Presenting The Single Worst Piece Of Sports Journalism From Super Bowl XLIVS

The headline on ESPN.com is "Papa John's founder John Schnatter feeds me pizza." Then things get really stupid.

Lynn Hoppes is ESPN.com's senior director of Page 2 and commentary, in which capacity he has been filing small-bore dispatches from Miami in advance of the Super bowl. Dispatches like this one, which I'll just go ahead and quote in full:

I hate pizza.

That's not a secret to those who know me.

But I told Papa John's founder John Schnatter that.

He was walking around the Super Bowl media workroom passing out slices for live television shows.

When I told him the news that I wasn't interested, he stood there, gave a big smile and then did his damndest to convince me to try a piece.

"Pizza is nutritious. It has all natural ingredients. And it's delicious," said Schnatter, who created Papa John's from the ground up in 1984.

I know everyone loves pizza.

I know Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the pizza industry, with more than 30 million pizza slices consumed while watching the game.

I know that 93 percent of Americans eat a slice of pizza at least once a month.

"I still eat pizza three or four times a week," Schnatter said. "I'm just passionate about the product."

But not me.

So I tried a piece.

I'm not saying I love pizza now.

But hate is probably too strong of a word.

Now, everyone knows the Super Bowl is where good journalism goes to die. (I believe it's buried somewhere in the cleavage of the correspondent from TV Azteca.) But this one — in its mixture of indifferent prose, trifling subject matter, and unabashed corporate shilling — is truly singular in its awfulness. Hoppes travels from "I hate pizza" to "But hate is probably too strong of a word" in just a few sponsor-friendly lines — 14 of them, to be exact, as if he were composing a sonnet to bad journalism.

Papa John's founder John Schnatter feeds me pizza [ESPN.com]