I routinely troll the Internet looking for articles about the Dallas Cowboys, and I post the ones that I think are good, or interesting for some reason. But in this post, I'm highlighting achievements in hackery, the art of writing a bad article.
This first one relies on some warmed-over hash and a lot of wishful thinking.
But in the preseason, before a single meaningful game had even taken place? Who imagined Owens would begin dismantling the Dallas Cowboys this soon?
The answer is no one, except for the occasional obsessive, single brain-cell Philadelphia sports writer. Hatred is a nasty emotion that will overrule common sense. The desire to see Owens fail, especially with division-rival Dallas, leads to temporary insanity that is unleashed on innocent, unsuspecting readers. We're being dismantled! And here I am acting like we stand a chance or something this year. Thank goodness someone was around to point that out, or else I might've gone on believing that were building a team, a pretty good one. Not true, Owens is already secretly dismantling the team, and according to author Ashley Fox, it's really no secret.
Next up, small town writer goes national to assess the Terrell Owens situation. An ode to conventional wisdom and every talking-point about Owens that one can think of, here's his one attempt at going deeper than the surface.
It was probably just as well for the Cowboys that Adams failed his physical and had to be returned to Denver, but the fact that the deal was even considered spoke volumes.
He tried to go deeper, unfortunately he drowned. What the deal spoke volumes about was Patrick Crayton's ankle and the lack of depth behind him. At the time of that deal, Hurd and Rector were unknowns, and no one knew how bad Crayton's ankle might be. I'm pretty sure Parcells wasn't thinking, `you know, Terrell may be hurt for a long time, or might explode and we have to send him packing so I better go out and get an this Charlie Adams kid." Yikes.
I love the amount of time the author of this New York Times article about the NFC East put into researching the Cowboys. Plus, we get a swell write-up at the end.
Bill Parcells is a great coach, but the Cowboys have not won a playoff game during his three seasons in Dallas.
In a weaker division, the Cowboys would fare better. But in this division, they could finish in last place.
That was our entire portion of the article; chew on that for a second. Combined research and writing time: 49 seconds. I don't even need to address the finish in last place part, everybody's entitled to a prediction - I predict that the sun won't rise tomorrow, but will instead, give in to overwhelming temptation, and stop by a Starbucks for a double mocha latte. So it's not the fact that he predicts we'll finish last, but the way he just dismisses us at the tail end of the article. You get a few paragraphs on each of the other three teams, filled with offseason moves, breakdowns of the offense and defense, and various other nuggets. The writer must've turned the article in, and the editor wrote at the top "Did you know there are four teams in the NFC East?" and sent it back. Presto, a few lines of garbage about Owens and Parcells, the article is done and the writer is off to the Hamptons for some Labor Day fun.
So ends our little tour through the world of sports writing hackery.