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Wandai Wrection? ESPN graphic mangles teenager’s favorite band in cringeworthy fashion

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(ESPN screenshot via Deadspin)

Yes, that ESPN screenshot really does list Nagiru Hiramatsu's favorite singer as "Wandai Wrection." If you've never heard of Mr. Wrection, well, it's because he actually doesn't exist.

On the other hand, One Direction is an actual band made up of actual English and Irish boys. You may have also never heard of it, but rest assured that it does exist and it was presumably the group that Hiramatsu named in a heavy accent to some poor sap ESPN producer who then took a guess at his or her own spelling without asking the Japanese teenager to clarify.

Why would the producer do that? Well, my best guess is that said producer never imagined that his or her career would entail asking Little League baseball players about their favorite music and so he or she just scribbled something down without any further questions because who watches ESPN's endless coverage of Little League baseball anyway?

Turns out a lot of people do. "Wandai Wrection" zoomed across Twitter on Monday night, landing on sites like Deadspin and Awful Announcing while reminding people of the recent pilot names snafu on KTVU. While it may not have been as woefully ignorant as reporting that a pilot was named "Sum Ting Wong," this lost in translation moment is still worth a forehead slap or two.

UPDATE: A reader writes in: "I read your article on the ESPN Little League gaffe and thought I'd offer a little insight. Last year my son played on the Orange Little League team that won the Southern California State Championship and advanced to the Western Regionals in San Bernardino. Unlike this year, unfortunately only the semi-finals and finals were on ESPN (this year all of the games are). Anyway, the boys all had to fill out an ESPN questionnaire before they even arrived in San Bernardino as part of the packet of forms. So it is quite possible that the boy wrote out the name of the band that way."

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