Back in November my pal Buddy Moorehouse of Stunt3 Multimedia (of the Emmy nominated Black and Blue) sent over this note and I had to share.  He wrote:

On Dec. 10, 1980, Michigan played Kent State in basketball (I was a junior at the Daily at the time, and was one of the assistant sports editors). A reporter from the Michigan Daily named Mark Fischer wrote the preview for the game. His lede for that story became legendary at the Daily. It was, without a doubt, the worst, most tasteless, most incredible thing that’s ever been printed in the paper.

I can’t recall the specifics of how this actually made it into print (I wasn’t working that night; I’d like to blame this on Drew Sharp). But it caused an enormous shitstorm between the Sports and News departments, and the next day, the News people ran a front-page apology.

I got to thinking about this today because my daughter (who is a gymnast) is considering attending Kent State, because they have a decent gymnastics team. That prompted me on a quest to find the story, so I searched on the Google News Archives, and bingo, I found it.

So here they are: The most tasteless Daily story ever, and the apology that ran the next day.

Take care and Go Blue!

Prepare to cringe:Neil Young

THUD.

I’m guessing my man Fisch looked at his lame arse assignment (a hoops preview for Kent State fergodsakes), swallowed a couple drinks, and hammered out something he figured would be cool, edgy and funny to spice it up.  It probably read a LOT better at 2am with some tunes blasting.   But anyway you slice it…THUD.

You can’t unring that bell—but here’s the best shot by Daily editor Mark Parrent:

Apology

Thanks to Buddy for passing this along! 

P.S. Michigan killed defeated Kent State 97-72 on 12/10/80.

P.P.S.  Speaking of Buddy, I noticed a 90 second clip of Willis Ward is out there on YouTube, talking about Gerald Ford and the Georgia Tech game (a few clips are in Black and Blue).

 

RelatedLow Point on High Street (1982) (A young Wojo gets tossed in the clink back in the day)

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4 Comments

  1. That is pretty bad. I have a little sympathy for the author, though, depending on what he’s done since. I live in mortal terror each day that some of the awful crap I wrote for the Daily will be dug up and attributed back to me. Fortunately much of it was unsigned (I worked for the editorial section mostly), and I never got as bad as above, but when I read my 19-year-old self I shiver at how bad I was. Like one time I analogized racial tension as being a rooter of the away team, and did so far less elegantly than this painful sentence.

    Imagine growing up a sportswriter in a world in which your only shot at being published by a large outfit is to compete with Drew Sharp. It doesn’t excuse awful, awful writing, but I hope it maybe explains it.

  2. I think most everyone has a story similar to this one to some degree. I once wrote an article for Daily Sports in my day that was pretty bad, and was dressed down by one of the sports editors named Will, who was actually kind of a tool. No, he was actually totally a tool. Thankfully, it was more of the “you didn’t spend any time on this summary,” vs. a “this is incredibly offensive and insensitive, and should never have been written,” kind of thing. So there is that.

  3. I also wrote for the Daily for a time. This is definitely really bad, but I also don’t want to pile on the author too much – I’m sure the Daily has run its share of cringe-worthy stuff over the years. College students aren’t always as clever as they think.

  4. Buddy Moorehouse

    Thanks for sharing this, Greg. And I have to agree with Seth and Rich – anyone who ever wrote for the Daily no doubt wrote something that was awful (maybe not this tasteless, but still awful). I love and I hate that all of the old Daily editions are available on Google News Archives. It’s great looking back at all those stories, but I look at some of the stuff I wrote back then and I wonder how it ever made it to print.