The Nine Worst Ford-Shilling Uses Of "Game Changer" In Recent Automotive Journalism

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
the nine worst ford shilling uses of game changer in recent automotive journalism

When FNG Derek Kreindler called the new Fusion a “game changer” the Best&Brightest tore his throat out like Patrick Swayze in the climactic final scene of RoadHouse. Quite the trial by fire for the young man, particularly since he was effectively making his editorial debut in the middle of a very high-pressure Detroit Show situation. Still, the message came through loud and clear: TTAC readers are allergic to hype.

In a late-night convo with DK, I started to wonder how other automotive sites, and readers, react to that kind of phrasing. With that in mind, let’s have some fun with nine (more) instances of “game changer” misuse, shall we?

#9. 2013 Ford Fusion — KBB In a staff article, Kelly Blue Book wrote “the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion appears destined to be a true game changer in the mid-size sedan segment.” What a bunch of Kriendler wannabes!

#8. 2010 Ford Fusion — AutoGuide Colum Wood notes “The folks at Ford have done an incredible job at marketing the new 2010 Fusion Hybrid, making it seem like a game changer. In some ways that’s true, in other ways, not so much.” Any points Mr. Wood gains by tempering his praise are lost by using that Canadian hipsterism, “not so much.” Wait a minute… where did DK used to work?

#7. 2010 Ford Fusion — Car and Driver Patrick Bedard: “Ford has pulled off a game changer with this 2010 model, creating a high-mpg family hauler that’s fun to drive.” Why does the Fusion keep changing the game? How many games are they going to change? I like one game — Sinistar. They’d better not change it. Beware, I live.

#6. 2011 Ford Explorer — AutoWeek Wes Raynal headlines his article “Game Changer? Ford has high hopes for its redesigned 2011 Explorer.” Putting a question mark after “Game Changer” is a good idea. It can help put some distance between the author and his assertion. One example would be if I ran an article called: “Goat Molester? Wes Raynal Might Be One.”

#5. 2011 Ford Explorer — USA Today Chris Woodyard’s headline: “Ford’s game changer? Get ready for the 2011 Explorer.” Again, that question mark is hard to beat. “Cage filler for mentally handicapped parakeets? Get ready for USA Today’s automotive section.”

#4. 2012 Ford Focus — Chicago Tribune Steven Cole Smith writes, “Ford’s much-improved Focus is a game-changer.” This is good news for people who are concerned that the game didn’t change between the 2011 Ford Explorer and the 2013 Ford Fusion.

#3. 2009 Ford Flex — Wards Auto “Ford’s Game Changer” is how the Flex is described. But it turns out that Ward’s isn’t offering an opinion. They are quoting Mark Fields, who says the Flex is a “game changer”. Derek Kriendler receives no inspirational credit, which more or less proves that time travel cannot exist. If it does, this article will disappear, because I will take a job with Microsoft in 1987 instead of working for David Hobbs BMW, and I will currently be a Seattle douchebag who time-trials a supercharged Acura NSX instead of America’s best-loved automotive writer.

#2. 2011 Ford Fiesta — Detroit News No list of autojourno silliness is complete without a mention of Scott Burgess, whose headline declares “Ford Fiesta a game changer in world of small, nimble rides.” Read it with me in the Don LaFontaine voice: IN A WORLD… OF SMALL, NIMBLE RIDES… ONE FORD WILL CHANGE THE GAME. “Europeans are lining up from Bulgaria to Brussels for this little road runner,” Burgess notes. Either Mr. Burgess has somehow managed to avoid acquiring a sense of European geography over the course of dozens of manufacturer-provided free overseas trips, or he is making some horrifying joke about the path of the blitzkrieg.

#1. The Mystery Car — MSN Autos It appears that, at some point in the past, MSN Autos created an article entitled “Top 10 Game Changers”. There are links galore to it on the Internet, and we are pretty sure the original NSX is on the list. Was there a Ford as well? Did Ford make one of the TOP TEN GAME CHANGERS OF, LIKE, ALL TIME? We will never know. Unfortunately for us, however, MSN has taken the article down and all links to the article result in a dead page notification. Why did they take it down? Shame, obviously. When an automotive outlet has the grace to take ridiculous articles down, that’s a true game changer.

Update: Fashion reporter (and TTAC reader) Cameron Miquelon noted that the article is back up and can be found here. All of my different visited links from this morning are now showing up. Could this be a case of MSN realizing there’s a demand for the article? The 1991 Explorer does make the list. Thank you, Miss M! Check out her site, unless you are substantially better-looking than I am, in which case please do not talk to her — JB

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  • Cameron Aubernon Cameron Aubernon on Jan 11, 2012

    Remember when game-changing meant swapping out Super Mario Bros. for The Legend of Zelda? Or how paradigm shifts meant shifting a pair of dimes across the counter of a local greasy spoon for a good cup of black coffee with two sugars and one cream? That was great. PS - JB, don't ever change your game. player.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jan 11, 2012

    LOVE that pic!! They just started working on the first prototypes when I retired.

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