Thursday, July 13, 2017

On Deck Circle 7/13/17: My Retraction Article

By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta

So as some of you may have seen, I made a huge mistake in my previous article on who should start the All-Star game. In it, I stated that one of the reasons why I disagree that the fans should be 100% in charge of voting for the all-star starters is that the game determines home field advantage in the World Series, so I want the best, most deserving players in the game instead of biased voting based on fan favorites. The huge gaffe there was that the All-Star game doesn’t determine home field advantage anymore, they reversed that ruling over the past offseason and this was the 1st All-Star game since the ruling.

Whoops! Not sure how I forgot all about that, especially considering how glad I was that the MLB got rid of that ridiculous rule, but sure enough I totally whiffed on this one and the article was posted with that part still in there. It has since been edited, so some may not have even seen it depending on when they checked out the article, but some definitely read it before and caught that I made a big gaffe there.

So after I initially started kicking myself for messing that all up and stopped being so upset with myself, I figured it was best to not only own it, but to have some fun with it. While I may not like that it happened, it still did so instead of dwelling on it, it’s better to laugh it off and keep moving on. It does bring me back to another time that this happened with me, so figure this would be a good time to share a story about it.

Back many, many years ago, I was set on being a sports journalist. I was fresh out of high school and was ready to pursue that career, so I figured I’d take a stab at writing my first ever sports article. To show how long ago this was, this was back when the NFL only had 3 divisions of 5 teams in each conference since the Houston Texans weren’t around yet (their first season was when the division re-alignment occurred.)

Back then, the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the same division, and at the time the Bucs had this incredible losing streak when the game was played in 32 degree weather (freezing line) or below. I don’t know the exact stat off the top of my head anymore but they were a ghastly 0 wins in their last 30+ games in that kind of cold and every time they had to travel to Lambeau or some other cold city with an outdoor stadium, a lot of the headlines were on this dubious streak. So here we are during football season, the Buccaneers are playing the Packers in a regular season game, so I check the weather forecast in Green Bay and it’s just above that 32 degree mark, so I thought it would be the perfect thing to write about.

My first article is underway, I spend the time talking about how most attribute Tampa Bay’s cold weather woes to the fact that they practice and play their home games in Florida, and how it’s extra tough to overcome this adversity when the Packers are so tough at home and in the cold and how this would be such a big moral win for Tampa if they could get a win here as they had playoff aspirations and so on. I talked about how all eyes would be on the forecast, how it currently was above the freezing line but could change as it gets closer to game time and how the game could start above but get colder and dip below as the game went on and how that would affect the Buccaneers during the game. Basically, the whole idea behind my article was set on that temperature and all that could be in play depending on how cold it was for that game.

So I finish it up, proofread it a few times to fix any grammatical errors and I’m ready to publish it. I was beaming with pride over finishing my first ever article and thought that was was a first big step for me, so I put myself out there in hopes of garnering some positive feedback and I post my article on the couple message boards that I frequented back then. Anxiously waiting to read my first comment as the little notification popped up that someone had replied, I go to read what was said and let’s just say that I was a bit surprised at the comment.

“Hey good article… but the game this week is in Tampa Bay.”

I checked and sure enough, Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My whole entire article down the drain as the temperature in Tampa Bay was a mild 80 something with no chance of it dropping 50 degrees before game time(darn!). Embarrassed a bit at the time, I look back on it now with a big laugh and any time I’ve written article since, I’ve made sure to double and triple check where the game is being played before I continue on.

So back to my All-Star article, it happens. Doesn’t mean I don’t strive for perfection but at the same time, mistakes are going to be made and I’m sure I’ll look back on this in the same way that I look back on that “temperature” article. I’ll learn from it and laugh about it at my own expense, this isn’t the first time I made a huge mistake that screwed up part or all of my article and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment