Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Can Make Wikipedia A Gooder Product

This idea started back in January, when Craig and I were discussing the Najeh Davenport incident. Oddly, Craig had a buddy who knew quite a bit about the situation, and passed along the following information: It took place at something called Barry University, and it's even mentioned on the Barry University Wikipedia page. This got me thinking.

In reality, Barry University is mostly known for the Najeh Davenport incident - besides that, nobody's ever heard of the place. So, even though the story about Davenport dumping in a girl's dorm room laundry basket was mentioned on Barry University's Wikipedia page, it isn't the opening line - which has something to do with unimportant crap like enrollment and alumni.

Anyway, there are a ton of people who are only known for one thing, but the opening line on their Wikipedia page doesn't acknowledge it. Five examples:

1. Chip Beck - Look, the guy once shot a 59, and that's the only thing casual sports fans have ever known about him. But the opening line mentions, among other things, how many runner-ups he had on the PGA Tour. Hogwash! The dude shot a 59, and that's the only thing that makes him relevant.

2. Dale Long - Not a year goes by when, after some slugger hits HRs in five consecutive games, I'm reminded ad nauseum that Dale Long, Ken Griffey Jr and Don Mattingly share the all-time record with eight. But no, his opening line says something about batting left-handed.

(Note: Dale Long also played some catcher, which isn't necessarily weird until you consider he threw with his left hand. My hero. All in all, for a guy with a nondescript playing career, that boy got some uniqueness)

(Note No. 2: Some genius still needs to explain to me why left-handed catchers are obsolete.)

3. Cap Boso - Okay, this one makes me want to blow up the Internet. Quick...what do you think of when I say Cap Boso? Unstoppable force in the original Tecmo Bowl, right? Well, not according to Wikipedia, which doesn't even mention Boso's video game prowess. Apparently the author of Boso's Wikipedia page thought we wanted to know that he was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

4. Addyston, Ohio - Ask any Cincinnatian about Addyston, and they'll tell you the same thing: That's the neighborhood where - in the late 90's - Jeff Blake got pulled over for erratic driving, offered up a fishy story and supposedly passed field sobriety tests...followed by an escort home by a cop who broke a bunch of rules to do so (and was subsequently fired). That's why we know Addyston...not because of their population.

5. Sean Brewer - Sean Brewer might be the only 3rd round NFL draft pick of the 21st century not to have a Wikipedia page. While I can agree his playing career in Cincinnati wasn't particularly noteworthy (one season, three games, ZERO receptions), he's been the topic of conversation in countless Cincinnati watering holes. Consider: (a.) He was a known cigarette smoker, (b.) he wasn't even a distinguished pass catcher at San Jose State, where he should have dominated, (c.) he was coveted by Mike Brown, even though he wasn't on many team's draft boards and (e.) he was out of football after his second year. Akili Smith will always be considered the worst draft pick in franchise history, but Sean Brewer is in serious contention for the No. 2 spot - at least in the Mike Brown era.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)