Lesson Learned: Some Strange Truths, Some Embarrassing Facts

RG YohoCorrespondent IJune 27, 2010

As some of you might know, if you read my bio, I write Westerns in my spare time.


While writing one of these stories, I killed a man’s horse when it was struck by a stray bullet.


When I handed one of my fellow employees the manuscript to read, however, he pointed out that the men were still riding the horse I’d just killed.


The point of this is: you can’t ride a dead horse.


I recently wrote a column about West Virginia’s 2010 football schedule, “West Virginia Football: A Strange Schedule, Some Strange Truths.”


I based the premise of my story on some bad information that came from the following site:




That certainly isn’t an excuse; it’s an explanation.


Several points in the column were wrong—dead wrong!


I relied on a bad source for information. Therefore, I came to some wrong conclusions. The mistake was embarrassing to me.


It still is.


And for a guy with some OCD tendencies, I will probably have a hard time forgetting about it. No one will be harmed by the mistake like I will.


I am simply a guy trying to find a way to make a living from his writing, a passion I’d like to turn into a full-time career.


I certainly don’t claim to be a “journalist” or an “expert.”


Journalists went to college for a career in writing. An expert is simply a darned fool with a briefcase, more than 50 miles away from home.


I am neither.


Like some of you, I am a proud man.


I take no pleasure in admitting my mistakes or shortcomings. Quite often, I don’t react well to criticism. The hardest thing I do on this site is to respond to criticism, some of it deserved, some of it unfair.


That’s life.


However, it’s been my experience that the more a person puts himself out there, the more likely it is he will make a mistake.


But unless you have some really thick skin, don’t try this at home, boys and girls. This writing gig is clearly not for the meek or the ill of heart.


Jim Joyce, an outstanding Major League umpire, recently made a bad call that cost a pitcher a perfect game. The ump came clean and admitted his error.


Life goes on.


Weathermen often predict sunshine on rainy days. Professional umpires sometimes blow calls. Some excellent teams lose to less talented squads. And sometimes, writers don’t get all the facts right.


Unlike much of the press, who print their incorrect headlines on the front page and bury their retractions on page eight, I am throwing this out there for everyone to see.


I made a mistake.


And if you keep reading the columns I write, you will probably discover that I will make some more errors in the future.


So, hit me with your best shot. I can take it.


You can’t ride a dead horse, and it doesn’t do any good to beat one.




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