~12:50 PM: Tipped off via AIM by The Backer, who has sources inside the Sports Information department, ND blogger Robert Cox of The National Debate posts a “TND exclusive” announcing that Ty Willingham has been fired. (For unknown reasons, the timestamp on this post reads 1:37 PM, but Cox says he actually posted it sometime between 12:47 PM and 12:55 PM. He says he is “certain” it went up before The Backer’s post.)
12:52 PM: The Backer posts his own bulletin breaking the story. (His timestamp says 11:52 AM because he’s in Chicago.)
1:17 PM: The Backer leaves a comment on BrendanLoy.com saying “Ty has been fired!!!!”
1:22 PM: Blissfully unaware of The Backer’s comment, I post an already-obsolete bulletin about a planned “Call For Change” rally planned for Tuesday night, calling for Ty’s head.
Sometime before 1:27 PM: The official Notre Dame Athletics website posts a press release announcing Ty’s departure. Professor Dutile later told his CrimLaw class that this statement was originally scheduled to be released at 1:30, but early leaks forced them to release it early. I’m not sure if The Backer was the original “leaker,” or if there were others.
1:27 PM: NDToday.com member “stuhatesdisco” posts on the message board, “according to UND.com, Ty is gone.”
~1:30 PM: In Alan Gunn’s Torts class, word of Ty’s firing begins to spread. My roommate Chris gets an IM from his friend Freeman saying that ESPN TV just reported Ty has been fired. Two rows in front, at roughly the same time, another student gasps as she hears the news. Other students hear the gasp and start investigating. Within minutes, everybody knows.
1:32 PM: I post my initial bulletin.
1:33 PM: Kristine guest-blogs a second bulletin (having not yet seen my initial one).
~1:36 PM: I finally notice that the official press release announcing Ty’s firing is online at UND.com.
1:38 PM:, I post, “It’s official.” Various updates follow.
~1:43 PM: ESPN finally posts an article about Ty’s firing, placing it as the top story on the homepage.
So far as I know, BrendanLoy.com was the third website on the Internet — after The National Debate and The Backer — to have this story (when The Backer posted his comment at 1:17 PM).