Take Five: London, Luther, lazy reporting



The Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) shoots over the Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea (5) during the first half at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Nov. 20, 2017. (Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

By Brandon Glass | Staff Writer

In the age of media saturation, a lot happens in the sports world in a short amount of time. At the Pitt News, we’re embarking on a journey to pick the five most enticing sports headlines each week. This week, staff writer Brandon Glass shares a few of the highlights and lowlights, from Pittsburgh to across the pond.

In the Face of Defeat, Shoot Your Shot

During the Pitt men’s basketball game Wednesday night, the Panthers met defeat at the hands of the No. 7 Blue Devils. The game wasn’t close — not for a second —  not even while the teams were in the layup line. But that didn’t stop junior forward Jared Wilson-Frame from shooting his shot. Wilson-Frame ended the night 1-9 from there — not great, but it showed the kind of aggression this young Panthers team needs going forward.

Injuries Suck

It looks like senior forward Ryan Luther’s senior season at Pitt is done. The stat sheet stuffer suffered an injury to his right foot. It’s the same foot that gave him troubles last season. Each year of his career at Pitt, Luther has seen his playing time and production on the floor increase. Last season, he filled the holes the team needed filled as the sixth man. This season was Luther’s first as a starter, where he averaged 12.7 points and 10 rebounds a game. With Luther on the shelf, the Panthers’ bleak season got, well, bleaker.

An Olympic Achievement

In a win for equality, the first openly gay male figure skater, Adam Rippon, qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea. Rippon is also the first openly gay American Winter Olympian. Hopefully, in the near future this story will be the norm and not the exception. Rippon gave a memorable quote when asked about what it’s like to be a gay athlete. “I said that it’s exactly like being a straight athlete. Lots of hard work but usually done with better eyebrows.”

Marcus Smart, Good Guy

The NBA sent its current and former stars out to London for cups of tea and a basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday. The trip was prime promotional time for the league. Both teams feature rosters full of young stars and international talent with six foreign players each. The Celtics came back from down 22 points to win, 114-103. The real star of the week, though, is Celtics guard Marcus Smart. An article put out by ESPN Thursday details the relationship between the hard-nosed defender and 16-year-old cancer survivor Sammy Dubois. If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming pick-me-up, it’s a fine place to start.

Think Before You Tweet

Quick! Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have traded Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros. Or have they? News broke Wednesday via Twitter that the Pirates pitcher was traded. The hot take artists hurried to make their voices heard, only for Thursday to roll around and no trade to have taken place. The sports Twitter complex has taken following sports passionately to an entirely new level. Phrases such as NBA Twitter, MLB Twitter and NFL Twitter have taken off in the casual sports fan’s lexicon. Though, for all the innovation, the accuracy of reporting hasn’t necessarily increased.

If anything, it’s decreased. Any article a reporter tweets could spell out the writer’s true intention, but studies have shown over half of people share links based on the headline. Snap decisions and opinions are formed by headlines. False narratives are formed based entirely on the fact that a headline was designed to generate clicks. The demand for speed and flash, at times, has lead to misreported and misunderstood stories.