Touching All the Bases

That Weird Joe Haggerty Column on the Bruins, and Why Being Tired is Not A Legitimate Excuse

Say this for Comcast SportsNet New England's Joe Haggerty: He certainly found a unique and memorable angle in writing about the Bruins' 4-2 loss to the Canadiens Tuesday night.

Haggerty's column on Game 3 was ... well, weird, that's what it was, and we're using past tense only because CSNNE finally edited and condensed the non-sequitur-laden piece at around 8 a.m. this morning, or roughly six hours after it was originally posted.

But that was a few hours too late to prevent the story from generating buzz online -- Deadspin, naturally, was quick to pick up on it -- as well as on the morning sports radio shows.

Here are three of the more puzzling lines, which have since been vaporized from the piece by CSNNE but will live on forever somewhere online.

These are listed in order of what-the-hell-does-that-mean? strangeness:

"I didn't see it, but I was on the other side of a hockey rink, was standing there this time around," said the 13-year-old girls. (Patrice Bergeron. "We need to do a better job of stopping that. In definitely wasn't the effort that we want, and now we've got the results.

Thirteen-year-old girls? Say what now? How does that even make it in accidentally?

So the lack of immediate family perhaps explains Dougie Hamilton's puzzling decision to speed across the ice to take out puck carrier Lars Eller, and in doing so free up a wide open lane for Subban to break in all alone on the Boston net.

For the record, his dad's name is Doug, his mom is Lynn, and they met while competing in the 1984 Summer Olympics. He also has a brother, Freddie. He reportedly considers them immediate.

One would be expected as the Bruins go back to the drawing boast [sic, obviously board, easy typo to make] in Game 3, and Giardi potentially keeps along that roadway while Dan Roche isn't around to lay down his hammer on the league.

In all seriousness -- and there is seriousness to this offense, as bizarrely amusing as it is -- I think I can understand how some of this could happen.

I've had notes or reminders publish on columns I've written before, albeit to a far less curious degree than this. It's embarrassing, and it reveals that you are not reading your own work as closely as you should. It's exposure of your own carelessness. CSNNE acknowledged as much in this statement via a spokesperson:

"At 2AM this morning, there was a breakdown in our editorial process that unfortunately led to the posting of a draft story from Joe Haggerty that contained some unintelligible references. We apologize for the error, which is not reflective of our high standards, and are working to ensure that this does not happen again."

Still, the reader was left wondering how this could happen, and it's yet to be fully explained. Did he write it on his phone and feel the wrath of auto-correct? Was it a voice-recognition system like Dragon Naturally Speaking? Was he sick? And where were his editors, that last line of defense, to save him?

Haggerty, who has not responded to requests seeking comment, tweeted this morning that it happened because he was ... tired:

He explained further after calling into 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich program at approximately 10 a.m.:

I think I was in some sort of dream-like state while I was falling asleep at the keyboard in writing that because I was doing it at like 1 or 2 oclock in the morning after being at the rink at 8:30 a.m. and not getting done with TV until midnight, said Haggerty,

He said he could not explain the 13-year-old girls reference and that he had "no idea what was going on there" with the Giardi and Roche references.

I hit send, I hoped for the best and thought Id wake up to a heavily edited piece the next morning,'' said Haggerty. "That was not the case."

Any writer worth his or her Marriott points knows better than to blame an editor in such a situation. The writer chooses the words; thus, the writer owns them.

And Haggerty's explanation that he was tired, while undoubtedly true, shouldn't and surely does not cut it with many other Bruins reporters in Montreal who filed well-considered, well-written copy on deadline while wondering why that third cup of coffee was having no effect.

Some of them surely filed, after a fast, disciplined proofread, while exhausted and falling asleep at the keyboard.

It's a strange story in every sense. After-the-fact editing and chuckle-and-shrug explanations that leave many questions unanswered don't change that.

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