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Today In Bad Ledes: "Football Can Be Confusing...Especially For Women"

The lede is the most vital line in a story. A reporter's chance to draw you in, tell you what the story is going to be about, and most importantly, not immediately alienate 50 percent of the readership.

The lede of this article on

"Football can be a confusing and often vexing concept, especially for women."

It's a story about an upcoming event for women who want to know more about football, so it's not totally out of nowhere. Still, it traffics in dismissive generalization that's bound to draw an uproar, and draw one it did. The comments are filled with angry people, and once it started to get pickup around the web, tweaked the lede to remove the "especially for women" bit, and added an editor's note:

Update: This story has been edited to remove incorrect and offensive assumptions about women and football. We apologize for the error in judgment.


No harm, no foul. Still, this one was kind of inexplicable. This is Alabama. Their women, children, and housepets know more about football than you do.

[via Romenesko]

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