Latest "What Were They Thinking?" Department Communication Awards
It was a busy end of September with entries for the much-sought-after "What Were They Thinking?" Department Communication Awards.
Given the historic nosedive of the Boston Red Sox, who were predicted before the season began to be in the World Series facing the Philadelphia Phillies, and who didn't even make it into the postseason, it's not surprising that two of this week's awards are related to their very public crash and burn.
It pains me to give the "Timing is Everything" award to pitcher Tim Wakefield, who uncharacteristically made some "all about me" statements regarding next season just before the Red Sox sealed their fate and stomped on the hearts and hopes of Red Sox fans everywhere.
“I’ve definitely made up my mind that I definitely want to come back next year,” Wakefield said. “I have another goal in front of me that I’d like to accomplish, and that’s the all-time record for the Red Sox in wins. I’m only seven away. I think the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that record. We’ll see what happens.”
I personally watched Tim make these statements during the rain delay of the Tampa Bay Rays game that knocked the Sox out of the post-season. I'm one of Tim's biggest fans, but even I was thinking, "Not now, Timmy. It's about the team pulling out of this slide and winning. It isn't about you -- not even remotely." And after Tim took nine tries to achieve his latest record that I blogged about here, he really didn't have a patient group of fans looking forward to getting him to his next milestone. Certainly not that day -- or, frankly, even that month. Timing is everything.
"The Tweet Heard Across the Pond" award goes to Mrs. John Henry, whose husband, the owner of the Red Sox, had just ditched the press conference in which the team's front office management was discussing their decision to let manager Terry Francona go -- something the commentators on 98.5 The Sports Hub were calling his "Mr. Burns moment," as he reportedly had slipped on his yacht and went to the hospital to be checked out.
"Henry's wife Linda Pizzuti wrote on Twitter: 'Happy John is home! He slipped down stairs, injuring his neck.'
'Kept at hospital as a precautionary measure, but was home for the derby.'"
She was referring to an international football match that Henry's latest acquisition, English Premier League Team Liverpool, was playing against its local rival Everton. As one can imagine, there was much gnashing of teeth and thumping of keyboards for angry tweeting in Red Sox Nation that the injured Red Sox owner was happy to be watching his new soccer team, but couldn't be bothered to personally speak to the debacle of his other team's lost season.
And last but not least, the "Orson Welles Memorial Bungled Practical Joke" award goes to another favorite of mine, The Onion, which decided to report on the social network of a fake hostage situation in the Capitol.
"Starting at 10:33 a.m., [on Wed., Sept. 29] The Onion’s Twitter account began spewing the fake messages that began with this post: “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building.”
Ten minutes later, the Twitter account posted: “BREAKING: Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen. #CongressHostage.”
The photos portray Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican from Ohio, holding a gun to a young schoolgirl’s head.
The article begins with: “Brandishing shotguns and semiautomatic pistols, members of the 112th U.S. Congress took a class of visiting schoolchildren hostage today, barricading themselves inside the Capitol rotunda and demanding $12 trillion dollars in cash.”
The Onion’s Twitter messages went out on the same morning that real headlines were dominated by the arrest of a Massachusetts man in connection with a plot to blow up the United States Capitol and the Pentagon."
Comedy is hard, ladies and gentleman, and satire is even harder, especially in a universe where truth is often much stranger than fiction. Most importantly, though, it wasn't even Halloween (as it was for Orson Welles' classic hoax, a dramatic presentation of "War of the Worlds" presented as if it were breaking news) or April Fool's Day. The Onion usually is spot on and very broad in its satiric tweets and posts. This one missed big; hence the award.
Did I miss any other entries?