How to Blatantly Plagiarize a NFL Article

Tony Romo did something dramatic on Sunday against Denver, which of course everyone has something to say about. I have written plenty about Romo and the Dallas Cowboys in the past, which has often been well-received. Maybe I should have done it as a book so I could have better protection of my work after the most blatant example of plagiarism I have ever seen was brought to my attention this morning.

I was linked to an article written by Chris Arnold on CBS Fort Worth/Dallas from 10/9/2013. If you know my work very well, you may recognize a lot of familiar lines. It’s because this thing is literally loaded with copying and pasting directly from my Romo article on Cold, Hard Football Facts from July 12.

Now I’m always flattered when someone uses my data/facts in an article, but usually the person has the decency to cite me as the source either by name and/or link. You know, the professional way to do things. I never heard of Chris Arnold before this evening. He’s never contacted me. He sure didn’t seem to think there might be something wrong about this.

If it was just a paragraph in a long article, I wouldn’t care much at all. That happens in this business. But as I’m about to show, this thing was literally a copy-and-paste job with the audacity to call the work his own “Next-Level Analysis”. Oh I have already e-mailed CBS DFW to have it removed (Update: it was removed sometime in the morning or early afternoon), but here’s a picture of the article header just for keepsake:

romoca

Hey that’s nice. Nearly 10,000 likes on Facebook and over 700 tweets. Must be good to have a big company that feels like it can do as it pleases. Sure, I’m always ripping on CBS for their awful collection of TV series, but no writer should be ripped off this badly.

I’ve given the links to the articles for comparison. Now I’m going to show just how much is a rip off of my work by pasting Arnold’s paragraphs, word for word and comparing them to mine from CHFF. I will put his work in red and mine (from JULY)  in just bold.

ARNOLD: Damned Tony Romo! Because he’s the quarterback for America’s Team, where Jerry Jones sets the bar at “Super Bowl or bust” every season. Romo is damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t.

KACSMAR: Romo is the NFL’s best modern-day example of “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.”

ARNOLD: The problem is this, Romo is held to a ridiculously high standard that no other quarterback is held to. Nothing short of a Super Bowl MVP season would make detractors realize Romo is a very good quarterback on a not so good team. The bottom line is Romo can never be a Super Bowl MVP without a better team around him. Period.

KACSMAR: Nothing short of a Super Bowl MVP season would make detractors realize this is a really good quarterback on a not so good team. The problem is Romo can never be a Super Bowl MVP without a better team around him.

ARNOLD: For “Next Level Analysis”, let’s check the numbers:

We know Romo isn’t a bus driver. He has thrown for over 300 yards a total of 41 times and has 51 games with a passer rating over 100.0 (minimum 15 attempts). His 7.94 yards per attempt is the seventh highest in NFL history. He’s not conservative..

KACSMAR: We know Romo isn’t a caretaker. He has thrown for 300 yards a total of 40 times and has 48 games with a passer rating over 100.0 (minimum 15 attempts). His 7.94 yards per attempt is the seventh highest in NFL history.

Kacsmar 10/11/2013 note: The cutest thing here? He added the 500-yard game to get to 41 and the three 2013 games with a rating over 100, but apparently updating the YPA to 7.95 was too difficult of a calculation.

ARNOLD: Romo has seven straight seasons with a passer rating of at least 90.0 (minimum 200 attempts). Only Steve Young (1991-98) and Peyton Manning (2003-10) have ever done that. Romo’s 95.6 passer rating is fifth all time.

KACSMAR: Romo has seven straight seasons with a passer rating of at least 90.0 (minimum 200 attempts). Only Steve Young (1991-98) and Peyton Manning (2003-10) have ever done that. Romo’s 95.6 passer rating is fifth all time.

ARNOLD: In the only season Romo had a top 10 defense (2009), he won a playoff game. Coincidence? Hmm… Maybe he needs a better team around him? He’s historically productive, efficient, wins more than he loses and he has the rare skills to buy time in the pocket and make big plays.

KACSMAR: In the one season Romo had a top 10 defense (2009), he won a playoff game. That’s probably not a coincidence.

He’s historically productive, efficient, wins more than he loses and he has rare skills to buy time in the pocket and make big plays.

ARNOLD: Tony Romo has the franchise record for most come from behind victories with 18. Yep, more than Aikman, Staubach and Meredith. Still not good enough, huh? How about this fact: Romo has the 2nd most  4th quarter comeback wins in the NFL since 2011 with 9! Only Eli Manning had more with 10. You want more? Romo has 9  game-winning drives (3rd behind Eli’s 11 and Matt Ryan’s 10) since 2011.

