OK, I know I shouldn't be complaining this much about something so stupidly inconsequential, but I can't just let it go. I wrote a pretty long essay about NASCAR a few days ago, and how it is a very sophisticated an complex sport that, given a chance, would appeal to intellectual sports fans.
Trying their damndest to prove me wrong though, are the journalists of NASCAR.com. While most articles on there are merely race recaps or well-written news items, the editorial staff on the site often fails to reach the level you would expect for the Official Website of a Major Sport.
Actually, I'm being unfair. There are four opinion columnists - Mark Aumann, Dave Rodman, Dave Caraviello and Raygan Swan. Three of them are pretty good, or at least tolerable. They have a grasp of the English language, do enough research to add depth to their articles and only speculate when they are commenting on an area of personal expertise. But one gives us sentences like this:
But after hearing Golich's explanation of why Edwards was able to drive a car with a dislocated thumb before the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard last season made me a believer.
Not only does that 'sentence' start with SEVEN(7) prepositional phrases, it fails to actually create an English thought. Without the phrases, it reads "But made me a believer."
I am not a journalist. I am not an English teacher. I shouldn't care, and I wouldn't if this reporter had accidentally thrown this nugget into a well-researched journalistic endeavor. But this is a journalist on staff at NASCAR.com who (presumably) gets paid to write. I know she can write decent news articles, like this one on Jamie Hayes tragically losing an uncle, which even features correct usage of a semicolon. Twice. Maybe she read the article in the Times last month about that. But her opinion pieces often read like essays from the rejection pile at a high school paper.
Some are better than others, like the recent one interviewing an actress in the Kasey Kahne/Allstate commercials, but others leave me wondering about the efficacy of the Indiana State University Journalism department.
Maybe I'm expecting too much from someone who lists her favorite food as "McDonalds No. 2 go-large". Maybe I'm expecting too much from someone tasked with writing softer-side fluff pieces for NASCAR fans. If I were a journalist, I'd maybe do some more research, and point out examples, and close this entry with a conclusion or thought, or purge this entry of misplaced and dangling modifiers or unclear pronoun references and run-on sentences, but I'm not, and she is.