something out of nothing, like my colleagues in the national media currently are doing with this "handshake-gate" issue between NFL coaches Jim Harbaugh, of the San Francisco 49ers, and Jim Schwartz, of the Detroit Lions.
At the risk of being called a hypocrite, let me spent a paragraph or two explaining what happened last Sunday when the Niners and Lions met in Detroit.
After the game ended and San Francisco -- behind former Utah quarterback Alex Smith -- handed Detroit its first loss of the season, Harbaugh and Schwartz nearly came to blows during the traditional coaches postgame handshake.
How did something intended to be a gesture of sportsmanship nearly turn into a fistfight? Well, apparently Harbaugh was still just a bit too excited over his team's victory and when Schwartz extended his hand, Harbaugh quickly shook it, then slapped him on the back with excessive force.
Harbaugh also may or may not have said something profane to Schwartz, who took a step in the other direction then quickly turned around and sprinted after Harbaugh.
After that, the two men had some angry words which eventually led to Schwartz needing to be restrained and hustled off the field.
Frankly, it was quite entertaining to watch (certainly more entertaining than Monday night's Jets-Dolphins game). But the truth of it is, it wasn't nearly as big a deal as we in the media are making it out to be.
Football is an emotional game and Harbaugh and Schwartz are two of the most emotional coaches in the league. If given the opportunity to do it again, I'm sure each man would change his approach.
And that, I think, should be the end of that. Enough said.
Sadly, "handshake-gate" isn't alone with week. My cohorts in the media have also created something called "clubhouse-gate" involving the goings on inside the Boston Red Sox clubhouse late in the regular season.
Once again, a few background details:
The Red Sox suffered a woeful collapse down the stretch and field to make the playoffs, even though they'd paid handsomely for a virtual All-Star team this season.
In the wake of that meltdown, reporters discovered a few of the Sox pitchers had been drinking beer and eating fast-food fried chicken in the clubhouse during games. Soon thereafter, Boston's manager was fired and its team president left to work for the Chicago Cubs.
How this remains a major story is beyond me. Other than the fact they need something to talk about before the World Series gets under way, I can't think of a single reason why the national folks are still beating this drum.
Yes, the Sox collapsed down the stretch. But this whole beer-and-fried chicken deal had nothing to do with it. The guys in question were starting pitchers on their off days, they weren't actually playing.
I've heard some of my colleagues say that sort of thing would never happen back in the day, that back then everyone sat on the bench to cheered on his teammates.
Having read a little about baseball history, and having watched Ken Burns' "Baseball" documentary many times, I'm pretty sure far worse things have gone on inside clubhouses throughout both leagues. In fact, I know they have.
Look, I know we live in a different era. The days of getting information via the morning newspaper and the 10 o'clock news are long gone. Now, there are thousands of outlets out there, all screaming for your attention, each one needing to fill air, time and space.
Believe me, I'm not trying to kill the messenger. After all, I am one of those messengers. But that doesn't mean I don't cringe when we in the media insist on making something out of nothing.
Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to scrub some of the ink off my fingertips.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner's sports columnist. He also covers the Utah Jazz and the NBA. He can be reached at 801-625-4265 or at email@example.com. He tweets at http://twitter.com/jmb247