Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Talk About Spin!

Women's crew dominates varsity eight in Head of Rock Regatta

Team controls Head of the Rock

These are two headlines are for two different teams that competed in the Head of the Rock (see previous post). The first is from the Wisconsin student newspaper while the second is from the Notre Dame student paper. This kind of spin happens all the time. As I see it, ND didn't win a race, yet this headline would have you believe they "controlled" the regatta. Granted, they may have had a good result for what they set out to do, but the only controlling was done by Wisconsin. Are these reporters and PR people so unfamiliar with rowing that they can't recognize first place from third place? Do you have to be familiar with rowing to understand that difference? If ND loses a football game by seven points, can they nonetheless claim to have controlled the game? This is silly.

And another thing, what is with all of this emphasis on "team" wins? Am I alone in this or is the only thing anyone really cares about is how individual boats do? If none of your boats win a race, but you still win the points trophy, are you happy? I'm not. I love to read stories that tell how a particular team "won" a dual race because their novice 8, novice 4, and 2nd varsity won, while "only" the varsity 8 and varsity 4 lost. Yes, I've seen this kind of reporting. Can't we just report wins and losses and stop trying to spin everything? Yes, particularly in the fall and early spring coaches try even boats and other combinations, but then just say that, don't let the reporter imply something that didn't happen.

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