Vikings Vs. Texans — In Pictures

I do like the Star Tribune‘s online game photo gallery feature. I have only one complaint: They need to get a new person to write the captions for the photos because whoever is currently doing it, really has no clue.

I wouldn’t make a big deal of it if it was a one-time thing, but I’ve seen this sloppiness before. A few examples from this week will suffice.

A photo of Randy Moss going horizontal includes this description: "Randy Moss is upended in the second quarter by Rushen Jones after picking up a first down." You don’t even have to look at the photograph to know what’s wrong with this picture. Rushen Jones plays for the Vikings not the Texans, and so therefore, it’s impossible for him to upend Randy Moss. Okay, I guess it’s possible; he is one the the lesser talents on the team, so I guess he could have unintentionally upended his teammate.

Anyway. It doesn’t matter. Because the caption writer did get it wrong. Check the photo. Rushen Jones is nowhere to be found.

Example two: A photo of kicker Aaron Elling getting facemasked by Texans’ kick returner J.J. Moses sports this description: "Texans’ J.J. Moses was given a 15-yard penalty for face masking during the kick on a punt return on Vikings Darren Bennett in the fourth quarter."

Well, there are two obvious things wrong with this caption. The first hint is that the picture clearly shows that the name on the back of the jersey of the Viking in the photo begins with the letters ELL. That should have tipped off the caption writer–even if (s)he did not watch the game–that the person in the photo was not Darren Bennett, whose last name begins with the letters BENN. And if you’d followed the Vikings at all this year, you could not have avoided being aware of the Vikings maddening kicking problems and their attempts to correct them. And therefore you would know the names Darren Bennett and Aaron Elling. You would know that Elling is the Vikings kick-off specialist and that Bennett is their punter. So if you have Elling in a photo, the picture must’ve been taken during a kick-off return and not a punt return, as the caption said.

It ain’t no big thing to me personally because I know the Strib made the mistakes and I know how they should be corrected so I haven’t been led to believe something that not’s true. But I’m sure that’s not true for everyone who reads the captions.

Sure, it’s only football we’re talking about, not the war on terror or ethnic cleansing in Sudan for which the Star Tribune has got their facts wrong. But they’ve still got their facts wrong. They’re a newspaper. They’re supposed to get their facts correct–especially the easy ones. That’s what has me annoyed.