November 15, 2005

(Insert Snappy Headline Here)

I know I've been criticizing newspapers a lot lately, but ... well, it's fun. I was doing my football news-gathering gig for Rotoworld yesterday morning and couldn't help but be amused by how silly the Vikings-related headlines were in both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Some examples:

  • For Sharper, reading really is fundamental
  • Vikings enjoy many happy returns
  • Miracle whup
  • Returns to splendor
  • Win over his beloved Giants stirs Zygi's boyish glee
  • Watch out, Coach! ... Oooh, that hurts
  • Robinson, Moore show they know the meaning of special
  • I am always amazed by the lengths newspapers are willing to go to make forced puns and repeat tired cliches, despite the industry constantly stressing the seriousness of their reporting and the importance of strict codes and standards. For Sharper, reading really is fundamental? Returns to splendor? My favorite journalism professors, Chris Ison and Paul McEnroe, would have had a good laugh if someone turned a story in to them with a headline that shticky.

    And yeah, I realize it is only the sports section, which I had someone tell me was "the toy department of the newspaper" about a thousand times while in journalism school. But has anyone else noticed that the "top read stories" listing on the front page of the Star Tribune's website is almost always dominated by sports stuff? As I write this Monday night, four of the top five stories are about the Vikings.

    Let's complete today's newspaper bashing with a quote from Patrick Reusse's column in this morning's paper:

    Twins followers and statistical freaks continue to complain that Johan Santana was robbed in voting for another major award: AL's Cy Young.

    These folks want Santana to receive full credit for going 6-2 with a 1.09 ERA in his final 10 starts -- domination that took place in garbage time of a lost season for the Twins.

    It was in his previous 10 starts the Twins needed Santana to dominate. That's when they were going from 35-22 and 4 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central to 58-56 and 16 1/2 games behind the Mighty Whities (and from 7 ahead to 4 behind Cleveland).

    Santana was 3-4 with a humdrum 4.64 ERA in that decisive stretch of the season, making a third-place Cy Young finish a generous reward.

    Odd, isn't it, that a guy who calls people "statistical freaks" would then use statistics to support his argument? On the other hand, at the least the column didn't fall under a silly headline.

    * * * * *

    I commented on Kris Humphries' lack of passing ability in this space yesterday, to which Stick and Ball Guy responded in the comments section:
    I don't know what you are talking about, Aaron. Humphries had at least 10 assists as a Gopher.

    I actually looked it up, since I needed something to do while watching my "Eagles -3" bet go up in flames.

    Despite having the ball in his hands enough to shoot an average of 17.2 times per game, Humphries handed out a grand total of 20 assists in his college career. That comes out to an assist every 49.5 minutes, compared to a shot every 1.9 minutes. In other words, it's not particularly surprising that his pro coach, Jerry Sloan, thinks he's a ballhog.

    Today at The Hardball Times:
    - Measuring the Dollar Value of a Player: Part 2 (by Vince Gennaro)
    - Third Base: The Crossroads, Part Two (by Steve Treder)

    Pick of the Day (137-117, +$2,015):
    Utah +10 (-110) over Sacramento


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