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Monday, November 10, 2008

"You know it's bad when..." Or: "Fun with poor copyediting"

In today's gotta-have-it-written-and-posted-NOW world of internet media, it's often that you see typos and grammatical errors seep into stories. It happens. Copyediting, as a practice, is falling by the wayside because frankly all it does is slow up the process and, let's be honest, your average Joe (Joe the Blog Reader?) doesn't really mind a few errors along the way.

But there are errors, and then there are instances of completely blowing it.

I'm not sure if it's the five-year layoff in the series or not, but apparently getting J.C. Neal--you know, the guy who broke the game open with his kickoff return for a TD--correctly identified in an article coming out of the Duke compound is a bit problematic.


Instance one, courtesy of the Duke Chronicle:
The difference between the two teams first showed itself late in the first quarter, with the game tied at three after Duke's Nick Maggio made a 29-yard field goal. On the kickoff, Wolfpack return man T.J. Graham fielded the ball at his own 6-yard line and advanced to the 11-yard line before handing the ball off to J.C. Romero. Cutcliffe mentioned that his team was prepared for special teams trickery and had seen it on film, but Romero simply had too much speed and beat every Duke defender down the right sideline for a touchdown-it was a sign of things to come.

Ah, J.C. Romero. Helluva player, that Romero. Grandson of the late, great Caesar Romero, if you'll recall:

Now, picking on the Chronicle for errors in a story, just like picking on Technician and/or The Daily Tar Heel, is like plucking low-hanging fruit. It's too easy. A 19-year-old kid still hung over from Friday night is going to have his occasional error or two in a story.

I am curious about the surname Neal ended up with in place of his God-given name, though. Romero? What the hell? I've seen wrong names before; "Romero" as the wrong name seems almost on purpose. Who the hell defaults to "Romero" as their fallback name? When in doubt, call him Romero!

(And I can't refuse an opportunity to post a clip from Caesar Romero's greatest achievement in film, "Lost Continent." Rock climbing, Joel...rock climbing.)

I will give the Chronicle credit, though: At least they were in the same ballpark with "J.C. Romero." You could've completely missed the boat like the Duke Sports Information department did:
On the ensuing kickoff, N.C. State used a little trickery to break away for a 93 yard touchdown on the return. T.J. Graham fielded the kick at the Wolfpack 6-yard line running left and handing the ball off to Andre Brown at the 11, who reversed the field and broke away down the right sideline for the score putting State back up 10-3.

I gave a pass to the half-drunk college kid; Duke Sports Information lackey, no such luck. When you have the words "Sports Information" in your job title, it's incumbent upon you to report accurate sports information. I mean, just look at the box score. It's right there: "J.C. Neal, touchdown." Boom. Done. Don't make it hard on yourself by relying on memory after the fact. "Yeah, that guy that scored on the reverse...that was that Andre guy, right? Ah, screw it. It's not like anyone reads these things anyways..."

You know it's bad when you've fallen so far off the map in relevance that getting a guy's name right becomes a major chore. But that's where guys like me come in...an anonymous keyboard jockey to point out the flaws of Joe the Sports Information Guy (hey, I'm kinda digging this "Joe the ..." nomenclature. Thank you, McCain!) on a Monday, three days after the fact.



  1. you got one thing right...no one cares about DUKE football...the crowd was a joke and the atmosphere felt like pop warner football, if DUKE wants to go anywhere in football, they need to upgrade quickly...at least but a D at midfield!

  2. It's actually not a typo; kickoff returns are a part of the Phillies reliever's off-season training regimen.