Sport reported like science

This afternoon a wormhole from a fictional universe opened in my living room. Through it fell a tabloid newspaper. This sort of fictional event doesn't happen every Sunday so, intrigued, I picked it up and had a look inside.

The parallel universe seems identical to ours apart from one difference. They give a huge section of the paper over to in-depth coverage of the latest scientific results. They include tables of results from the latest peer-reviewed papers, graphs, interviews with scientists and comment pieces on the correct use of the right-hand rule. However, their coverage of sport (I counted one article at the bottom of page 12 under an article about a cat using a treadmill) wasn't that great. This is an extract from the Daily Metro:

Weekend footballer rivals Manchester United with latest game

Manchester United has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in expensive grounds and players to play football.

But the club may have met its match in weekend footballer Joe Bloggs after he scored three goals in a match on Sunday near his home in Sheffield. Mr Bloggs's goals sit alongside the achievements of Manchester United.

The game played by Bloggs cost only £39 for the hire of the pitch and he even scored the deciding goal. Manchester United, on the other hand, ended their game with a draw on Sunday even though their team, which includes the likes of Andy Murray and Michael Phelps, is estimated to cost in the tens of millions.

In fact it is only one of many goals the 36-year-old says he has scored in his local weekend league over the past four years.

‘It has become a real obsession and we have had some brilliant games of football,’ said Mr Bloggs, a computer analyst from Rochdale.

I'd write to the Daily Metro to complain about their inaccurate and misleading reporting but they'd probably just tell me that they're not too bothered because sports are highly technical, laced with jargon, and are just a minority interest subject anyway.

Footnote: My complaint about the METRO and Daily Mail articles is about their mistakes and the spin they put on the story. I thought the images by amateur astronomer Steve Loughran were really good and I'm glad they got some coverage.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 30th Jan 2011 (17:37 GMT) | Permalink
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