TAMPA BAY, FL—Last night’s game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers featured a Matt Garza no-hitter for the record books.
In a season rife with no-hitters pitched (four already this season before last night), ESPN distinguished Garza by naming him the first player named Matt Garza to pitch a no-hitter. Many sports fans and journalists were displeased by the overly specific new factoid, citing that all no-hitters are uniquely remarkable. However, an anonymous ESPN reporter defended the superlative description of Garza’s achievement:
“We’re a network that broadcasts content 24/7. Imagine that. We don’t even have a break in the wee hours for infomercials. So we have to get creative and find ways to make athletes seem more important than they really are. It’s the best we can do without making [stuff] up.”
Despite the reporter’s headstrong response, it is likely that the requested anonymity is an admission of embarrassment about the lengths to which news media goes to differentiate itself while reporting the same news to which everyone has access.
Phone calls to ESPN’s brass were not returned to discuss this issue further. When senior anchor Stuart Scott’s secretary answered the phone, she said that he was “off somewhere co-opting outdated sayings that black people made popular,” inadvertently explaining how some of the network’s most successful sportscasters disguise their lack of original content with…well…a lack of originality.