How Many Things Can You Find Wrong with This Article?

Teed-off pro golfer who killed hawk in Orlando area apologizes

Here are the problems I found (from top of the article to bottom):

  1. That being convicted of “killing a migratory bird” is punishable by up to a year in prison.
  2. The quote: “It’s just senseless when people kill wildlife when they are doing nothing but being themselves.” So when I have a cougar trying to get its jaws around my throat, I should just, what, relax and enjoy the ride?
  3. The idea that eyewitnesses actually counted how many attempts the golfer made to kill the bird. Did *every* eyewitness say it was ten?
  4. The fact that he was doing a spot for a video called “Play Like a Pro” — so if I really want to play like a pro, I guess I need to learn how to target-drive balls at migratory birds…
  5. That there’s someone in the world that thinks that a good way to scare off a noisy bird is to start hitting golf balls at it.
  6. The idea that adopting three cats necessarily qualifies one as a lover of all animals, including birds.
  7. That the copy-editor let this get through: “300yards” (without the space).
  8. Presenting the sound engineer who was also the guy responsible for turning the golfer in for the incident as an objective arbiter in deciding whether the bird’s sound was “extreme”.
  9. That the golfer made the film crew wait 10 minutes for him to try and scare the bird by hitting golf balls at it.
  10. The fact that the writer of the article didn’t source the “10 minute” time period.
  11. The fact that neither the writer nor her editor seem to know that you need to put a space between the numerals and the units when giving distances: “75yards”. Buy an AP Style Guide, I’m pretty sure that’s in there.
  12. That the 152nd-ranked PGA golfer made $471,000 last year.
  13. That the writer also failed to source the $471,000 claim…
  14. The idea that someone would (or did) yell the sentence “I didn’t think I would hit it”. Most sentences with two verbs or more remain un-yelled.
  15. The amount of melodrama that the sound engineer managed to pack into this statement to “wildlife officials”: “The bird was on his back, bleeding from his nostrils, his mouth was opening and closing slowly, and it was looking up at me as people ran over. I saw its eyes slowly close, and I was pretty sure that the bird had died.”

    I took his pulse — it was faint, but his heart was still beating. “C’mon, little bird,” I said slowly, but I knew he wouldn’t make it. I stroked his feathers and he opened his eyes again, called to me weak and pleading: “kee-aah … kee-aah”. In the distance, I heard the screeches of other hawks, the family of the fallen, scanning the treetops in hopes of finding their loved one, their brother, their friend. If only they knew. If only I could tell them. If only they could be here with him. One. Last. Time.

    A tear fell slowly from my face and onto his beak. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “For what we’ve done. Please forgive me. Forgive my kind.” The bird stared at me, furrowing its brow and licking its lips, then nodded. You, I forgive, it seemed to say. You I forgive. It nuzzled my wrist and I scratched its belly and as the warm Florida wind bent the bluegrass and the sun’s red rays stretched across the horizon, my animal friend coughed once, turned its head, then closed its eyes. One. Last. Time.

    So I killed the golfer with a chainsaw.

  16. That any part of this is considered newsworthy.

Humanity’s only hope is colonizing the asteroids. Hurry.



  • Ian

    Unfortunately, I believe the penalty for golfing in the asteroid belt is 40 years hard labor. So we’re probably screwed there, too.

    Great table, btw.


  • telkontar

    I deem BKD to be MST 3K on life.

    Who will speak for the raptors? Someone speaks for them.

    But who reported the rabbits who cheered the end of a vicious predator of innocent bunnies. Who speaks for the lagomorpha?

    Good thing I wasn’t drinking while reading this.