By Stealing My Headline and Writing Their Own Version Of My Story
(scroll down to the bottom of the story for updates throughout the day of the ways in which we are fighting the powers that be)
While enjoying my first-cup-of-coffee, illicit, at-work, internet-wandering I happened to stop by Page 2 at ESPN.com. And, what do I see there? I see this. And, my heart skips a beat. I spill hot coffee on my crotch in such a way that it will look like I pissed my pants. The heart skipping and coffee spilling are because they essentially copied my story from yesterday.
The title and subtitle of my story posted on this very website are:
"Mission Accomplished" Redux
The One-Year Anniversary of Evident Progress
And, this morning the front page of Page 2 on ESPN.com reads:
As the Knicks celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Isiah Thomas contract extension, Page 2 takes a look at how far the team has come
Coincidence? Is it a coincidence that hours after my story got picked up by Deadspin and The Big Lead, two very, very prominent sports blogs, that the writers at Page 2 were struck with an idea eerily similar to mine? I don't think so.
Is it a coincidence that Patrick Hruby* wrote a fly-by-night version of my story from yesterday I don't think so.
Um, I actually really, really angry about this. Angrier than I am at Isiah, in fact. These guys are well paid and well placed and all they had to do was give a guy's website one little shred of credit for getting this ball rolling and calling this anniversary to their attention. But, nooooooooo. They've got write half-assed versions of what I spent hours and hours writing through the night on Tuesday. Yeah, that sounds way better.
And this is on top of Daily Dime blurb about the Knicks that I mentioned in today's Starting Five post, which also reads suspiciously similar to my post from yesterday.
UPDATE: Friends and family of WWOD? have taken to their keyboards and we're taking over the comments page on the offending article. Get over there and let them know not to mess with Oakley.
Some highlights of the comments so far:
samlikessports (3 minutes ago)
Hmm, this looks strangely like something I just read at www.whatwouldoakley do.com. Too bad the writers at ESPN can't come up with their own material. Or maybe we should commend them on their web surfing abilities?
vincecartercantsleep (3 minutes ago)
I saw the Oakley website's story on Deadspin last night. Good stuff. These guys at Page 2, man. Who can you trust? Not Vince Carter. And not Mr. Hruby or his boss.
bobbdy123 (8 minutes ago)
See the original article here: www.whatwouldoakley do.com
KennySkyWalker789 (10 minutes ago)
Yeah, this copy-cat stuff is lamer than Kenny Sky Walker not being invited to judge this year's dunk contest. Go check out the original Mission Accomplished story over at www.whatwouldoakley do.com.
It's one thing to riff on something else or link to something else that someone else wrote but it is another thing entirely to take what you like from it without giving any credit. Free What Would Oakley Do?
bobbdy123 (13 minutes ago)
Wow. This is such a hilarious, smart idea. Too bad ESPN stole the idea from someone else and called it their own. Nice.
robford2k5 (25 minutes ago)
styuiop wrote: "yay for espn stealing ideas from small blogs!"
Did they really? I have to see that link.
styuiop (27 minutes ago)
yay for espn stealing ideas from small blogs!
And, those are literally just the five at the top of the page! Let's keep it up.
UPDATE #2:As the WWOD? comments piled up like Knickerbocker losses the editors at Page 2 over at espn.com have replaced the above Mission Accomplished Picture with another story and hid this one a bit more. The picture that now sits on the side bar of the screen also has the words Mission Accomplished removed and has placed a new headline above the revised picture. The new headline reads "Double Standard?"
I'm not sure if that refers to the article or the way in which ESPners always slam bloggers for being unprofessional while they themselves are actually peaking at our homework. I'm not sure.
Oh, wait that headline refers to a different story altogether by Scoop Jackson and is unconnected to the now wordless image it accompanies. Still, the placing is ironic. Don't you think?
UPDATE #3: Those folks in Bristol seem to be scrambling. They've now replaced the headline "Double Standard?" with "Go New York Go!" This happened in a matter of minutes since the last update. Maybe someone realized that they screwed up by messing with Oakley?
Or, maybe they just hate Scoop Jackson and wanted to bury the link to his article? Or maybe the read my post about the ironies of their last try?
UPDATE #4: The minions of the Leader continue to scramble and stutter. They have now removed the story and the entire Page 2 tab from that middle section of the espn.com home page where they have images from three to five top stories rotating. As the WWOD? legal counsel put it, "You actually making the Leader run around and change their website. Mission Accomplished?...eh"
UPDATE #5: And, the beat goes. The Leader is heading for the hills and taking their ill-gotten story with them. There is now no link to the Hruby story anywhere on the home page of espn.com. It has even been replaced on the smallish Page 2 box on the lower left of the screen. I don't know how much of that is the good-ship Justice and how much is them having newer stories. But, I'm pretty sure that the USS Oakley is very much responsible for that story's comments page seemingly being deactivated. Well done.
UPDATE #6: Though the article that started this and the plagarized headline are now buried deeper than Hoffa on the WWL's website, the comments page is up and running again if anyone still feels like speaking their mind about all this. FYI.
*[Ed. note: And, actually I like his story. It's funny and if my article's title and sub hadn't been slapped on the Page 2 front page and worked into the blurb on the Dime then I would surely have been linking to it this afternoon and kept my suspicions about the timing coincidences and similarities in idea to myself. In fact, I probably would have been pretty psyched that I was on Deadspin and The Big Lead and had a story idea not so different from one of the pros at Page 2. However, the "Mission Accomplished" stuff is just to egregious to ignore.]