Sportress of Blogitude

OKC paper opts for ‘Kevin Up’ headline the day after Kevin Durant botch job (pics)


If it first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Better put in the case of how The Oklahoman so thoroughly botched an attempt to critique Kevin Durant with a headline on Thursday that referred to him as “Mr. Unreliable,” perhaps the saying should go, “If at first you don’t succeed, give halfhearted apology and then try, try again with a harmless pun.”

The hullabaloo that ensued after the misguided and ill-conceived headline in the OKC paper of record that blasted Kevin Durant included an Internet uproar, the Oklahoma City Thunder star downplaying the controversy, a kinda-sorta apology from the newspaper’s sports editor and then Durant proving any doubters wrong by scoring 36 points and leading his team to a convincing 104-84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, forcing a decisive Game 7 in the series.

So, what did The Oklahoman put on the front page of its “Thunder Extra” section on Friday? A photo of KD slamming home a dunk along with the headline, “Kevin Up.”


Get it? Like “Seven Up” (actually 7-Up but let’s not split hairs) but with “Kevin” instead of “Seven” because his great performance has sent the series the distance to a Game 7.

Well played.

And just like that, crisis averted. At least until Saturday. Because let’s say Durant plays terribly in Game 7, the editors at The Oklahoman will face a difficult decision: Hammer the city’s basketball-playing superstar or go with a dejected pun or turn of phrase. Here are a few to put in the hopper:

  • “Thunder Go Under”
  • “Not OK in OKC”
  • “Thunder Can’t Bear Grizzlies, Mauled in Game 7” (Note: I riffed on the headline found on the front page of Friday’s edition of The Oklahoman with that one)

Or, finally,

  • “Let’s Just Blame Russell Westbrook”

Yeah, that last one may not be useful, but it’s preferable than writing up another headline slamming Durant.

(H/T For the Win, “Kevin Up” image via @kfsooners]