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One of the worst days of my life

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Aaron Suttles, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Aaron Suttles

    Aaron Suttles New Member

    I'm not going to lie. Today has been one of the worst days of my life. When I started getting the tweets/e-mails/texts last night, I literally wanted to crawl under the bed and not come out until after the college football bowl season. I still can't believe that happened. I haven't had an appetite all day. There are no words to describe the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don't know that I'll ever accomplish enough in this business to erase this feeling/memory. Thanks to all of those who reached out to check on me.
  2. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    OK, I took the bait. I Googled, read through your Twitter feed, and found that ... you'd made a typo. So what? Frame it and put it on your desk and on a little shelf at your house. It's a pretty funny typo, too. A good story to tell. There's still tomorrow's work to be done.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    We got over "Pubic School" at my paper and you'll get over this. We almost had another headline on a standalone that said "Santa Clause comes". The copy editor wanted to change it to "Santa Claus is coming tonight" but she thought about it and went with something a little more neutral.
  4. greggdoyel

    greggdoyel Member

    Hang in there, Aaron. Long time ago I wrote a feature on Hulk Hogan's younger brother, Randy Hogan, a pro wrestler who was bitter that he never got a nudge of help from Hulk. A few weeks later I got a call from a woman who said, "I'm Hulk's sister ... and we don't have a brother named Randy."


    Mistakes happen, and they suck, and you think you'll never get over it. That mistake was the worst day of my life, to that point ... but until today, I hadn't thought of it in years. Some day, this will be you. We all screw up.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Dude, you just got a story you can tell at your retirement party. In fact it will probably go through so many retellings it will become your version of "The Aristocrats." There is nobody who can hold that one against you, unless they are willing to submit every report they've ever filed for spelling errors.
  6. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    Aaron, we've all done it.

    I once printed the name of a mayor named Sandy Genis as Sandy "Penis."

    Wasn't funny then, but hilarious now.

    You will laugh about this one day.
  7. lono

    lono Active Member

    You lost your cherry, kid.

    Get up, rub some dirt on the bruise and move on.

    It's happened to some, most, a few, a lot, many all of us.
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I once spelled Gregg Doyel's name with one g.
  9. holy bull

    holy bull Active Member

    Aaron, if today was the worst day of your life, go to bed, get up tomorrow, and it'll be better than the worst day of your life. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I've been in the business for almost 25 years and made a mistake this summer that still makes me nauseous when I think about it. But the sun came up today. (At least that's what they tell us; there was no actual visual evidence).
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    One time, I was previewing the local basketball team deep in the state playoffs. Since the team had only made it to that level one other previous time in their history. I was playing it up big. Features, game preview, you name it.

    But the name of their opponent was very similar (two letters off) from the name of a local town near my paper. And of course, the day before I had to finish writing my stuff, plus put together two separate sports sections (5 days p.m. daily, a.m. Saturday, which meant working Fri. a.m. and Fri. p.m.), my boss suddenly gets these story ideas in his head and wants me to do them. So, I'm rushing through writing two extra stories, plus finishing the three I was already doing, and putting out two sections, all as a one-man staff.

    You guessed it. Instead of having the name of the opposing school, I had the name of the local town. In all five of my stories. And no one edited them or read them, partially because I was usually trusted to get it right, and partially because they were all busy, too.

    Sure enough, I look at the Saturday paper, and I'm feeling pretty embarrased. Local school's AD comes up to me before the game, and whispers, "You know, they're facing Bumfuck, not Dumbfuck, right?" I nod, and she looks at me sympathetically, and leaves me to stew in my embarrassment.

    That Monday, my boss wants to know what happened, and to be honest, I lit into him a little over giving me two extra stories at the last minute while I was doing all the other stuff. My boss, who generally was a good guy, I think felt pretty bad about the whole thing himself. After that, I made sure that if something major was coming up, he was to tell me about it days in advance, not the day before.

    So while I felt embarrassed by the whole thing, it did help me in planning things better ahead of time, and to make sure the bosses were on the same page as me. So I did learn something out of the whole mess. You will too.
  11. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    I once had a sports brief for local school seeking a clock operator, only the word "clock" was missing it's "l" -- for several weeks. No one caught it until a friend pointed it out.
  12. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    I've told this one on here before but it comes to mind every time I see someone mess up.

    When Dan Connor of Penn State was making the switch from inside linebacker to outside linebacker we ran a headline that was supposed to say "Connor Shifts Outside." Only we left out the "f" in the word "shifts."

    Paper comes out the next day with a giant headline reading "Connor Shits Outside."

    Classic. We caught hell for it when it happened but it's funny as hell now. Remember, no matter how bad you mess up, there is always someone else out there screwing up even worse at the same time.
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