Friday, October 31st, 2014

Watch out ESPN: PunditFact fact-checking sports talk

Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless have a lot to say on ESPN's "First Take." But is what they say accurate? PunditFact is fact-checking sports pundits on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 2.
Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless have a lot to say on ESPN's "First Take." But is what they say accurate? PunditFact is fact-checking sports pundits on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 2.

In the three months since PunditFact debuted, we’ve seen that plenty of political pundits are not exactly telling the truth.

Now it’s time to turn our gaze to the sports world -- at least for a day.

On Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 2, we’ll be spending the day fact-checking the sports talking heads. We’ll be watching Terry, Howie, Jimmy and the boys on Fox, but we’ll also be perusing all of the non-stop Super Bowl talk in the week leading up to the clash between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

But because we’re politics people, we need your help. If you hear somebody saying something about the Super Bowl or the Broncos or Seahawks that doesn’t sound quite right, email us at feedback@truthometer.com or tweet at us with the hashtag #SuperFact.

We’re also asking our friends at Deadspin to help us troll for potential claims.

If we fact-check something you suggest, we’ll send you a prize bag to rival the Vince Lombardi Trophy.*

As a guide, here’s what we won’t be checking:

  • "I’m the best corner in the game!" Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks

  • "Richard Sherman's a punk and I'd tell him to his face that he is," @LoganShipley65, Twitter

  • "Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback ever to set foot on the gridiron," Andrew Corsello, GQ

  • "Peyton Manning is a pretty overrated quarterback," @TheBrianG, Twitter

But we are interested in statistical comparisons, or talk about the New York weather, or how Peyton plays in the cold weather, or at night, or in games where Bruno Mars performs at halftime.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio recently asked former pro linebacker Bart Scott about our sports fact-checking foray. His response is here. (As a fact-checker, I'm required to tell you that Scott was not actually talking about PunditFact.)

*Prize bag does not actually rival the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It’s more like trinkets and stuff.