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Amaechi's Factual Errors

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by IU90, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. IU90

    IU90 Member

    I finally got around to reading John Amaechi's "Man in the Middle" that caused such a media shitstorm several months ago by revealing his homosexuality, and felt compelled to air out a grievance on you guys. Amaechi is a thoughtful guy and the book would be worthwhile, except for this: By the end I was annoyed shitless by all its little factual errors.

    As one example, Amaechi claims that he was in the 1996 draft but was not picked; in reality he came out in 1995. Now you might think this was just a minor error misstating the year, except that he then goes on to describe in detail the experience of gathering at his friends house for the 96 draft and the frustration of seeing "a procession of familiar names--Lorenzen Wright, Erick Dampier, Vitaly Potapenko" drafted ahead of him and states that "I knew these guys because I'd kicked their asses. I didn't resent them getting their due. But I had no doubt my name should have been alongside theirs." Now this is a memory that he could not possibly have actually had because he was, in fact, already in the NBA playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers before those guys were drafted. That paragraph went beyond error and into the territory of outright fabrication.

    And there were several other errors throughout the book that, although admittedly minor stuff that a non-hoops junkie would likely never notice (misstating dates, years, players, describing a guy as an All-American who certainly was not, etc.), were nonetheless frequent enough to make me wonder how many other innaccuracies exist in the more publicized non-basketball parts of the book where he discusses his personal life.

    In that entire time that ESPN was shamelessy promoting the hell out the book and it was the subject of countless columns and talk show discussions, I don't recall anyone ever suggesting that there was any issue with the book's facts. Am I the only one to notice and be bothered by this? Any other thoughts?
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    No, he came out this year.

    I'm sorry, you left it right there.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    DAmn Beej... you on fire tonight
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    The memory plays tricks on us. That's why God created the editor, who obviously dropped the fucking ball here.
  5. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    I'm sorry, but I know what year I graduated college, when I got married, when I changed jobs. (And most of that was a lot longer ago than 1995).
    It's ridiculous that he could make this kind of error just a decade later.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    That error is unacceptable and destroys the credibility of his book.
  7. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    That reminds me, there were some really awful centers to go pro in the mid 90's.
  8. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    This reminds me of the Joe Morgan thing from a month or so ago. At least Joe could claim that it was 40 years ago...Amaechi doesn't have that luxury.

    Of course, how much credibility did his axe-grinding, excuse-making memoir have to start with?
  9. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I've been doing a sports book review every week since early summer. And you can't imagine how much unbelievable dreck I've read.
    There was one in particular - I won't mention his name, but he's a long-timer who has written several books - where I got a draft copy.

    Thing was a total train wreck. I don't know if it was partially edited, mostly edited, or completely unedited. But it was bad.

    While I hope the editors cleaned it up, I have no doubt that there's no way (especially given their almost-certain lack of expertise on the subject) that they could have caught it all.

    I can see where it would happen.
  10. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Did Joe Morgan ghost-write this? Or proof read it?
  11. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    Not sure Morgan has command of the written word. He sure doesn't have command of the spoken word. :D
  12. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Probably a case of "truthiness." It felt true, therefore it was. To him. Etc.

    Why do you hate America?

    I accept your apology.

    S. Colbert.
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