In which I fact-check ESPN

Welcome to the latest installment of Paper Treiger Fact-checks Major Media Outlets. In recent months, I’ve done it to the New York Times, and in the post that immediately preceded this one, I did it to Yahoo! Sports.

Next up, the worldwide leader in sports.

Like the rest of the football universe, ESPN is excited about the slate of playoff survivors, and published an article titled It’s what they’ve been waiting for about the coming matchup at the Clink between Seattle and San Francisco. Here’s the offending paragraph:

This entire season, dating back to the offseason, seemingly has been building for this moment: Seattle-San Francisco, Take III. The two franchises have been traveling on parallel tracks. They are almost carbon copies of each other. They both have coaches who came to them from the Pac-12. They both have young, mobile quarterbacks. San Francisco traded for Baltimore wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason. Seattle countered by trading for Minnesota wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Funny, that’s not the way it was reported at the time. Here’s’s account:

The league year hasn’t officially started, and blockbuster moves are already being made. First, the Seattle Seahawks reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings that will send Percy Harvin to the Pacific Northwest. Not to be outdone by their divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers landed Anquan Boldin in a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

To be fair, the trades happened on the same day, so you’re probably justified in thinking I’m being a little OCD by insisting ESPN get the order of events straight. But this is the NFC West. These are the San Francisco Forty-whiners and the Seattle She-hawks. One of these teams is going to the Superbowl (the Seahawks).

And I’d always rather be tit than tat.


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