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View Full Version : My take on sportswriters


CanOfCorn
08-12-2004, 03:24 PM
http://www.sperts.net/editorial.php?page=98

I included a lot of general sentiments about Mariotti.

Feel free to comment/criticize. It'll only make me stronger.

pinwheels3530
08-12-2004, 08:59 PM
You can't tell Mariotti he sucks his words are gospel. :D:

RKMeibalane
08-12-2004, 09:11 PM
Has anyone else noticed that Moron has a huge forehead?

bigfoot
08-12-2004, 11:42 PM
C of C, Sportswriters have found out that the holy grail of sports is the 'face time' of TV, 2nd place being their very own radio show(syndicated if at all possible). They know that the time it takes to actually research, interview, check background, initial draft, rewrite, submit on time, blow an gasket when a asst editor hack away at the final copy with his own 'brilliant' hatchet job......for a precious few column inches, that a bad headline might cause many to ignore.....is just not worth the trouble. Never mind the fight for nonexistant expense money, from a corp. bean counter/acct exec., who would rather get a quarter page from Viagra than have an understanding of the origin of the Cover 2 Defense having an effect on the Triangle Offense.

~The analogy is that every simple-minded news reporter has designs on breaking the 'Big One' and becoming the next Woodward/Bernstein. But they never follow the little story that could become the next Watergate. They always chase the hot, sexy story that everyone else chases, only to find a bunch of ashes at the end of the trail.

~Isn't that why you have a pic of yourself next to your byline? So we can all see that your words come from the 'photogenic' you?

CanOfCorn
08-13-2004, 01:10 AM
You raise a lot of valid points, and you probably stick to the reality of the situation more than I do.

A lot of columnists are taking the easy way out, and as you point out, the can be plenty of reasons for that. Whether it's editors, expenses, etc., there isn't as much incentive for a job well done as there should be.

My problem is this -- with everything becoming so sensationalized, newspapers are pretty much the last bastion of a major media where you need to sit down to read it. Everything else is quick hits, flashy graphics, tearing down instead of building up a point, unfounded rumors and shticks.

I go to a newspaper in order to have a lot of information laid out in front of me. Newspapers today offer nothing that the Internet can't do better, except the fact that you have a bigger chance of reading something you normally wouldn't, because you don't have to click to find more information. That's why I read a newspaper or two every day. By scanning all the pages, I learn a lot more than I would by just clicking on things that I'm familiar with.

This is the only advantage newspapers have now, and I don't know who is to blame. You're probably right in that the bottom line has a lot to do with it, but it's frustrating to pick up any major paper and see some frustrated a**hole having a bone to pick with everybody. That's what sports radio is, and I f***ing hate sports radio.

Nobody enjoys reading them, and I doubt anybody specifically picks up a paper to read the Mariotti type. "Any publicity is good publicity" probably doesn't apply here. It's just sophomoric. The New York Times is having the same problem with Serena Roberts (I think that's her last name), and they're supposed to be the industry standard.

It seems to me that the only writers that people enjoy reading are the ones that actually do something with those press passes instead of eating pastries and looking for bad things to say.

But to continue onto those other points.

--- I agree. In my previous column, I mention that preseason football coverage annoys the heck out of me because of all the stories that are created from nothing.

-- I wouldn't call myself photogenic, but that's not really what I'm going for. I'm not seeking "face time," per se. I read a lot more baseball writing than I should online (at least according to my girlfriend), and I know when I'm reading, I like to have a face behind the name as kind of another thing to trigger my memory, and to help me get in line with the approach. There are a lot of words and names on the web. I figure aside from people calling me ugly (which has happened), it can't hurt.

bigfoot
08-13-2004, 02:08 AM
C of C, No major rip intended, re:Photo, but as you referred to JHoltzman, it was forever that his readers knew what he looked like.

~I too, long for the days of the talented wordsmiths to once again adorn the pages of the print media. But, again in agreement with you, the dynamic of the info media has changed so dramatically that this would appear to be only available in book form. So many of the 'reports' these days are of the rip and paste variety. The reports from Spring Training sites used to be so much fun. Now one is lucky to get a on scene report one time during S/T. And only if there is another major event close by and the paper can justify a 'sidetrip' to AZ/Fla. It's not am accident that the NoCal and Chi teams 'winter in AZ'. Only one stringer needed to cover both team from the cities' paper. The instant gratification of the 24/7 cable news availability has essentially precluded the need for writers to 'paint the picture' for the minds eye. No need, now that all the important replays are brought to my big screen, complete with 'Boo Yahs and Bbbbbbbacks, etc', many times completely missing the essence of the contest for the sensational HR/Slamdunk. Missing is the missed C/O man, the bounce pass and the back checking forward. All for the sake of the beating the tabloic press at its own game. Combine that with the dirth of actual sporting news that the ESPN/FauxSports networks provide(POKER?) they too must fill the time with all the financial news of sports that seems to overly excite people, but means something personally only to those immediately involved. This info is used by both sides in a contract situation to influence public opinion, as evidenced by the many post in WSI concerning, whether or not a particular player is 'worth' $XXXX. If the contract is signed by two parties, that is enough for me. They agreed and I'll either live with that decision or go elsewhere with my entertainment $.

