The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Worst Sports Page in the Universe

For some reason The Wall Street Journal has seen fit to add a sports page to their newspaper. They did this about a year ago. It's literally a page -- a single page. In many ways, it's fortunate that their sports coverage is simply a page and not a section. That's because their coverage is awful. Simply awful.

Last week they ran an article about how left-handed quarterbacks aren't very common in the NFL and when they play in the league they're infrequently successful. The point of this story was to talk about how it was unlikely that Tim Tebow would be successful in the NFL because he's lefthanded. While I agree that Tebow's collegiate success is unlikely to translate into NFL stardom, the hand that he uses to throw the ball is not the reason. Somewhat amazingly, this lengthy article failed to mention one of the most successful left-handed college quarterbacks of all-time: Matt Leinart. How they managed to talk about college stardom and a lack of NFL success or opportunity without even mentioning Leinart baffles me.

Fundamentally flawed analysis in other sections of the WSJ probably helped lead to the ongoing financial meltdown that the WSJ itself regularly reports on.

Today's feature story talked about instances of cheating in sports. Here's a direct quote from the print version of the article (most of which consisted of photo captions, which this quote comes from):

Spanish Switcheroo: In 2000, the Spanish basketball team, playing in the intellectually disabled category, took the gold in the Sydney Paralympic Games. Turns out, 10 of the 12 players weren't disabled at all. The players were reportedly instructed to act dumb and slow their scoring when they played too well. When reporters back in Spain and were encouraged to grow beards and wear hats after the games were over to disguise themselves back in Spain when reporters became suspicious.

There are no errors in my transciption of the text that ran in today's edition of the paper. The online version has seemingly been corrected.

It's time for the WSJ to end its foray into sports. Originally adding a sports page was probably a gimmick to increase readership. For the gimmick to work, they need to deliver quality. That's not what they're doing. They rarely, if ever, do. It's time to kill the sports page in the WSJ.


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