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December 4: Gelf's Varsity Letters »


November 20, 2008

Bill Simmons, Aviation Expert?

ESPN's Bill Simmons, Boston sports junkie and master of the rhetorical question, is not a master of airplane engineering. Yet, as a reader pointed out to the columnist in one of his recent mailbags, his image was used by small-aircraft maker Western Aviation on the company's "experts" page. Simmons, unsurprisingly, was confused, so Gelf decided to check it out.

Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons in his element.

We emailed Western Aviation president David Fisher to find out how the Sports Guy came to be an expert on his site. Here's what he had to say:
"The web development firm changed it quickly once I notified them who it was. The project manager who would have picked the photo was no longer with the company so I could not ask her why she used this photo. But I did approve the photo when the site was originally built in April 2007. The photo has been up all this time only now did someone put the face to a name. I am not an ESPN buff so I did not know who it was so I just thought it was a photo of an anonymous person, just a photo they could use."

An honest mistake, we suppose, though we're pretty sure that even a photo of an "anonymous person" can't be used without authorization. And for a noted sports personality, it's probably better to have your photo associated with a private jet company than, say, a gay cruising site.

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- Sports
- posted on Sep 03, 12
David Fisher

I can't believe this is still on the web. It is old and insignificant.

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