KACSMAR: The facts show Dallas as a competitive, sometimes clutch team in recent seasons. Since the original look at Romo’s history in the clutch from nearly two years ago, all he’s done is the following:

  • Led nine fourth-quarter comeback wins (2nd behind Eli Manning’s 10) since 2011.
  • Led nine game-winning drives (3rd behind Eli’s 11 and Matt Ryan’s 10) since 2011.

Romo’s five comebacks in 2012 are a franchise record for a season. His 18 career fourth-quarter comeback wins set the new Cowboys record, surpassing Troy Aikman (16) and Roger Staubach (15).

ARNOLD: In fact, Romo became the first quarterback in team history to lead 3 consecutive comebacks and game-winning drives in Weeks 13-15. The 9-point comeback Romo led in Cincinnati was the only time the Bengals allowed 20 points in their final nine games. He followed that up with a 14-point comeback in the final 4:45 to force overtime with New Orleans before going on to lose 34-31. But all everyone remembers is the last game against the Redskins and his last pick.

KACSMAR: Romo became the first quarterback in team history to lead three consecutive comebacks and game-winning drives in Weeks 13-15. He followed that up with a 14-point comeback in the final 4:45 to force overtime with New Orleans before going on to lose 34-31.

The nine-point comeback Romo led in Cincinnati was the only time the Bengals allowed 20 points in their final nine games.

But it’s that Week 17 disappointment on another big, national stage that people are going to remember.

ARNOLD: Like clockwork, Romo had one of his worst moments when the Nielsen ratings were at their highest. His interception late in the fourth quarter with Dallas trailing 21-18 was a killer. All the hard work put in, all the successful drives wasted with one snap. And like that, Romo further securing his ridiculous national choker status.That’s Romo’s problem. He’s good enough, often great even, to put Dallas in positions to do something, but it just seems like the errors come when everyone in the nation’s watching.

KACSMAR: Like clockwork, Romo had one of his worst moments when the Nielsen ratings were at their highest. His interception late in the fourth quarter (against that same blitz Washington kept using) with Dallas trailing 21-18 was a killer.

All the hard work put in, all the successful drives were wasted with one snap. Romo just further secured his national choker status.

This continues to be Romo’s problem. He’s good enough, often great even, to put Dallas in these positions to do something, but it just seems like the errors come when everyone’s watching.

ARNOLD: Nobody cares that the Cowboys started last season 3-5, that Romo led the Cowboys from a 23-0 deficit to the Giants, only to lose the greatest comeback win in team history by the size of Dez Bryant’s fingers. Or that they lost on the final play of the game against eventual champion Baltimore on a missed Dan Bailey field goal 31-29. Those games, like the Denver game this season, do nothing to boost Romo’s reputation because they are all losses.

KACSMAR: While many bash Dallas for choking, the Cowboys were a very resilient team last season after starting 3-5. The only reason they were in playoff contention in Week 17 was a league-high five comeback wins in the fourth quarter in 2012.

Would a team of chokers do that?

Dallas even erased a 23-0 deficit at home to the Giants in Week 8 before losing in the fourth quarter. Dez Bryant was literally inches away from delivering an all-time great game-winning touchdown in that game. When a team like the 49ers went down big at home to the Giants last year, they lost 26-3.

Dallas came up a play short in Baltimore against the eventual champions. Dan Bailey missed a 51-yard field goal with two seconds left in a 31-29 loss.

ARNOLD: Romo’s clutch track record is too good to only remember the bad plays. His records at comebacks and game-winning drive opportunities put him right there, compared to reputation, with today’s current top quarterbacks, especially the likes of Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers.

KACSMAR: Romo’s clutch track record is too good to only remember the bad plays. His records at comebacks and game-winning drive opportunities put him favorably, compared to reputation, among today’s active players (minimum 10 games), especially the likes of Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers

ARNOLD: Let’s take a “Next Level Analysis” look at Romo in the clutch. Tony Romo has 19 career game wining drives since he became a starting quarterback. Looking deeper, he has 10 turnovers in 27 games that the game winning drive failed. Sounds like a choke huh? Welp, let’s look at Phillip Rivers who also became a starter in 2006. Rivers has 22 turnovers in 36 game winning drive failures. That’s 10 vs  22!  Also, Rivers was 2-19 in game winning drives going into this season. Who’s the better quarterback?

