The Worst Takes of 2018

By Kevin Harrish on December 27, 2018 at 6:20 pm

A wise man once told me, everyone wants a job writing about sports online until it comes time to write about sports online.

Sportswriting never stops. It's a 24-hour, 365-day adventure that has folks scrambling to publish online words to hordes of ravenous fans anxiously awaiting the content to devour.

And as a result of the demand, it's become easier and more common to publish instant, unedited and unfiltered takes to the masses. The results are sometimes a spectacular disaster. And once a year, we like to collect those disasters to serve as a reminder that we can always be better next year.

I want to make this crystal clear: I live in glassiest of houses.

This is not an opportunity to bomb on others so that I feel better about my own failures or horrible opinions. We're all in this together. You're going to read some terrible takes and egregious mistakes, but I promise I'm at the top of the list.

This year, I published an article stating that Ohio State's matchup with Purdue would be a home night game (as you know, the game was in West Lafayette).

For roughly three minutes, this was published under my name:

Hey, that ain't right!

I also erroneously alleged that Nebraska lost to a game to an FCS opponent this season, which they decidedly did not. And that's not even including my numerous misspellings, typos and uncompleted sentences you have come to know.

The point is, nobody is topping my transgressions, but that doesn't mean they didn't try!

We'll start by bombing on my boss, Eleven Warriors Founder and Publisher Jason Priestas:

The Blue Jackets blew a 2-0 lead that night, and days later, Ohio State carpet bombed the top defense in the country.

And here's a little more friendly fire:

Look, *I* knew what Ramzy meant by this Tweet, and he clarified a few Tweets down, but I cringed as soon as I saw it because I knew many others would not. I was right.

The opinion itself is abysmal, but even if you're going to have a bad opinion, pick your timing a little better. I know the goal was to be edgy and piss people off, but the Internet doesn't need your help to be angry and miserable. Just sit this one out.

Now we'll move on to the rest, starting with one that unified us all:

His argument included things like length of game, jersey number rules, and overtime format and he never once successfully argued that the NFL was strategically superior. In fact, he more or less did the opposite.

This take looks even worse months later, when the only reason Ohio State has the head coach they do is because they paid him over $1 million to be a coordinator this season. Also, by definition, they're "worth" what someone will pay for them. That's how economics works.

Imagine thinking that.

Tim, my guy, there's a reason why the simple "retweet" button exists.

"How can we make this historic moment about us?"

I get that not every outlet has the same resources, but the game was in Columbus, not across the country. You have a staff of 17 people but can't have someone cover a home NCAA Tournament game in person, and have to solicit the livestats password through Twitter DMs?

I'm a documented skyline lover, but nothing about that photograph screams #yum.

"My unpopular take is objectively correct, and the only reason you wouldn't agree with me is because it's too nuanced for you to understand."

"How sad" is literally the most condescending way to express sorrow in the history of words. But don't worry, the article is FREE!

There were a few other cringeworthy ones:

This whole week was rough on their Twitter feed. They were blocking out some Ms in some Tweets but there was absolutely no consistency. 

It was not.

Narrator: it was not.

Uh, Joe Burrow was at LSU for three months before his first start. I think the wrong dude is getting the credit there.

With the number of times Ohio State's played in the Rose Bowl, you'd think they'd know the primary color correct.

Is... Is the former walk-on Ohio State receiver who most recently coached at a fake high school trying to angle for an assistant coaching job? Cause that's what it looks like.

"I have never once watched the offensive line!"

Does... Does he know?

This year, Adam Jardy learned that live TV is on a delay.

I'm not convinced the Dean actually knows how to delete Tweets because there's just no reason for those to still be active.

And speaking of things that are still active, when this was published, this six-month old article from Lettermen Row still had "general pubic" written instead of general public.

General pubic

I've made worse mistakes, but luckily I have y'all to bomb on me before I even wake up and don't have to wait six months for someone to rip the bandaid.

