Not that hockey needs more people who don't care about it, or that we need to tell you about the ever growing number of people who like to remind us that they don't care, but the sport just got a few more of the aforementioned folks thanks to Sports Illustrated's awkward blog based offspring, FanNation.com.
For the record, I'm not talking about the actual Sports Illustrated website. The people over there do a bang up job, especially Alan Muir, whom I have professed my man love for in the past. Their new devil child, Fan Nation, not so much.
Look, people make mistakes. It's not a big deal. It happens. It's just that when you continually make the same mistake, it makes it look like you're either dumb or that you flat out don't care about what you are doing. The latter might be the case for the folks who run the NHL section over at Fan Nation. They seem to have a bit of a problem identifying pictures of hockey players.
No, not the Denis Arkhipovs and the Todd Fedoruks of the NHL, whom even to avid hockey fans, are not that recognizeable. As it turns out, Fan Nation has a problem identifying the Ryan Smyths and Teemu Selannes of the league. You know, the guys who you would probably recognize if you paid attention to the NHL for the last, oh, month of the season (see picture here).
Maybe you could just blame most of this on the Washington Capitals' newest addition, center Nicklas Backstrom. After all, he didn't do anybody a favor by naming himself within one letter of Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom (who will be referred to as Wild Bill Backstrom from now on, cause it sounds ridiculously cool). Fan Nation didn't have a problem posting a blurb about Nicklas' new contract with the Caps on May 17 (I will refer to him as Backstrom Prime from now on, to help make this all a bit easier and pay tribute to the new Transformers movie). Still with me?
Alas, the NHL just isn't big enough for Wild Bill Backstrom (the one who stops pucks) and Backstrom Prime (the one who shoots pucks). On May 26, when the Wild made their first move to court Wild Bill Backstrom, Fan Nation had a little hiccup. Backstrom Prime, the wrong Backstrom, appeared on the website. Ok, big deal. They made a mistake. Shit happens.
As Lee Corso would say, 'not so fast, my friend.'
Fast forward to June 7th, the day after Anaheim won the Stanley Cup. An article about whether or not Teemu Selanne will retire is posted on Fan Nation. Teemu Selanne's face? Nowhere to be found. No one is really certain who it is, but the person who was pictured next to the article appears to be a North American fellow (certainly not Selanne) with a dirty blonde colored beard. Commenters speculate that the man pictured is possibly Travis Moen or Todd Marchant. Apparently, something as simple as copying the description that the AP writes for a photo, isn't all that easy.
Later in the day, an article was posted pertaining to a rumor about Ryan Smyth having a hand in Alexei Yashin's departure from Long Island. Ladies and gentleman, meet Brendan Witt as does his best impression to portray Captain Canada. All you have to do to be Ryan Smyth is have long hair and wear a blue jersey, apparently.
The nail in the coffin, if you will, would be the repetition of a prior mistake. Today, June 8th, the cycle is completed when Backstrom Prime appears in another article about Wild Bill Backstrom. Worst of all, the folks reading the article aren't so sure that what they are reading is actually news, or a rumor for that matter.
Sure, it's really not a big deal, but you would think that Fan Nation would fix their errors after a few weeks, or after their commenters notice. Yes, it's just a bunch of mislabeled photos. The problem is though, that it does a disservice to all the journalists/bloggers/webmasters/other webish people (I think I just created a new word) out there who do their best, check their facts and crop their photos.
Update: I guess they never saw this post, cause they're still at it.