KACSMAR: We have yet to fully sink our teeth into the choking dog Rivers has become, but just consider these incredible facts:

  • Rivers has gone an unfathomable 2-19 (.095) at game-winning drive opportunities since losing in the 2009 playoffs to the Jets.
  • In those 19 losses, Rivers has turned the ball over 16 times (11 interceptions and five lost fumbles) in the fourth quarter or overtime with a 0-8 point deficit.
  • In his last 27 games (close or not), Rivers has 13 turnovers in clutch situations.

In Romo’s 27 losses with a failed game-winning drives in his career, he has a total of 10 turnovers (nine interceptions, one lost fumble) in clutch situations.

Even if we count the infamous botched snap on the field goal in Seattle, that’s 11, or two fewer for his career than Rivers has had since October 23, 2011. It has been uncanny how Rivers turns the ball over with such consistency in these situations the last few years.

Both quarterbacks made their first start in 2006. Rivers has a total of 22 turnovers (16 interceptions and six lost fumbles) in the clutch in 36 losses with a failed game-winning drive. So it’s 22 against 10. There is no comparison here.

ARNOLD: It’s no different for Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees, who each won a Super Bowl when their defense stepped up with several critical takeaways and stops during the postseason.

KACSMAR: That is no different for Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, who only won a Super Bowl when their defense stepped up with several critical takeaways and stops in the postseason.

ARNOLD: The national media and pro football fans ignore the fact that Rogers is an amazing 0-18 in 4th quarter comebacks against teams that are .500 or better in his career! They ignore that Drew Brees has only made the playoffs 5 times in 12 years and has 20 turnovers in clutch drive ending losses (compared to Romo’s 10). Those quarterbacks get the pass because they have a ring. Rivers? His reputation as being clutch is fiction.

KACSMAR: Since they did, the national media ignores the fact that Rodgers is 0-18 at fourth-quarter comebacks against teams .500 or better in his career. They ignore that Brees has made the playoffs five times in 12 years and has 20 turnovers in the clutch in losses.

Those quarterbacks get the pass because they have the “precious” ring. Why someone like Rivers gets a pass is a mystery.

ARNOLD: No one’s trying to put Romo in the Hall of Fame or on the same pedestal as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but the facts remain that he’s very good and gets held to one of the more ridiculous standards in the league. There are other quarterbacks blowing games more often than Romo, and there aren’t as many giving their team a chance to win as Romo. Yet Romo,  who delivers more times in the clutch than many others, is considered a choke artist.

KACSMAR: No one’s trying to put Romo in the Hall of Fame or on the same pedestal as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but the facts remain that he’s very good and gets held to one of the more ridiculous standards in the league.

There are other quarterbacks blowing games more often than Romo, and there aren’t as many giving their team a chance to win so often.

ARNOLD: In a league that savors top picks at quarterback, we should be celebrating Romo as one of the best undrafted quarterbacks in NFL history. His success story should be something for all kids who dream of possibly making it in the NFL one day. Instead he gets held to all or nothing standards. Why do we hold Romo to a higher standard than most quarterbacks who are drafted in the first round? It must be a Cowboys bias. I shake my head.

KACSMAR: In a league filled with top 40 picks at quarterback, we should be celebrating Romo as one of the best undrafted quarterbacks in NFL history. His success story should be something young kids hold onto as they dream to make it in the NFL one day.

Instead he gets held to the harshest of standards that not even some recent No. 1 picks who were drafted to be saviors fall under.

ARNOLD (Last paragraph): So to come full circle. Men lie. Women lie. Even media and fans lie. Numbers don’t lie. Tony Romo is one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the NFL today, and with a better team around him he could get a Super Bowl ring and maybe his true reputation will be celebrated. Until then, perception continues to distort reality. Damn.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

(This post is over 2,500 words, so that gives you an idea of just how much was stolen)

Numbers don’t lie, but they have an origin and people who actually put in work to come up with them. These aren’t all your everyday numbers one could quickly look up on a stat site either. If CBS wanted my article, they should have paid me to write it. Accepting this as an original work without doing any fact-checking is stunning to me. Makes me wonder if this guy has screwed other people over before.

If Chris Arnold thinks stealing my work and calling it his “Next-Level Analysis” is okay, then I can only say good luck to him when he goes looking for his next job.

Damned if I remove this page any time soon.

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9 thoughts on “How to Blatantly Plagiarize a NFL Article

  1. If you ever had this happen again, with him or anyone else, you could sue him for copyright infringement to collect statutory damages (the $ range you see in the DVD warning labels) and your attorney fees.

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