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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pearlman: The Fallout From Sportswriting’s Filthiest Fuck-Up

At first glance, it is a curious addition to my collection of misfit items, the others of which have obvious personal resonance. The headline, INEXPERIENCE FACES GREEN WAVE SOCCER, suggests nothing beyond some sort of small-town newspaper sports preview story, and the byline (Nick DeLeonibus) is that of a name that rings unfamiliar to most. Upon closer inspection, you can ascertain that the piece appeared in the Gallatin (Tenn.) News Examiner in the winter of 1997.

“With March 11th quickly approaching,” it begins, “Gallatin soccer head coach Rufus Lassiter wants to take things day-by-day.”

The ensuing 10 paragraphs add little to explain why anyone would want to read. Even now, two decades after publication, much of the article reads as flatly as it surely did on the Friday it hit newsstands. Like many of its ilk, this is an article written primarily for the 20 or so members of the Gallatin High boys soccer team and their families. It exists so that, when they ultimately have children and grandchildren of their own, Daniel Sanders and Randall Carter and Michael McRae and the other Green Wave players can blow dust off the ol’ scrapbook and say, “See, I was once something…”

The information provided is standard local fare. Coming off a mediocre 7-7-2 season, the Green Wave of 1997 will likely struggle even more with the loss of seven seniors. Sanders and Carter will split time in goal, but at least Lassiter will have five veterans to turn to. There’s McRee, there’s Farrell, there’s Sparkman and Watson and, of course, there’s Bubba Dixon.

Writes DeLeonibus in the tenth paragraph: “Sparkman started last year and will be back on defense. He plays a very physical, tough-nosed brand of soccer.”

Yawn.

Writes DeLeonibus in the eleventh paragraph: “Watson started last year as a defensive player. He works very hard and has good speed.”

Yawn.
Writes DeLeonibus in the twelfth paragraph: “Dixon sucks donkey dicks and doesn’t wipe the #### off before practice. We like to keep him at the sweeper position so his sperm breath will stop people from penetrating to the goal. Speaking of penetrating, he prefers tall, red-headed guys. Told me to tell Kris he said ‘hello.’”

Wait.

What?

What?

Yeah, better read the whole thing.

Stormy JE Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:30 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: goofballery, newspapers, sportswriting

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   1. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:08 AM (#5515093)
This was a really good article.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:35 AM (#5515109)
Take it to the soccer thread.
   3. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5515125)
a Chicago Blitz bumper sticker

Now, that's obscene!
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5515133)
there is a famous NJ high school wrestling story from that same era that had to do with a grappler unfortunately named Crisco and what he allegedly did to gain enough points to win the match, to put it delicately. six-figure settlement.

another famous one had a teaser on a pets column that read, "How to get your dog to come" that included a dozen or so unfortunate references. one suggested that if you train him right, your dog will come every time you call (I would imagine one might need some sort of carpet protector, if it is a large dog).
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5515137)
there is a famous NJ high school wrestling story from that same era that had to do with a grappler unfortunately named Crisco and what he allegedly did to gain enough points to win the match, to put it delicately. six-figure settlement.


Ah, the old "check his oil". A classic.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5515144)
I was at a friend's house and their 6-year old daughter is just learning how to write. She and the other kids had prepared a performance for us adults and she wanted us to come into the other room to watch it. She did this by walking into the room and silently displaying a sign she had made: "CUM"
   7. Stormy JE Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5515148)
She did this by walking into the room and silently displaying a sign she had made: "CUM"
Did she have her parents taken away?
   8. stig-tossled,hornswoggled gef the talking mongoose Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5515204)
I remember the foofaraw when someone typed "I love big tits" into a column of sports agate at the newspaper in Little Rock back in the '90s. The copy editor on whose machine the transgression was committed said it had to have been done while he was away from his desk but had the listings on his screen. He still got suspended, of course.

And then there was the printout of a wire story on Shawon Dunston in which someone decided to add a couple of grafs alleging the subject's proclivity for gobbling good-sized dicks, complete with a quote. Our city hall reporter, a baseball fan who's still probably the best natural athlete I've ever competed against (playground basketball every Sunday for most of the decade) but who possessed RDP's sense of humor (i.e. none at all), took it seriously. He probably still believes it. Here's hoping it never comes up in whatever he covers these days for AP.
   9. Batman Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5515222)
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5515245)
the photo in No. 9 really makes it
   11. PreservedFish Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5515269)
And then there was the printout of a wire story on Shawon Dunston in which someone decided to add a couple of grafs alleging the subject's proclivity for gobbling good-sized dicks, complete with a quote. Our city hall reporter, a baseball fan who's still probably the best natural athlete I've ever competed against (playground basketball every Sunday for most of the decade) but who possessed RDP's sense of humor (i.e. none at all), took it seriously. He probably still believes it. Here's hoping it never comes up in whatever he covers these days for AP.


Do you mean that he didn't understand the humor, or that he really believed that Shawon Dunston does gobble big dongs?
   12. Man o' Schwar Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5515291)
Do you mean that he didn't understand the humor, or that he really believed that Shawon Dunston does gobble big dongs?

What did you think the Shawon-o-Meter was measuring all those years?
   13. Batman Posted: August 17, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5515348)
What did you think the Shawon-o-Meter was measuring all those years?
And rising!
   14. Bote Man Posted: August 17, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5515454)
These days guys knock big dongs.
   15. stig-tossled,hornswoggled gef the talking mongoose Posted: August 17, 2017 at 05:35 PM (#5515723)
Do you mean that he didn't understand the humor, or that he really believed that Shawon Dunston does gobble big dongs?


The latter.

NTTAWWT.
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 06:00 PM (#5515747)
The photo in #9 really makes that headline truly great.

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