Monday, December 8, 2008

Shoddy Bruins Headline Writing: A Hard-Hitting Investigative Report


Look, Bruins website headline writers. I don't envy you your job. You're in charge of coming up with fresh daily content for a team with a finite number of players, opponents, and relevant jokes on a website that people actually read. By and large, you keep things simple and informative, and we get along just fine. Every once in a while, though, someone slips a tablespoon of Folgers crystals into the office Sanka, and we wind up with something like

Who Will it "B"? Lashoff or Boychuk?

and I find myself instinctively reaching for my shotgun -- for starters, because I was ALREADY made to suffer a near-identical pun (if you can even call the superfluous substitution of a letter a "pun") back in fucking October ("Bergeron Happy to 'B' Here"). It's so much more than just the recycling of bad plays on half-words that gets me, though. It's the sloppy alliteration. The screamingly obvious puns. The ham-fisted attempts at colloquialism when a few brisk pronouns would suffice. The utter why-the-fuck-should-I-even-care-ness of it all.

Look, headline writers. The Bruins website is the first thing I check every day (well, unless you count WHICH I ONLY CHECK SOMETIMES). As I said above: I know your job isn't easy. But seriously, gang? It's bad enough that I have to live with "Bear Essentials" (guhhh) on a DAILY FUCKING BASIS. The least you could do is spare me the endless dead-eyed drollery of shoddy headlines that, quite frankly, give me a headache for hours. Let's take a look at some of the atrocities from this season alone:

Chuck Kobasew: "I feel good."
Oh, does he? Well that's worthy of a fucking headline now, isn't it? What's tomorrow? A special report on how Andrew Ference is happy to have all 10 toes? I'm aware there's only so much spin you can put on the prepackaged inanities hockey players utter in front of the camera (unless they're Sean Avery, I suppose), but surely there's SOMETHING more we can do here.

Wheels is On a Roll
GUHHH. I braced myself for the onslaught of "Wheels" puns I knew we'd all be subject to once Wheeler arrived in Boston. But dear god: just because I was prepared for it didn't make it any less horrifying. Every time he's on a line with Axelsson, I cringe, knowing that the inevitable "WHEELS AND AXEL" is drawing ever nigh.

The Waiting Game... is Over
Ooh ooh! Look... how fucking clever this writer is. Not only does (s)he employ the not-at-all-tired cliche of "The Waiting Game"... but (s)he actually USES... the ellipsis... to heighten the suspense of the headline... and thus invoke... the actual act... of... waiting! It's like a full-on interactive hockey experience, neatly packaged into an impossibly shitty piece of headline writing.

Wideman Works Wonders Out West
OK. I don't want to point fingers or anything. But WHO THE HELL TAUGHT THE NEW KID HOW TO USE THE ALLITERATION BUTTON?! It's like if Darren Aronofsky were an intern.

2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad, but...
Here, again, is a headline writer who really knows how to captivate an audience. Not only has (s)he used the colloquial "ain't," thus putting me at ease, as though I were drinking with my buddies at The Fours and not semi-comatosely clicking around a website while I wait for my coffee to kick in... but (s)he has once again used the mighty ellipse to titillate me with the promise of information to come. But what, O Headline Muse? I breathlessly await the revelation of thy exalted knowledge!

A Big Pumpkin Brings Big Smiles
I'm not even going to go back and click on this link to find out what this was about. Know why? Because this is hockey, not a fucking Charlie Brown holiday special.

Marco Was on the Mark
Just die already.

Lucic Loomed Large
How long did this idiot spend clicking around on to find a word beginning with L that could somehow connect Lucic and Large? And, more importantly, what was wrong with Lucic Loves Large Labia, Lubricates Luscious Ladies Lasciviously?

Iron Manny
It took me like 20 minutes to even figure out what was at work here... eventually, I realized it was a sloppy perversion of "iron man." The thing is, if you're going to go the impossibly lazy route of making a pun on "man" (as opposed to "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," which is the deliciously sacrilegious route I would have gone), why "Iron Manny"? Why not "Tin Manny" or "Ladies' Manny" or "Stick it to the Manny" or "Be a Manny" or "Dave's Not Here, Manny" or any of the other thousands of man-related sayings? Why "Iron"? Because he's prone to rust?

Kessel marque deux buts dans un gain de 3-1 des Bruins à Tampa

High on Hnidy
Again with the alliteration... this time, with two words that don't even begin with the same fucking sound. Listen up, and listen good: Alliteration is a freaking AUDITORY DEVICE, you language-butchering assclown. Maybe Loomy Looch's author over there can, at the very least, instruct you how to not utterly go down in flames every time you attempt the application of an absurdly simple poetic device. GOD.


stanley cup of chowder said...

Those are almost as bad as some of my headlines:

"B's trying to make a habit of of beating Habs"

"B's set for Original 6 Showdown in Second City"

"B's look to stay sharp vs. Sabres"

"Bruins return to action after 4 day hibernation"

"B's trying to stay on fire vs. Flames"

"B's hope Les Habitants are Les Incompetents ce soir"

"Could Schaefer be canned?"

futuremrsrickankiel said...

You just made the "Kill" list...

Rocco said...

Do they at least know the difference between points and goals?

Shaun said...

Very good idea for a post. I laughed recalling some of these.