I recently read a comment by the incomparable Mr. Leroy Watson that went a little something like this (I'm paraphrasing this a bit).
The best stories about B/R are the ones that have a lot of truth to them.
Were the "IFs" really as bad as I made them out to be? No, not really. There are a lot of very logical Raiders' fans out there and on this site (they're easy to spot amidst the sea of silver face paint and Halloween masks).
Same thing with Vikings' fans. A lot of people know that he (I'm not mentioning his name anymore. We need to try and limit his exposure) won't be a Savior. They're just hoping he can get Minnesota to that Super Bowl, praying he can squeeze out one last Super Bowl run to solidify his legacy.
So in the spirit of my homage to the irrational fan, I have another beef with B/R.
Editors who mess with my headlines.
Let me clarify this quickly. If there is a B/R stylistic error (I probably should get around to reading that stylebook), by all means, fix it.
That's what you're not paid here to do. Don't worry, we've all been there.
The Internship: Where education meets slavery.
But there are times I'm trying to make a point or do a play on words in my headline, and a well-meaning editor will make it stylistically correct and boring as hell.
It's a digital jungle out there man. Before the "IF" article and the Florida's out-of-conference schedule slide show (if you haven't heard it, here's the gist: UF's non-conference schedule is an embarrassment), before my inbox got bombarded, there were a few stories that I really thought I wrote well.
These were pieces I poured my heart and soul into. One was about the surprising emotional effect the Sammy Sosa news was on me, and the other was Commissioner Roger Goodell's opportunity to clean up the NFL by the way he disciplines Donte' Stallworth.
The feedback I got was incredibly positive. The only problem was, there wasn't much feedback.
If you want to be a successful writer on B/R, it's all about getting seen. You have to draw people into your work instantaneously.
That's done with creative headlines and audacious pictures. (Speaking of, I saw a shot of Ludacris, Prince, and Dave Chappelle. My man Dave looked really "relaxed.")
Realistically, some of your exposure is based on the subjects you choose to write about. The stuff I wrote about the 49ers got three times as many reads as my Jacksonville stuff, but I put a lot more effort into the Jags.
Enter B/R "panderer extraordinaire" Blaine Spence. Seriously, this guy hooked me up. Panderin' ain't easy, but he certainly makes it look that way. (And no, I'm not going to include a hyperlink, editors. If they're too lazy to look his name up, they don't deserve the benefit of his advice and friendship.)
I'm getting a little off point here.
What I'm saying is that we as writers (especially relative newbies like myself) have to compete against some very good, well-established B/R contributors.
So changing my headline, while it may be grammatically correct, almost ensured that the story would be doomed to relative obscurity.
If it weren't for Senor Spence getting the word out, my inbox would have had over 100 unread messages in it yesterday. Thank you sir.
(Now don't go bombarding my man trying to hype up your stuff if it's not that good. You've got to bring the thunder, A-game, or any other cliche meaning "really good." And deep down, you know if it's really good or not.)
Editors, I appreciate what you do. You keep us from looking like idiots on a daily basis.
But whether you realize it or not, when you switch up my headline, you're doing me a disservice.
In short, please stop stealing my shine. Good day.