Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I'm better than you at your own job, then you're pretty bad

Editor's Note: This was originally printed on September 23rd, then removed because I didn't want to bash people and use names, and now is being reprinted because I have decided I just don't care.

So I more or less gave up on the dream of being an SID. Not completely. I mean, if someone called me tomorrow and asked if I wanted a job in that line of work, I'd be interested. However, I'm not trying day in and day out to get a job in that field.
Nonetheless, it still irks me when I see someone in a good position - say, SID at a great division 1 university - doing a crappy job just because they either don't pay attention to detail or are lazy. So you can imagine my reaction when I was looking over the press release from UMass Athletics prior to the UMass-Texas Tech game this past weekend, and came across some glaring errors. I mean, these aren't typos, they are truly egregious mistakes that should never be made in a serious athletic department. Without further ado:

Glaring Error #1: "2007 was a year of the upset for the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). There were eight upsets of Football Bowl Subdivision teams, most notably Appalachian State defeating then No. 5 Michigan in Ann Arbor, 34-32 on Sept. 1. From the CAA Football conference, Delaware beat Navy, 59-52 on Oct. 27 and New Hampshire defeated Marshall, 48-35 on Sept. 15. In 2007, FBS teams were 51-7 against FCS teams. The other wins by FCS teams over FBS teams in 2007 are: Nicholls State over Rice (16-14), Northern Iowa over Iowa State (21-13), Southern Illinois over Northern Illinois (34-31), McNeese State over UL-Lafeyette (38-17) and last weekend North Dakota State over Central Michigan (44-17)."

Okay, first the article says that there were eight FCS over FBS upsets, then it says FBS was 51-7 against FCS. Well, where did that eighth upset go? It was NDSU beating Minnesota in the Metrodome. Also, it shouldn't say that NDSU's win over CMU was "last weekend", because it was last year. This is clearly an example of someone copy-pasting from an old press release.

Glaring Error #2: "UMass began the 2007 season at 4-0 for the first time since 1986, losing to Boston College, the current second-ranked team in FBS, by a narrow 24-14 score in Chestnut Hill."

Oh boy. Again, an issue of copying and pasting from an old release. Boston College is not number 2 now, they have not been ranked this year, and they were not in the top 10 when UMass played them last year. This release came from around the time BC played at Virginia Tech and at home against Florida State, which I believe were their two weeks at #2.

Glaring Error #3: "As a freshman in 2006 playing behind four-time 1,000-yard rusher and current Arizona Cardinal Steve Baylark as well as Lawrence, Nelson gained 235 yards on 47 carries for a 5.0 average."

In 2006, the depth chart did not include Matt Lawrence at halfback, who spent the year as Steve Baylark's lead-blocker. In 2007, Lawrence moved from fullback to halfback, and Nelson remained second in line.

This was only about half way into the release, at which point I jumpkicked my desktop and was unable to continue reading. Anyway, the point is, UMass is a great university with a wonderful athletic department. John McCutcheon is a great athletic director and has overseen several teams, from football to basketball to soccer to softball to lacrosse, become perennial winners. However, it is really inexcusable for the press release for a huge football game to be factually inaccurate. Jason Yellin may be a good SID, but he certainly dropped the ball here.

Anyway, that's enough for that rant. On to happier topics: The Boston Red Sox clinched the playoffs tonight and are still very much alive for the AL East title (2.5 back, 5 to go). They also reached the postseason by beating the Indians and Cliff Lee, who is now 22-3. Might as well beat the best, right?
Speaking of baseball, a wonderful piece by UniWatch writer Paul Lukas the other day about the closing of Yankee Stadium. Obviously I wouldn't have appreciated this article if I were a Yanks fan, but I like the comparisons he draws from that organization to our country. It's definitely worth the read.
Also, quick promo for Bev Freeman, a friend who is running a presentation at the Harvard School of Public Health on some of the issues surrounding the recent catastrophes in the Gulf Coast region. A lot of very interesting speakers are coming to speak from various institutions, including LSU and the Mississippi Interfaith Disaster Task Force. More details can be found here.
And while we're here, another shameless plug for yours truly: Check me out! Sorry. That's all.

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