by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
Hey there. Did I get you? Did the headline pull you in?
I’m taking advantage of April Fool’s Day to make couple of quick comments about headlines, if I may.
Awesome, I thought. Perfect. Bill Belichick has done it again.
Then I clicked on the story to see that the stud in question was Marcus Stroud, who has all of 29.5 sacks in his 10-year career. Nothing against Stroud, but the only way his name and “stud” should appear in the same sentence would be if he a) gets in a time machine or b) takes up horse breeding.
Yet there I was, reading a page that I would have ignored had the headline read “Pats Sign Stroud.” It’s all about the ability to catch eyeballs, or – at the very least – catch and release.
Headlines should entertain and inform, not mislead. The best one I’ve seen recently came after Jimmer Fredette’s BYU team lost to Florida: “A Night To Fredette.” Makes looking through the sports section more fun, even online.
Tip-offs to a fake headline include big statements you haven’t seen anywhere else and question marks.
Let’s say you see “Tom Brady To New York?” That means either someone with zero credibility is discussing a fantasy trade, or the QB has tentative plans to head into Manhattan. Move on, folks. Nothing to see.
So, despite rumors to the contrary, sports media personality Michael Felger does not wear stiletto heels while staring at his Leni Riefenstahl movie poster. (And if he does, hey, no harm done. Right?)
We promise to avoid running headlines like that again. Unless this one pulls in big numbers, of course.
Email Chris Warner at email@example.com