Keith Olbermann names Terps' athletic department the day's 'World's Worst In Sports'

The Baltimore Sun

Bobby Valentine, the concessions sector and Maryland sports.

Those are the only three topics Keith Olbermann has invoked more than once as the "World’s Worst in Sports" on his nightly ESPN television show.

Do not adjust your computer. Nothing is wrong with your smartphone. Almost two months after the ESPN personality, with tongue somewhat in cheek, lambasted Maryland coach Randy Edsall for not giving a deserving player a game ball, College Park was in "Olbermann's" sights yet again Wednesday night. This, via Diamondback reporter Alex Kirshner, was the tweet that launched a thousand words. (Or at least it seemed that way, anyway.)

In @umterps' official release on Saturday's ceremony, Wilmeth Sidat-Singh's last name is misspelled 10 times.

— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 6, 2013

@daveswhite Here's the department's full release on the event. Broader story is still far more important, of course:

— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 6, 2013

Who is Wilmeth Sidat-Singh? And why would his name be spelled out (or, rather, misspelled) 10 times? Deadspin detailed his amazing story last week, and Terps reporter Jeff Barker will have his own report before Saturday's game.

For now, here's a transcript from Olbermann:

"In 1937, the Syracuse Orangemen were led by a halfback named Wilmeth Sidat-Singh. When he upset unbeaten Cornell — I always wanted to mention unbeaten Cornell — he was the talk of big-time college football because he was believed to be a, quote, "full-blooded Hindu.' In fact, his biological father was named Elias Webb, and after Mr. Webb died, his mother’s new husband, a West Indian named Dr. Samuel Sidat-Singh, adopted Wilmeth and gave him his last name.

"The day before Syracuse and Sidat-Singh were to play at Maryland, the truth came out: The Orangeman star was African-American. The University of Maryland in 1937 was a fully segregated school. It promptly refused to take the field if Sidat-Singh suited up for the visitors. Syracuse caved, Sidat-Singh did not play, the Orangemen lost the game, and the humiliation was buried in the folds of history, especially after Lt. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh died when he crashed his plane during World War II. So Saturday, Maryland is to try to make the only amends possible now: a ceremony honoring Wilmeth Sidat-Singh featuring his living relatives. This is where the student journalist comes in.

[Olbermann reads Kirshner's tweet]

"Indeed, his last name was misspelled S-a-d-a-t, et cetera. It should be S-i[-d-a-t]. And Maryland’s mistake has already been repeated by a host of media outlets, from Baltimore to Washington, including the AP and the Washington Post website. There are no words."

I can think of one:


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