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By Len Pasquarelli


ATLANTA -- In the annals of newspaper faux pas, it hardly ranks with Dewey Defeats Truman, but an ad in Monday editions of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution certainly raised eyebrows here.

In anticipation of a victory over the visiting Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Falcons marketing department readied a quarter-page ad congratulating coach Dan Reeves on the 200th victory of his career. One problem: After jumping to an early 17-0 lead, the Falcons lost to the Redskins 33-31.

Bigger problem: Despite phones calls from Falcons officials after the defeat, apprising the paper to pull the ad, oops, it still ran.

On page 5 of the Sports section, the ad occupies the lower right-hard corner.

It reads:

Shula. Halas. Landry. Lambeau. Noll. The only coaches who've won 200 NFL games. Before yesterday. Congratulations, Coach Reeves, for adding your name to this prestigious list. We're honored to be a part of your 200th victory. From your friends at The Atlanta Falcons and the entire region.

One of the Redskins scouts, traveling through Atlanta on Monday morning, spotted the ad and phoned team officials, who got a pretty good chuckle out of it. The newspaper will run a correction in its Tuesday editions.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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Ouch. As a production manager of a newspaper it hurts to read stuff like that. We are like the OLinemen of the business: Noone notices you until you screw up. And nothing ruins your week quicker than running the wrong ad ... to have it make the national news would be excrutiating.

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You know, this just keeps getting better and better. Skins win again, Philly loses again, Shockey gets shut down, and the Giants lose in a super long overtime game where they gave the game away again. To the Tuna... <snicker> The looks on their faces when they lost were priceless! Maybe we get a blow out at Fed Ex Field this week?

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