It’s not quite as bad as when Oakland’s KTVU-TV read out a list of fake Korean names
for the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, but ESPN made a pretty serious lost-in-translation gaffe this week.
When Japanese player Nagiru Hiramatsu came to bat in the 2013 Little League Intermediate Championship game Monday night, the graphic on the screen listed his favorite singer as “Wandai Wrection.” Google that name, and you’ll find nothing about a singer.
What you’ll find instead is a lot of online commentary—blog posts and tweets—presuming the young baseball player really likes British boy band One Direction and that an ESPN staffer must have mangled the spelling, possibly based on the player’s pronunciation.
One reader posted to Yahoo’s Big League Stew blog
, noting that ESPN asks Little Leaguers to fill out a questionnaire before playing in televised games, so it’s possible the young man himself wrote the band’s name that way.
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Bleacher Report blogger Gabe Zaldivar
says he doesn’t buy that scenario, because the idea that a 13-year-old didn’t know how to spell the name of his favorite band is tough to swallow.
ESPN has yet to offer an explanation for the misspelling, so the true story behind Wandai Wrection could remain a mystery.