‘Alternative facts’ nothing new in sports, a minefield of misinformation – Chicago Tribune

My introduction to sports writing included the fascination of covering former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, a master motivator who harmlessly twisted the truth like a Bavarian pretzel.

Before his second-ranked Irish beat Navy 58-27 in 1993, for instance, Holtz said the game was bigger than playing No. 1 Florida State and called the Midshipmen “the most improved team in the country.” Players believed Holtz, and nothing else mattered.

Coming to Chicago exposed me to Dick Jauron, whose last season as Bears coach came in 2003. After one of Jauron’s final losses, a 12-10 clunker in Detroit, he declared it quarterback Chris Chandler’s “least good performance.” Not Chandler’s worst. Not the most awful, headache-inducing eyesore Jauron had witnessed in a 7-9 season. The least good.

“What do you want me to say?” a testy Jauron asked that day. “Write whatever you like.”

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