The Good, The Bad and The Wally


Queue the music and let us begin with this week’s installment of The Good, The Bad and The Wally.

The Good

Our friends on Twitter never fail to make us smile, and oftentimes make us laugh loudly, with their humorous posts and witty observations. Thus was the case this week when we saw the tweet below from Trent Wooldridge, a regular contributor to one of our favorite Razorback news sites,

The Bad

Nike, shame on you multi-billion-dollar global corporation with more marketing money than Heaven itself.

This week, Nike was outed for taking a shortcut to promote the company in association with the NCAA tournament. Nike used an image of Kentucky standout from last year, Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, and changing the image to make it appear Kidd-Gilchrest was a player on every team Nike “shouted out” to on social media. What Nike did, apparently to avoid NCAA rules against using active players to promote a product or company, cost it in credibility.

How hard would it have been for Nike, with all of the money in the world, to direct its advertising agency to contact the schools being promoted in the ads for a photo of an actual formal player from the team being touted?

The Wally

We read Wally Hall so you don’t have to, and Friday morning, the day after the first big day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, we were reminded by Wally how tough it is to be the sports editor of the statewide daily, the largest newspaper in Arkansas, the face of sports news for fans and readers from corner to corner of our state.

To be fair, the tournament kicked off Thursday morning at 11 Little Rock time, and the last game didn’t wrap up until about 11 p.m. That’s a late night and long day for anyone in the sports-story-telling business.

However, it wasn’t such a long day that all of the scores from the 16 games couldn’t be printed in the paper. They were. In fact, despite the length of the day, and the waiting for late games to end, the statewide daily printed scores to every game – from Mich. St./Valparaiso (65-54)  to Syracuse/Montana (81-34).

Kudos from sports fans and subscribers everywhere, statewide daily.

What struck us as curious Friday morning was that on the same front page as the scores to every men’s basketball game from Thursday, we found Wally Hall’s column for the day, titled “SEC needs Hogs’ help to restore reputation,” not three inches below with this:

Understand that Missouri played late Thursday night and this was written before the Tigers could earn the SEC a small degree of respect with a victory over Colorado State, which was bounced out of last year’s tournament by Cinderella team Murray State. As far as talent, the Tigers should have won easily. If they didn’t, it may have come down to coaching, something Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy is very good at, especially now that he is sober and has been for almost a decade.

One paragraph, less than 100 words, or about 10 percent of Wally’s column, mailed in before the game took place? Really?

We appreciate there are any number of reasons the sports editor made the decision to mail it in. We really do.

But how hard would it have been to write two versions of the paragraph for insertion after the game – say, one if Missouri lost and one if Missouri won? Or even better, for the reading public, how difficult would it have been to email the sports desk at the conclusion of the Missouri/Colorado State game, right around 10:30 p.m., with a new 100 words to fill the gap in the column with a brief, yet true and real, analysis of the first tournament game played by an SEC team?

As they say in shorthand on the internet – SMH.

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