NOTE: Just as remider as what to what the term veridiction means. It is the act of verifying predictions. I feel that folks out there in the opinion-making business often say things because they can, but no one ever calls them on their predictions.
So, with the NCAA basketball tournaments starting up this week, I thought I would offer up this post.
With aplogies to Erich Segal, but being a sportswriter means never having to say you’re sorry (or wrong).
Today’s example is Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins.
In the March 11 edition of The Washington Post, sports columnist Sally Jenkins, writing about the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team 69-49 victory over the South Florida Bulls in the Big East tournament puts on her Oracle of Delphi hat and muses:
It [the victory] was good enough to advance to the quarterfinals, but will it be enough to fend off top-seeded Syracuse in the next round? Probably not.
And here’s the headline from the March 12 edition of the same newspaper:
HOYAS PEEL OFF EARLY SURPRISE
Georgetown tops Syracuse, 91-84, advances to semis against Marquette
Watch this space for Jenkins’s mea culpa, but don’t hold your breath.
As with most opinion-makers, she is planning on the fact that the reader, suffering from information overload, will not even remember what she wrote less than a day after she was incorrect. Yes, she can hide behind the fact that she used the qualifying sentence, “Probably not”, in her prediction, but at the end of the day, her piece was her opinion that the Hoyas cagers could not defeat Syracuse. And she was wrong.
Just to show that I, too, can be a sportswriter and make up my own prognostications in print, let me offer up my predictions of who will be in the Final Four for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Men: Georgetown, Xavier, West Virginia, Duke
Women: Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford, Nebraska
For me, predicting the outcome of sports games is a great escape. When I predict that the Rams will beat the Eagles and I am wrong (as I often am, which is why I don’t gamble – thanks for asking), nothing happens. In my real life, I work as a software tester and if I opine that a piece of software works well and it doesn’t, the result is not merely that I get to shrug and say, “Well, I did say it probably would work”. In my real life, if I am wrong, incorrect software can cost money, equipment, productivity, and even worse.