Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stupid Headline Award: The Oregonian's OSU Baseball Coverage

This past Sunday the Oregonian covered an OSU baseball game with the headline, "Ball Passes, OSU Fails." It was a typical case of a newspaper editor attempting humor. The result? We get an inaccurate and overly harsh depiction of the true story, and the payoff is a lame joke. Incidentally, the comedic reference in the headline is to the Pass/Fail grading system. Clever, no? You might think it was a subtle knock at OSU as an academic institution, but trust me, you'd be reading way too much into it. I'm pretty sure the thought process went something like this: "Hmm, passed ball, ball passes, pass.....pass-fail! That's it! Both passed ball and pass-fail have the word "pass" in them! And it just came to me - just now. It just popped into my head. You know, I don't know why I'm slaving here in this corporate environment when I could have been out writing comedy for a living. Maybe been a professional standup and had a TV show. Okay, let's see. The ball passes, so what fails though? The catcher's mitt. No! I've got it! OSU fails! That's it! This is brilliant AND funny! Wait, just a second. Is this working? After all, the OSU baseball team is playing a three game series and this is only Game 1. How could we say they've failed when just getting there is doing great? I mean they're playing baseball on national TV. That's good, right? Besides, they still have a shot at being NCAA Champions. Isn't saying they failed a little harsh and misleading? Oh screw it. This Pass/Fail thing is just too good to pass up." So, we get a headline saying OSU fails. Yeah, right. They didn't look like it when they were jumping around on the field last night.


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