The Steve Smith headline generator

Steve Smith (via @CricketAus)

Steve Smith was spotted having a beer in New York last week. Several newspapers ran really stupid stories about it with really stupid headlines. We were going to write about the stupidest one but then we forgot what it was and they also deleted the story.

Fortunately, we’ve now remembered, allowing this website to live up to its unwritten tagline: “Yesterday’s news… today!”

A whole family of newspapers headlined their stories: Disgraced Smith a sad sight drinking alone in New York

Based on this, we have devised The Steve Smith Headline Generator.

It goes like this…

Disgraced Smith a sad sight [doing what] [where]

That’s it. It’s that simple and it works for pretty much anything.

Some fictional examples:

  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight reading his phone at the airport
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight watching a film at the cinema
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight scratching his nose in a post office queue
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight eating a pizza in a pizzeria
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight putting rubbish in a bin in the central business district
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight doing a bit of a half-run quick step thing while crossing a road in the South of France
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight swimming in the Ionian sea
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight speaking to the media at a press conference
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight pushing away photographers on his doorstep
  • Disgraced Smith a sad sight sleeping in his bed

Stop, stop. Wait a minute.


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23 Appeals

  1. If he returned to Newlands:

    Disgraced Smith a sad sight looking sad at disgrace site

  2. Disgraced Smith is pretty good cricketer name.

  3. This is just begging for Bert to produce one which is a pithy, yet apt, cryptic crossword clue

    • Mad as this is, witness Smith’s opener signalled in code. Headlines ensue (9,5,1,3,5,3,3,3)

      • To my shame, I’m struggling (with the last 3 words, at least)

      • Disgraced Smith a sad sight…

        “Mad as this” is = Disgraced “Smith a sad” (with “disgraced” as the anagram indicator in the answer, not in the clue)

        Witness = sight

        Smith’s opener = S
        S signalled in (Morse) code = dot dot dot

      • Consider my cap doffed. Fiendish, yet satisfying. Thank you.

  4. The brilliance and genius of the original headline is that anything that fills in the gap now seems tawdry and pathetic.

    Disgraced Smith a sad sight donating to charity fully-clothed.

  5. That reminds me of when Ben Stokes was in disgrace for a few days, I read a story about how he was seen smoking a cigarette, with a blurry picture of him smoking a cigarette under the headline “Ben Stokes pictured smoking a cigarette” or similar. He then became a hero again shortly afterwards and everyone quickly forgot about this sad incident.

    • The interesting thing about the phrasing is that it suggests the newsworthiness of the story lies in the “picturing” rather than in the thing being pictured.

      “Stokes smokes cigarette” – boooring, that’s just some stuff that happened to someone once, y’know?

      “Stokes pictured smoking cigarette” – HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

  6. It’s a bit of a “cricketer spotted” template in a way.

    So the reports could do with a bit of additional minutiae. Eg “Smith was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and drinking his beer from a long glass”.

  7. It’s a bit of a “cricketer spotted” template in a way.

    So the reports could do with a bit of additional minutiae. Eg “Smith was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and drinking his beer from a long glass”.

    • Is there an echo in here today?

      • King Cricket

        July 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

        Today.

      • Apologies – my bad for chiming in on this site while travelling on the London Underground this afternoon.

        Apologies – my bad for chiming in on this site while travelling on the London Underground this afternoon.

  8. I’d also like to report that I went to New York when I was Steve Smith’s age and had an absolutely wonderful time there, notwithstanding occasionally having a quiet drink in a bar on my own.

    I wasn’t disgraced, though.

  9. England, welcome to KL Rahul.

  10. Also, I would love to not play Kuldeep and Chahal at all in these limited overs series. Unleash them on on England directly in the World Cup.

    • There is a not too bad pair of Ashwin and Jadeja as replacements. I think India missed a trick here.

    • I was thinking about this today actually. If a country discovers it has some fantastic mystery spinner, would it be worth buying them out of any other professional contract they’ve got, letting them train intensively and play intra-squad games to keep match-fit, but not let them anywhere near an international rival or TV camera until the World Cup?

      I think the answer is “no” because this strategy would deprive them of the opportunity to develop against different opposition, different conditions etc. But there are players whose value decreases from its peak very quickly as their novelty wears off, and unusual spinners are likely number one on that list. Though some do manage to keep boggling us all no matter how many times we’ve seen them.

      • I did once read a baseball story about a pitcher kept under wraps in that way, who failed miserably in open play because he didn’t have the experience of the heaving crowds and the opposition players using real match situation guile to put him off his game.

        I tried to find a reference through Mr Google but couldn’t find it, but did find this strange hoax that did enter my consciousness back then and then left said consciousness again…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidd_Finch

        …so you could try “making up” your mystery spinner. But in the case of cricket you might imagine him as one of eleven children in a family of refugees who, by fleeing from a war-torn nation, encountered cricket briefly where they took refuge and then…

        …hold on…

      • What a lovely link!

        Perhaps in the near future, once computer graphics are indistinguishable from real life, we could photoshop our mysterious fictional mystery spinner into all clips of our training sessions, that’d keep the opposition guessing.

        Interestingly my phone autocorrect decided to put slinger not spinner originally, and I think Malinga Mk 2 would work just as well.

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