Detroit Media Jinxes Red Wings!

Seems the Free Press Forgot About the Boston Globe and the 'Unbeatable Patriots'

By Published on .

As both a copy editor and a lifelong Detroit Red Wings hockey fan, I was appalled to see this today on the website of the Detroit Free Press. Apparently the paper, like many other media outlets, is soliciting user-generated content: a headline to top its story about the Wings winning the National Hockey League's ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.

The problem is, the Wings haven't won it yet. They still need to notch one more victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sure, they get three tries to do it, starting tonight -- they're ahead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Only one team has ever come back to win the Cup after being down 3-1 in the finals, but guess who was on the losing end. And taking a game from Sidney "The Next Gretzky" Crosby and Co. is like finding a Nielsen household tuned to the NHL playoffs: It ain't all that easy. You've heard of the Curse of the Bambino? How about the Hex of the Headline?

Many people don't know this, but reporters don't write the headlines for their stories; copy editors do that. And we here at Ad Age, at least, aren't about to give up the job to our readers, no matter how brilliant they might be. Big stories like this are the ones we live for. You should've seen us when we came up with "Unruly Julie."

That said, the Free Press copy editors have gotten some pretty solid suggestions from online commenters. I just hope tomorrow they don't have to go with one from diane918: "Parade Delayed."

I won't be earning my Ad Age salary if I don't get in at least one grammar gripe before I go. The Free Press headlined its request "Heads Up -- Write Our Stanley Cup-Winning Headline." Now, no matter what headline the paper chooses, it isn't about to win the Stanley Cup.

Detroit is.

Guess we know which headline suggestion was picked this morning.
Guess we know which headline suggestion was picked this morning.

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