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

Friday, June 25, 2010

Watch what you say

If you write a bad headline, usually the only person you have to hear from is your editor and maybe his or her boss. A recent headline in a Detroit-area newspaper forced Lions head coach Jim Schwartz to answer to the NFL regarding the team's offseason workouts.
The league sequestered video of the Lions' workout from May 18 and deemed the practice "too intense" for OTAs.
“They actually saw a headline in one of our newspapers that said, ‘Suh and Peterman battle it out in OTAs.’ They flagged that and said they wanted to see the practice film. I assume they were looking for one-on-ones which you’re not allowed to do with the offensive and defensive linemen which we weren’t doing,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said after Wednesday’s morning minicamp session.
The Oakland Press headline the day in question was simply "Vets show rookies the ropes." So I don't think it was our headline that caught the league's eyes.
Schwartz's handling even spurred debate about his decision seemingly to take the media to task just one week after MSU coach Tom Izzo spent a portion of his "I'm staying here forever" press conference booing the scribes.
When the Lakers won the NBA title a week ago, the L.A. Times suffered production problems, which caused delivery delays, and in some cases, no delivery. The Times punished a pressroom blogger who documented the paper's production difficulties.
Just when I thought I'd heard all the possible ways to get reprimanded on the copy desk, this is certainly a new one. It just goes to show you that somebody is always watching, or reading.


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