Tonight, I spotted this note from the Associated Press on Twitter.
Ah, great! An interactive look at Super Bowl history. That would be a fun read tonight. So I gave it a look-see. That particular link the AP offered sent me to the web site of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where I settled in for a look at 45 years of game recaps.
Only to find my recap turned to crap.
First of all, the “previous” and “next” arrows didn’t work. Click on one — or hell, just hover over the button — and the 45 recap pages scroll across your screen faster than you could ever read them. Your only chance, really, is to click the individual years that run across the top of the presentation.
Secondly, the panels themselves will unexpectedly jump on you, even if you’re not hovering over the “previous” or “next” buttons. I’m in the middle of reading about the Packers’ win over the Patriots in 1997 — my first year in Chicago — and suddenly, I’m looking at something that happened nearly ten years later.
Thirdly, I found errors. Factual errors. A couple of them involve incorrect photos. Like, for instance, this panel showing Super Bowl XXII in 1988 accidentally uses a picture of the Giants’ Phil Simms from 1987.
This one, though, really baffled me.
First of all, those are neither the teams nor the score of Super Bowl XXIX. The 49ers beat the Chargers that year 49-26.
Steve Young — the gentleman in the picture — was indeed named Most Valuable Player. But he didn’t play for the Packers. Nor were the Packers in that game. He played for the 49ers.
Fed up already, I zipped back over to Twitter and gave the AP a piece of my mind.
Hey, I’m glad the AP is creating interactives and distributing them to member papers. But all the fancy interactives in the world do you no good at all if they’re buggy and inaccurate.
Seriously, AP. This one obviously didn’t get a thorough check from your copy desk.
And member papers: Think twice before you post this one your web site.
More to the point, contact the AP and demand better quality than this. Your readers deserve it, don’t you think?
UPDATE -11:30 p.m.
Journal Sentinel A1 design guru Ed Brud tells me his paper’s web folks have removed the presentation from their web site. You can still find it, though, on the AP web site.