Many of us, in our day to day jobs, are asked to do a little research. We are impressed with the importance of actually knowing what we're talking about when we're asked to get up in front of people - whether they be customers, co-workers, upper brass, or professional peers - and talk. Not taking this responsibility seriously (or, as professional peers of mine refer to it, "talking out your ass"), is the sort of thing that tends to bring negative performance reviews, audience disapproval, and occasional changes in work address.
Fast forward to yesterday, when ESPN radio's Mike Greenberg decided it was time to talk about the miracle that is the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, he suggested - and he was fully effusive - were a team he wanted contracted because they were so terrible just five years ago, and look at where they were now. It was, to paraphrase a famous baseball movie, a miracle.
Except, of course, that five seasons ago was the 2009 season, when the Rays had a terribly disappointing year, finishing in 3rd place and winning 84 games. It was, of course, terribly disappointing because the Rays had gone to the World Series as American League champions the year before.
Admittedly, on stuff like this it's easy to go all Comic Book Guy and nitpick figures who must be knowledge generalists for their failures at minutiae. But at the same time, this ain't exactly the deep stuff. A little basic research goes a long way towards demonstrating professional chops on one hand, and towards making fans of the team and sport you just off-handed feel like their time and attention is valuable to you on the other.