Hines Ward is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and I would vote him into the Hall of Fame without a second thought. He doesn't have the best memory, though.
Prior to yesterday's 15-9, overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons, Ward told anyone who would listen that this game meant more to him than most. He grew up in Atlanta, lives there and graduated from the University of Georgia. His hometown team passed on him in the 1998 draft to take a receiver that didn't break 300 yards in his career. With all this in mind, he always wanted to beat the Falcons, he told media. Ward and the media were working under the assumption that the Steelers had never defeated the Falcons since Ward joined the team, often citing the 2002 tie and the 2006 Falcons win.
|He may have a poor memory, but |
he looks damn good in pink
No one seems to remember 1999. The Steelers defeated the Falcons 13-9 that season. The Steelers also had a second-year receiver, Ward, play that game. He even recorded three catches for 28 yards.
With the way Ward played up Sunday's matchup, you'd think he would have remembered the first time he ever played his hometown team. Then again, he's in his 13th season and has received multiple concussions. Maybe he did forget.
The media also could have stopped him and said, "Hines, you beat the Falcons in 1999". But they didn't. Ron Cook wrote this column today. He could have pointed out it was Ward's second victory against Atlanta, but I'm thinking he just took Ward's word for it and didn't do a simple Google search.
ProFootballTalk.com also jumped on the story in their recap of the game. This one really bothers me, because the guys at this site love to trash other media, but they make plenty of mistakes themselves. Like this one.
Media outlets just running with Ward's quote is not a terrible mistake in the sense that no harm will come to anyone from it. What's concerning is that reputable media outlets are clearly not checking facts that would take all of 10 seconds to confirm. If they aren't doing it for something like Ward's career victories against the Falcons, does that mean they aren't doing it in larger stories with greater implications?
This blog isn't innocent in this matter. I've been quick to post entries without checking everything. But no one is making money from this blog (Google took my ads away). No one is coming to SDEE for breaking news. We're here to provide opinions on what's going on in the world of sports and fun videos of Jean-Claude Van Damme being amazing.
In today's world of easy Internet access, media outlets with millions of viewers can't be letting inaccuracies like Ward's record against the Falcons slip through the cracks. Their audience will figure it out, and then they look stupid and deceiving.
Van Halen - Right Now