Monday, October 17, 2005

NHL Fun: Petr Sykoras send media into disarray

If you’re a Caps fan, you should know by now (especially after last night’s shootout) that there is a center in Washington named Petr Sykora (he wears number 20, so if you were watching a game and wondering when the Caps got Michal Pivonka back, now you know the truth). Meanwhile, there is another Petr Sykora (also a center) who rose to fame with the New Jersey Devils playing on a line with Patrik Elias, which leads to the question: What’s with these guys and missing letters from their first names? Now the “real” Sykora plays for the Ducks.

Anyways, the pair of Petr Sykoras have apparently destroyed the feeble minds of every print and Web sports agate (an agate is the poor guy that types in box scores every night for $8.50 an hour), much to the delight of the masses at the Washingtoncaps.com message board.

These Sykoras have come to be known as the “real” Petr Sykora (on the Ducks), and the “other” Petr Sykora (on the Caps).

The follies have been plentiful.

The most unforgivable so far has to go to a pre-season article in The Washington Post about the “other” Sykora coming to Washington, accompanied by the press photo of the “real” Sykora. Two reasons why that should not have happened:
1) That’s a Washington paper. Please have someone who knows Washington sports edit the Washington sports section.
2) In the article, an inch from the erroneous picture, the text reads that Washington’s Sykora “SHARES THE SAME NAME AS ANAHEIM’S STAR PLAYER.” (OK, I added the capitalization.) They took the picture off the Web site late in the day it was published, but it is forever available for public ridicule in any copy of October 4’s Post.

Yahoo! Sports has apparently decided to combine the two Sykoras into one super-Sykora, as anytime you click the hyperlinked name of either Petr in a game recap, such as the recap of the Caps’ shootout win over Tampa Bay last night (check the fifth paragraph), it takes you to a hybrid Sykora profile. The stats are of the Duck, the picture is of the Duck, but the “recent news” includes Capitals recaps and Ducks recaps. To make matters more confusing, if you click the Petr Sykora link in the “Game Winning Goal” box in the Caps-Lightning recap linked above, it takes you to a profile of Sykora the Cap with his stats, but no photo and no “recent news.”

CBS Sportsline and ESPN.com both make the same mistake, which is using a new picture of Sykora the Duck in Sykora the Cap’s profile, while using an old picture of Sykora the Duck in Sykora the Duck’s profile. Confused yet? To make matters worse, check out the picture CBS Sportsline is using for Sykora the Cap’s profile:



OK, wait just a damn minute. You mean to tell me that some brilliant young journalistic mind (the intern they have doing this crap), saw this and said, "OK, allow me to find the press photos of the Petr Sykoras. Looking, looking, looking... OH! Here's one with big hair in a purple jersey. That's the Ducks' Sykora, clearly. Ah! And here's one in a jersey with a big Duck on it ... hmmmmmm ... that must be the Capitals' Sykora." At least ESPN.com cuts the HUGE MIGHTY DUCKS LOGO out of the picture!

For comparison, here’s the picture CBS Sportsline is using in Sykora the Duck’s profile:



As you can clearly see, the “real” Sykora has gotten a haircut and become much less pixilated since that first picture.

I’m sure that’s not all of the Sykora-Sykora confusion, so if you find anything else, post the hilarity. In the meantime, we’ll see if the media can get this all sorted out while we sit back and laugh at them.

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