Because every sportswriter in the country thinks it's really funny to write a preposterous story as a prank and try to get people to believe it. We owe this scourge to George Plimpton's 1985 masterpiece "Curious Case of Sidd Finch,"
of course, which was beautifully written and just barely plausible enough and great. The modern-day versions are not.
To wit: this little gem
by MSNBC's own Mikey C., who is worse at humor than he is at, like, everything else.
What kind of reaction is he expecting? "Wha..? Matt Leinart is going to forego the NFL draft to be a ballroom dancer?! What!?!?!?!? You've gotta be kidding me! This is insane! Hang on, let me keep reading...uh uh...right...well, this certainly seems like legitimate journalism...my God, what a huge story. How come no other journalistic outposts are reporting this? What a scoop!!!!!"
And then, to make matters worse, he does the ol' Plimpton-inspired "look at the first letter of every paragraph and you'll get the joke" thing at the end. As if even the most CNS-challenged moron hasn't figured out what the deal is by that point.
There's an old literary anecdote that T.S. Eliot gave Ezra Pound his first draft of "The Waste Land," which included long sequences of couplets. Pound returned the draft with almost every single couplet crossed out, and a note that basically said: "You can't write couplets unless they're better than Pope's. And these are not better than Pope's."
I include this anecdote, risking merciless ridicule in the comments section, because I would like officially to say to all sportswriters: You cannot do the stupid April Fool's Day Fake Article Thing unless it is better than "The Curious Case of Sidd Finch." Cool?Flourish. Exeunt. Curtain.
Labels: HatGuy, mike celizic