Sunday, January 07, 2007

How stupid do you have to be to be a sportswriter?

I swear, sometimes it seems as if a low IQ, no knowledge of history and no understanding of sports must be requirements to get a job as a sportswriter. Apparently, the more stupid they are, the higher up the sportswriting chain they get. Most of the local writers I've dealt with have been reasonably competent (make that about half). Most of the national writers are dumb as a rock.

Today's example is some national AP writer named Nancy Armour. Now the fact that she works for AP may well be a good tipoff that facts and intelligence were not important in the way she does her job.

Here is my e-mail to her this afternoon:

Dear Ms. Armour,

As a national sportswriter, I would hope you have no trouble with a little quiz. However, reading your story today has caused me to wonder. Question 1 -- which QB played the greatest game ever in the NFL playoffs? Answer -- Peyton Manning vs. KC during the 2003 playoffs. Question 2 -- which QB played the 2d greatest game ever played in the NFL playoffs? Answer -- Peyton Manning vs. Denver in the 2003 playoffs.

Obviously, your statement that Manning always plays poorly in the playoffs is complete crap.

Moreover, Manning played very, very well yesterday. The yardage that KC was willing to give up in the running game is a testament to that. If, as Chris Collinsworth said during the broadcast, the two interceptions by Law were the fault of Harrison going the wrong way, Manning's performance was one of the better performances you will likely see by a QB in the playoffs.

As an old football coach, I have a little advice for you. Learn about the game before you write about it. Talk to people who actually know something about playing QB. If you are bright enough and work hard, you might find that some day you will be competent enough to write about high school football games.


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