You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Decline of the Headline Writer

Monday, a Philadelphia Phillies fan, who'd apparently had too much Mountain Dew too drink, made his way onto the field at Citizens Bank Park for a jaunt.  He managed to evade security personnel for a while, via a series of squirrel-like movements, until he was finally tasered by a security officer.

This in itself is not particularly newsworthy, apart from the opportunity to regurgitate a few cheap "don't tase me, bro" lines. What's disappointing is the headline the AP or Yahoo! News decided to give the story: "Phillies fan tasered after running onto field." Yawn.

That's the best they could do? There was once a time in the storied history of yellow journalism when a mundane and humdrum event like this could summon up a dash of creativity from an enterprising headline writer.  Where's the spice in that headline?  Where are the nerve-twitchingly insipid puns and barely-family newspaper double-entendres? The appropriately awful alliteration? Why not something like one of the following?

"Phillies Fan Fried Following Footrace on Field"

"Shocking Events on the Field Leave Phillies Fan Incapacitated"

"Buzzed Fan Gets Buzzed on the Field"*

"Phillies Security Give One Lucky Fan the Shock of a Lifetime"

"Citizens Bank Park Sees Franklin Lightning Experiment Repeated with a Twist"

"Phillies Fan Gives Security the Runaround, Is Eventually Taken Down"

"Dolt Gets a Jolt from a Bolt at Phillies Game"

"Down Goes Phillies Fan! Down Goes Phillies Fan!"

"On-field Dash Leaves Phillies Fan with Tingling Sensation"

*On Mountain Dew or whatnot. The fan was a juvenile, so presumably he wasn't throwing back Buds.

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