Look closely at this past Saturday’s sports page of the Washington County (Penn.) Observer-Reporter. There’s something off about that photo accompanying a recap of the game between between Peters Township and North Hills.
Direct your eyes toward the background of the image, and there you’ll find...
Some mischievous soul put googly eyes on the football player. Classic. That expression just screams “AAAAHHHH!”
In the interest of moving the story forward, I emailed the newspaper to see if someone there had any comment or explanation on how the googly-eyed football player came to be. Judging from the exchange, I might have been the one breaking the news to them.
Samer Kalaf <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mon, Sep 23, 3:29 PM
Hi, I’m a writer at Deadspin. We got a tip about a funny photo that was accidentally published in the sports section of Saturday’s edition of the Observer-Reporter. I couldn’t find a masthead on the site, but I was wondering how to contact the sports editor to figure out what happened. I can be reached at this email or at [phone number].
Mon, Sep 23, 3:36 PM
We are looking through Saturday’s edition and can’t seem to find any photo that was accidentally published. They all look OK to us. The sport editor’s name is Chris Dugan and he can be reached at [email] or [phone number]. The sports department doesn’t come in until after 3:30 p.m. if you’re looking to call Chris.
Thanks for reaching out. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Mon, Sep 23, 3:44 PM
to dugan, OR
Sorry, I should’ve been more specific. I’m talking about the googly eyes on the player in the background of the photo on the sports front page. I’ve attached screenshots and CCed Chris.
Mon, Sep 23, 5:04 PM
to OR, dugan
Hi, just wanted to check in again. How’d the googly eye version of the photo come to be published?
If I hear back from someone at the Observer-Reporter, I’ll provide an update.
Update (3:11 p.m. ET): A couple of readers have suggested a convincing theory about the googly eyes being the result of a red-eye removal mishap. From commenter Walrus:
My bet? He was trying to remove red eye and did it ... poorly. No. 55 in red also has some business going on with his eyes as well. I’ll be you this isn’t a guy making a joke, or accidentally publishing his joke, it’s a sports editor with insufficient photoshop training trying his best!
And from commenter drivingmsdaisycrazy:
I’m a former newspaper photographer, and have covered more high school football games than I care to remember. And this looks like somebody applied a redeye filter on the photo without checking the results. You can tweak the filters to make the eyeslook natural, but that obviously didn’t happen here. This is shot with a telephoto lens and on-camera flash, which is a recipe for getting tons of redeye.
H/t to HarryKanine