Mavs fans know Chris Arnold as the vaguely obnoxious guy who appears during timeouts and halftime to emcee some ridiculous half-court shooting contest so spectators' attention won't drift too far away from the court. Listeners to KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan know him as the host of GBag Nation, a midday sports talk show. Freelance football writer Scott Kacsmar knows him better as a plagiarist.
Over the summer, Kacsmar wrote a piece for Cold Hard Football Facts debunking the notion that Tony Romo and the Cowboys are "America's chokers." You can find a cached version of the piece here.
On Wednesday, three days after the Cowboys lost to the Denver Broncos with the help of Romo's last-minute interception, Arnold took to the CBS DFW website to tackle the same subject. His take is cached here.
The similarities are remarkable. Here are some examples Kacsmar highlights on his personal blog.
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."
So Arnold and Kacsmar repeat the same cliche. Big deal. But there's more.
Arnold: 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.
Word for word. Now we're getting somewhere.
Arnold: 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.
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: 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.
And so on. Not only is it plagiarism, it's incredibly lazy plagiarism. For the most part, Arnold didn't even bother to monkey around with the phrasing, simply copying and pasting word for word.
CBS DFW has since pulled the article. On Twitter, Arnold has acknowledged cribbing from Kacsmar's work but is framing it as an innocent case of not giving proper attribution:
@FO_ScottKacsmar major apolgies for not crediting u for ur article. i looked over several sources for stats and data. u sir are trulyawesome
— Chris Arnold (@MrChrisArnold) October 11, 2013
He's even extended an olive branch Kacsmar's way, inviting him onto his radio show "to give you your props." A nice gesture, though it would seem more genuine had Arnold not first extended his middle finger when Kacsmar's back was turned.
(h/t The Big Lead)
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