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In the heat of the moment, it happens

Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at 12:15 PM

Everyone who plies his or her talents this side of Miami is busy beating up LeBron James these days.

After all, the Miami Heat were supposed to win the NBA title. Maybe five, six or seven of them in the future. And because they didn't win in their first effort, LeBron is now the butt of several jokes.

Like "Why didn't LeBron go to college?"

He has never been good at finals.

Or "Why can't you ask LeBron for change for a dollar?"

Because he just never gives you that fourth quarter.

But while LeBron has been taking the heat (pun intended) for the Miami demise, there is some poor soul I feel more sorry for at The Miami Herald newspaper.

Thanks to an error in the newspaper's composing room, a full-page ad in Monday's Miami Herald read "Congratulations, Miami" alongside photos of Miami Heat championship hats and T-shirts from Macy's. One T-shirt even reads "Heat 2011 NBA Champions" with a Heat logo on a hat bearing words "NBA Champions."

In "Dewey-defeats-Truman" fashion, the wrong Macy's ad ran under a story about the Heat's loss.

Macy's has apologized to Heat fans and called it an unfortunate error. While the newspaper has run a correction and apologized for any inconvenience, the public is left to ask: "How can something like that happen."

Let me tell you, things like that happen in the newspaper business because we are always trying to be ready, win or lose. You have plans and back-up plans and keep your fingers crossed everyone is on the same page. Literally.

Undoubtedly, The Herald had two ads ready to run: One had the Heat won (with Macy's advertising the Heat gear) and another generic Macy's sale ad had they lost. A simple mouse click put the wrong ad into the computer system and onto the page.

Whose fault is it? None of theirs and all of theirs.

I remember being a very young sports writer and seeing our newsroom create a Harry Truman death page that sat untouched on a composing room paste-up bank for days as Truman lingered near death.

One day the page was gone when I walked past, and I thought Harry Truman had passed away. I think I even mentioned it to my parents over the phone. Turns out the page had slid off the paste-up bank and the type came apart on the floor. Truman went on to live several more days, as I recall.

At least we could blame that miscommunication on gravity. The Chicago Tribune will forever bear the scars of that Dewey-Truman debacle after misreading election-return trends in a misguided attempt to be first with the news.

Back in Miami, that poor composing room employee is only slightly better off today than Thomas E. Dewey or Harry S. Truman.

But then again, he certainly knows where he can get some deeply discounted Miami Heat gear.

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Great one, Eric!

-- Posted by GRNT on Sat, Jul 16, 2011, at 10:22 PM

There must be a Buckeye on the Miami Herald payroll, somewhere. A Gilbert, maybe?

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Thu, Jun 16, 2011, at 10:34 AM

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A native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Missouri, Eric Bernsee has enjoyed residing in Greencastle for more than 25 years. Years of consuming McDonald's iced teas, Dairy Castle flurries and Marvin's GCBs have helped make him the man he is today.
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