Poynter Paper Fail

August 19th, 2010

Many, many moons ago, Joe learned that you never let a news reporter write a sports story.

Why? News reporters, while gifted at their craft, are not necessarily familiar with sports, which can lead to some embarrassing gaffes.

Take TV news for example. How many times have you watched a local TV news anchor butcher famous athletes’ names if not team names? Watch WTSP’s newscast sometime and you can visibly see Heather Van Nest struggle through the sports teasers. However, to Joe’s knowledge, Van Nest has never committed a ghastly error like Bob Hite once did.

In teasing a Lightning game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hite pronounced Mario Lemieux’s name as “Leh-mewks.” Ugh!

So it didn’t surprise Joe a whole lot when he read Mark Albright, not a sports reporter, of the St. Petersburg Times type a piece on the business hit local sports bars may take if/when there are blackouts during the regular season.

Now Joe has never met Albright and doesn’t know if he is a sports fan, or a football fan at all. But it sure seems as though Albright is not much of a follower of the Bucs.

Consider this paragraph:

Kirk Dreyfus, bar manager at Chammps Americana sports bar in Tampa, said he’s seen more people coming in to watch other teams because of the Bucs’ crummy record in recent years.

Crummy record in recent years? Joe seems to recall the Bucs having winning records in 2007 and 2008. A quick check of ProFootballReference.com and, sure enough, the Bucs won nine games in each of those seasons. Sure, no Super Bowl appearance but Joe would hardly classify those seasons as “crummy.”

Then Albright used the following quote from Dreyfus:

“In my four years here, the Bucs have had only one winning season,” he said.

Well, that’s patently inaccurate if Dreyfus is referring to the last four seasons. To be fair, Joe isn’t sure of the specific years Dreyfus is referring to, but in the past four calendar years, the Bucs have had two winning seasons.

Now Joe learned the first day of journalism school you do not monkey with quotes. Joe’s not suggesting that. However, being the savvy reporter Joe is, if someone is going to offer up a grossly inaccurate quote, well, that’s gold Jerry, gold!

At best/worst, a seasoned, ethical reporter often wouldn’t even use such an inaccurate quote.

But Albright does not challenge Dreyfus’ quote. That tells Joe that Albright (and the Poytner Paper’s copy editors) had no idea Dreyfus was speaking out of turn.

Albright wasn’t finished showing his lack of knowledge about the Bucs. Take a gander:

In playoff years, sports bars were often packed. But since the team’s recent extended swoon, more transplanted locals hit the bars to follow their previous home teams with winning records like the Steelers, Saints, Patriots, Colts and Cowboys.

Extended swoon? Twice in the last five years the Bucs reached the playoffs and three of those years the Bucs had winning seasons. The 2008 season the Bucs were in the hunt for a playoff bid right into the final game of the season.

Joe can’t pin all of these mistakes on Albright. Simply put, some editor should have had the common sense to let a sports copy editor take a peek at the story.

A share of the blame for the errors must be placed at the feet of copy editors. Joe’s guess is a few news/business copy editors read this and their idea of sports is watching Rachel Maddow each night while planning such riveting excursions such as a reading festival or a poetry recital in some small, seedy, sparsely populated, darkened hole of a bar between listening to some schlock music by James Taylor.

This article by Albright simply is not the standard of journalism that the Poynter Paper would have the general public conned convinced they are worthy of.

15 Responses to “Poynter Paper Fail”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    As accountability in America continues to plunge to an all time low . . .

  2. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    Good job Joe. This guy sounds like a real moron.

  3. AllMaddenMonkey Says:

    I agree with you Joe, but the 08 season just ended so badly we might as well call it a losing season. Maybe these guys consider getting to the playoffs a “winning season”.

  4. Ozzie the Sports JUnkie Says:

    Bob Hite would also refer to Ronde Barber as “Rond”Barber..He closed out a 30 year run in Tampa with a DUI on his last week on the air…OUCH….

  5. McBuc Says:

    Aren’t Champs Sports Bar’s in Marriott Hotels? Maybe this is a free standing one, but I know they are in Marriotts across the country. If this is the case, I would think plent of “out of towners” would be found there.

  6. Joe Says:

    Aren’t Champs Sports Bar’s in Marriott Hotels? Maybe this is a free standing one, but I know they are in Marriotts across the country. If this is the case, I would think plent of “out of towners” would be found there.

    Different spelling.

  7. Joe Says:


    Joe’s confident Albright is not a moron, simply just not aware of basic Bucs information.

  8. MVPFreeman Says:

    Has anyone ever heard a non-bucs fan try to prenounce Talib?

    Lol… “Tah-lb”.

  9. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    I’m sorry.

  10. McBuc Says:

    OK, if it was the other Champs it would have been different.

  11. Cannon Says:

    Hi Joe, I’m glad you picked up on that article. I read it this morning, and was left scratching my head.

  12. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    It’s called the liberal media re-writing history.

  13. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Hey Joe are you sure Albright didn’t have a position for the former printed Pewter Report? If not it reads like he has the “credentials” to fit THEIR standards…….

  14. Michael Weber Says:

    You can send complaints about Heather’s copy to me.

  15. Joe Says:

    Hey, Michael:

    No complaints about Heather’s copy at all! She just visibly is uncomfortable with sports teasers and it shows in her body language. As Joe stated, she has not committed any mistakes that Joe has noticed, just that you can tell sports is totally out of her wheelhouse.