I was under the impression that ESPN had a crack team of stat people working behind the scenes of their various presentations. Geeks whose job it was to make sure the on-air “talent” didn’t make fools of themselves by belching out incorrect numbers and factoids.
Apparently ESPN has fired all these people. Either that or their on-air “talent” is allowed to go on-air without doing any kind of meaningful prep. How else do you explain the massive gaffe committed by “analyst” Marcellus Wiley during the following clip from tonight’s SportsCenter?
Catch it? When Wiley refers to Daunte Culpepper having led the second-most prolific offense in NFL history. That offense was of course the ’98 Vikings…which was of course led by Randall Cunningham. Culpepper was in his senior year at Central Florida at the time.
Yes, I know ESPN wants to go for a more spontaneous vibe with their little debate segments…but accuracy shouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of some fake off-the-cuff quality. It makes you wonder if there’s any quality-control in Bristol at all anymore.
It’s crap like this, and the routine butchering of the English language perpetrated by people like Emmitt Smith, that makes people think ESPN plain doesn’t care anymore…and probably drives a lot of folks into the welcoming arms of the blogosphere.