(Republished after some grammar errors corrected)
Its been a very strange few days. As somewhat of a wannabe English major and one-time journalistic hopeful, its hard to believe the situation that I have been put in. For those of you that don’t know, which is probably most everyone, I took a few photos of a misprint that I found on the Prince of Wales Trophy at the Blackhawks Annual Convention. Upon noticing the Typo, which had the Washington Capitals as the Eastern Conference Champions rather than the Flyers, I was perplexed. I looked around for a friendly looking face and asked for confirmation that, in fact, I was correct in what I saw. I literally thought that I must have been a bit looney. But A nice family shared my confusion, and it was confirmed.
Only minutes later, as I waited in line for a Duncan Keith Autograph, I tweeted every local celebrity in the sports world, as most were attending the event. I told them all in one way or another to go check out the trophy, which was readily available to all. This gave them all a day and half to go and have a look at the evidence themselves. Im sure that they recieve alot of tweets everyday, and for the most part are unable to respond or act upon them immediately. I did feel that SOMEONE, ANYONE, would go take some photos like myself. I even tweeted some people in the Philadelphia media, at that point just hoping they would look into it. (All this can be confirmed by reading my tweets from July 31st, or day two of the Blackhawks Convention)
I kept up my effort even after the event was over. To my surprise, the RocktheRed.com website picked up the story (http://rockthered.net/2010-articles/july/the-prince-of-wales-trophy-engraving-error.html), which I thought would lead to something more. What it lead to was, at first, a Yahoo Sports Blog which questioned the integrity of the photos (http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/The-great-Prince-of-Wales-Trophy-engraving-error?urn=nhl-261274). One thing this culture loves is cynicism, and its hilarious how many random opinions thought that “of course they were photoshopped.” These are the same type of people who like to act like they know there is more going on behind the scenes than anyone knows, in any scenario. Even such a mundane scenario as the one in question. Its better to act as if you are aware of a conspiracy rather than to get embarrassed if one indeed is being perpetrated unknowingly. I. E. Its what the cool kids act like.
Anyway, a very ignorant article was written by CSNPhilly(http://www.csnphilly.com/08/09/10/Debunking-the-Prince-of-Wales-Trophy-Hoa/landing_flyerandice.html?blockID=286541&feedID=6572), which used a “photoshop expert” who wasn’t named, and analysis not proven. It took the word of the Hockey Hall of Fame, who couldnt just take a current photo to end all of the speculation right there and then. It went on to say decisively that it wasn’t real and the photos were somehow altered. Despite the fact, that I reported it right away, took shots from many angles, and then immediately uploaded them from my phone, they had to be altered, right? Not to mention that I don’t own a computer, and rely on my droid for all my internet connections. ( I had to go to my parents house 30 miles away to finally reach a computer and write this.) And after all these omissions, the most glaring error had to have been the fact that I tried to reach the reporter in question by twitter, email, and the comments section of the article. No response, at all. None. I am the source of the whole story in question, does it not make sense to speak to the person who took the photos, AS A JOURNALIST. Pretty bush league if you ask me, especially considering that my character was in question as a direct result. Her twitter is @sbaicker, if you’d like to question her, even as she failed to do so to me.
It’s a very strange position for me to be in, considering that I was the one who was growing frustrated at all the hearsay and rumors in response to the Antti Niemi situation. I was the one who went out of my way to compliment a few of the folks who had not jumped the gun via twitter, and reported a false rumor. How the tables have turned on me.
I also want to make this clear that the original article, written by Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! sports, was not defamatory in any way. It was an open question that he was searching for the answers to. I also was very impressed that he called me and did an impromptu interview to gather information like a true journalist. He also did not jump to a conclusion and call it false, without enough information to do so. I am hoping he will break the story when there is proof, and he deserves most of the credit, no matter who ultimately breaks it definitively.
Heres a few things to take a look at while forming your opinion. I have a photoshop expert @tfgot that spent time analyzing the photos down to the code (http://regex.info/exif.cgi?dummy=on&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gonrad.com%2F201008%2Foriginal.jpg). His opinion is that they are not doctored in any way (“@TFGot @ChiBDM EXIF photo data suggests your images are real.”). I thank him very much, and I urge people to check out his twitter page to see his detailed and very complete analysis. This is a total stranger, who in fact was a little miffed that I was unable to understand the computer jargon at first. Clearly someone who has nothing to gain no matter what he reports, and also no reason to want them to be real. Another thing is that recently, someone in the comment section of the Yahoo! article came forward and shared that he had seen the same error at the convention. I’m sure if I can get this more exposure, then more people will come out and confirm it. But the easiest way to do this would be to have the Hockey Hall of Fame just take a current photo, or at least to explain that there is a reason that the Washington Capitals would be included. If this could take place, then I could continue on and keep my integrity intact. Let’s be honest, this would be a pretty difficult prank to pull off, and without any particular reason. No, I don’t hate Chris Pronger enough to pull this stunt. In fact, I admire Philly. They had us at our final wits, and it seemed as if they were on the verge of taking over the series. Quite an accomplishment for a 7th seed. I will always have great respect for them.
I realize that ultimately this is a small matter. I assume its human error. This is absolutely no conspiracy. It was an interesting, funny story before it took this turn toward the absurd. The most important thing for me is to prove to a certain population that have heard my name attached to a media perversion, that I am not guilty of whats been accused. Please don’t let my name be under attack. It means more to me than you think. Thank you so much for listening.