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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Battling the MSU online hubris

Nobody expected Florida to beat No. 2 Michigan State Friday night at the Legends Classic in Atlantic City. Especially not the personnel in charge of the MSU men's basketball schedule at
Us copy editors depend greatly on updated schedules on the Internet, but Friday night was a prime example why you shouldn't overlook any opponent.
We use the schedules as part of the B2 Game Planner, as you might have noticed. And MSU's schedule had already been formatted to indicate the Spartans would play Bradley at 8 p.m. Saturday night in the tournament final — completely overlooking the Gators. Friday's semifinal game wasn't on TV, so I had to follow it online. It was a close one, but I thought the Spartans would pull it out. But I was wrong. And so was the online schedule.
I knew MSU would play Massachusetts in the final, thanks the AP provided story, but I couldn't find out what time, hence the TBA time listed in the TV/Radio planner. And all these changes had to be made with less than 15 minutes before that page needed to be sent to the printer. Having had more time, I would have thought to search for the tournament's Web site and find the matchups, but I was rushed and it didn't occur to me.
Saturday night, while waiting for the Oakland men's basketball game to begin at about 6 p.m., I visited the Spartans' athletic site once more ... only to see it had still not been updated.
It can be very difficult to guard against errors getting into the paper, especially when web people are asleep at the wheel.


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