The article is written under the Lettermen Row Staff byline, so I don't know who to properly blame, but Birm is looking like a prime culprit:

Another mistake that never got fixed: 

Maybe this will be the year we all learn how to crop photos, because this is becoming an epidemic:

Lebron's Crotch
Butt fo the joke.
Urban Meyer's crotch.

And we have the elusive poor crop with a bad take!:

"Almost won the Heisman Trophy" doesn't scream "most under-rated player in Ohio State history" to me, but I guess we can go ahead and toss Dwayne Haskins in that category now!

I mean, I'd watch the hell out of that.

Mark May has no idea how the NFL Draft, works, does he?

Ohio State has more than one defensive end, would they really be interested in adding Zach Harrison?

Gun to my head, I could not tell you a single college football referee by name, but this dude can rattle off more than a dozen games a particular crew has officiated the past eight years.

Steve get the hell out.

I love how the fellow asks a very intricate, well thought-out scheme question and the response is more or less "Idk probably. Let the dogs go!"

Everything in this was reported by other outlets like, a year and a half ago. I understand the contracts were finalized and you just got the records, but maybe let's pump the brakes on the self-congratulatory "exclusive."

Who made this?

When did it become the industry standard to use atrocious stock photos? Cause we need to change that as soon as possible.

Here are some examples that have been used this year:

Gun Violence

This one is especially bad because it's not even a stock photo. It appears they stole it from a Czech website, cropped out the leash, and doctored it to look more scary.

The original:

Pit Bull

Celebrate the win by helping us profit off of Dwayne Haskins' likeness with unlicensed memorabilia!

Yet, somehow, that's better than this one:

They literally just stole our shirt design, and spelled "canceled" in the Queens English instead.

Those are decidedly not what Ohio State wore.

They had the abysmal #take that they didn't want Ohio State to go to the College Football Playoff and lose. And they were doubling, and tripling down.




If that really was the best team in Michigan history, then wooooooooooof.

Lori, please no.

"Crying Woof!"

This dude is just a bad take incubator. He also had one of the worst takes of the year:

That was literally the direct opposite of what Urban Meyer said.

"The story I wrote is an absolute must-read!"

Maybe not the best time for a #GoBucks hashtag.

If you read the comments, you'll see this was a predictably terrible idea.

Uh, that doesn't mean what you think it means.

A headline, coupled with a sub-header, a quote, and a lede that directly contradict the headline. Looks like somebody doesn't know what the term "bullish" means.

I get where he's coming from, but I could think of at least 20 players who would have helped this team more than Jeff Heuerman, especially in hindsight.

Bold to admit that you barely watched the most important part of the game while you were writing a story about that game. Also, being on deadline is not a unique situation. Pretty much everyone in the press box is writing on some sort of deadline, and most have to publish something right as the clock hits zero.

I don't even have commentary for this one. Create your own.

Feigning concern to farm clicks using a photo taken of a television screen. What the hell even is Sports Illustrated in 2018?


Then there's this Big Ten Tournament Preview from Taylor Ashbrook:

LOL Rutgers.
Northwestern seems good.

An entire section was "LOL Rutgers" and somehow it was better than the Purdue and Northwestern sections.

I promise it's no that bad.

Hi, Wisconsin did not win the Big Ten.

Block O, what are you doing?

Maybe that's just a bit of a stretch. 

I think NFL scouts would beg to differ.

Quotes to imply he's faking things. From a former member of the Ohio State beat.

Show up in your suit and tie to a pro day and see how that goes.

Imagine knowing that the guy that just engineered the 62-point offensive performance against you is now the head coach. 

A new trend is to not only have opinions, but be absolutely aghast at someone having a differing one. "How do you sleep at night if you think differently than me?"

That isn't a bad take, but it doesn't really align with Birm's colleague, Austin Ward's response to a Football Scoop report:

The report.

And finally, this wouldn't be a collection of atrocious takes without Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

Did I miss anything? The comments are open. And feel free to bomb on me – I ain't immune!

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