Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that, oh, Mike Lupica wrote a story for Esquire in which he discussed a concept he had discovered "on the Internet" called "The Ewing Theory." He then wrote a whole 4,000-word piece in which he borrowed heavily from the "Internet concept," but never actually mentioned whose concept it was. Just that it was found "on the Web," like, as we mentioned when Colin Cowherd did something similar this year, like "he was walking down the street and happened to spot it in the gutter." Don't you think Bill Simmons would have been angry? Don't you think one of Esquire's editors might have pointed out that, uh, you should probably at least mention who on the Internet came up with the concept?
You can understand the frustration, then, of YAYSports, whose coinage of the term "Orange Roundie" for the new NBA basketball has become one of the most lasting in-jokes of the young season. Yesterday, in his mock first-person column from the ball's perspective, ESPN's Scoop Jackson references the Orange Roundie and "a Web site" that coined the term, but he never mentions the site, either by name or by link. (The whole concept of Scoop's column seems cribbed from YAYSports in the first place, which might be why he felt obliged to at least acknowledge this "web site.") Which seems inherently strange, because if you haven't been reading YAYSports all year and know about the term, you probably had no idea what the hell Scoop was talking about.
(UPDATE: The page has JUST included the YAY link, within the last 10 minutes.)
Most of the no-credit vitriol has been directed toward Scoop, though we tend to think that's usually more of an editor's decision than a writer's one. We suspect Scoop probably meant it as an homage — albeit a rather patronizing one, and perhaps one constructed so he would feel better about swiping about someone else's idea — but had his legs cut out from under him by losing the link. But you can understand the frustration; Simmons would have freaked out in the Lupica example, and justifiably so.
But we'll leave the last word to YAYSports, who just posted their reaction to Scoop's column: He stole. He stole a concept, a schtick, a character. He took it and presented it as his own. It's wrong, and people with integrity don't do it. In any creative industry, it's like the RULE. It's the one thing you DON'T DO. He knows it, we know it, everyone else knows it.
Wait: No, the last word to Scoop, who just responded to our inquiry about the situation: I actually thought I was giving them some love, even though ESPN edited out the part about them being the ball's favorite site. Just trying to have some fun. Hope you enjoyed the piece; tell YAY I thought their overall ball coverage was brilliant. The ball, on the other hand, had a few issues.
OK then. Can we all get along now?