Keep up the good work 'Tiger' (UM). I consulted Dan Jenkins, 'You Gotta Play Hurt' .."..a wonderfully profane look at sport writing!" (my review)

CanOfCorn
08-13-2004, 02:34 AM
Yeah, I wasn't too clear on that caption. I meant to say that he let his writing do the speaking. He doesn't have his face taking up way too much of the split screen like Mariotti, nor did he need to to gain acclaim. He did it by writing even, well-thought out and intelligent commentary on a consistent basis.

That's why guys like Holtzman and Mitch Albom can stick around in a town for a long time, while Bayless jumps from city to city. The act wears thin.

bigfoot
08-13-2004, 12:20 PM
Yeah, I wasn't too clear on that caption. I meant to say that he let his writing do the speaking. He doesn't have his face taking up way too much of the split screen like Mariotti, nor did he need to to gain acclaim. He did it by writing even, well-thought out and intelligent commentary on a consistent basis.

That's why guys like Holtzman and Mitch Albom can stick around in a town for a long time, while Bayless jumps from city to city. The act wears thin.
You're right on point, C of C, the Bayless/Marriotti ilk are the norm it seems. Is that the sort of writing styles that are being taught in J school these days? They seem to windsock opinions, if for no other reason than to illicit screams from fans on either side an issue. If the pot doesn't get stirred by public opinion, then the Moron will pick an incindiary view to spur comment. Holtzman never would stoop to the depths of 'creating' news. The Moron has yet to crawl from the wagon rut that his belly slithers, to see over the top of Jerome's shoes.

Nice yakkin' w/you, Can.

SoxyStu
08-13-2004, 05:23 PM
This is the only advantage newspapers have now, and I don't know who is to blame. Blame Seasame Street for initiating quick, flashy images we've become so sensationalized with. It paved the way for images presented on M-TV, internet, and so on (ADHD is arguable as well).

You're right, TV news broadcasts (from our wonderful local channels), are indeed simply base headlines (especially considering they attempt to target proximity news, as well as world news in a 30 minute span...what a joke). I, too, enjoy newspapers for the same reasons you do, COC.

Don't ever kid yourselves, there is and there never was anything objective, or expository. No one has an objective eye; it's the "God Trick." Every story is subjective and in some way persuasive, be it in a column or a front page story.

Descriptive might be the closest thing to objectivity, and that is very dependent upon word choice of the piece as well as underlying assumptions the piece asserts. These days, with the patience and ignorance of the general public and as Bigfoot points out, bits and fragments of information sells.

And speaking of selling, are major big-city general newspapers still written on a 4th grade reading level? Isn't that a marvelous assumption of knowing your audience?

Ultimately, I agree with you, COC. Columnists should stick with writing. "Around the Horn" is the worst piece of **** I've ever seen. It's a show totally for New Yorkers as an egotistical New York prick (Max, yeah, I know he's gone) gets to judge and award other 'lesser' cities writers points based on whatever he considers worthwhile. Suck his c*ck; rub his nipples; get a point, YAY!

If it must survive on TV, do it as it was once done, a round table of discussion.

CanOfCorn
08-13-2004, 07:35 PM
No, that's not being taught in the J-school. They still drill in the ideas to have no conflicts of interest, and if you can't handle a story without feelings getting in the way, somebody else will. That's probably why it's instilled in people like me that it should be something more than picking fights.

This is probably something that's instilled as the owners of TV stations seize hold of papers and try to make them a success based on the TV formula. And it really, really sucks.

Yup, I agree with the idea that there's a limit to objectivity. I've taken enough ethics and postmodern English classes to learn the idea behind that.

One writer, based on his own experiences, can see that an outfielder dogged it when chasing a fly ball, while another writer with different experiences can see that a player misjudged it. And to certain readers, they're both right.

However, while there is a thin line there, I think there is a thick, pulsing line between a writer being descriptive, and settling an score. It's good to have an opinion, but these writers are reckless with them. And that's not journalism. In some ways, that's blatant misinformation, which is the direct opposite of journalism.

If columnists are going to antagonize, then what the hell's the point of there being one in the paper? There's relatively little insight, and little research. They're just throwing darts in the dark as hard as they can.

bigfoot
08-13-2004, 08:06 PM
No, that's not being taught in the J-school. They still drill in the ideas to have no conflicts of interest, and if you can't handle a story without feelings getting in the way, somebody else will. That's probably why it's instilled in people like me that it should be something more than picking fights.

This is probably something that's instilled as the owners of TV stations seize hold of papers and try to make them a success based on the TV formula. And it really, really sucks.

Yup, I agree with the idea that there's a limit to objectivity. I've taken enough ethics and postmodern English classes to learn the idea behind that.

One writer, based on his own experiences, can see that an outfielder dogged it when chasing a fly ball, while another writer with different experiences can see that a player misjudged it. And to certain readers, they're both right.

However, while there is a thin line there, I think there is a thick, pulsing line between a writer being descriptive, and settling an score. It's good to have an opinion, but these writers are reckless with them. And that's not journalism. In some ways, that's blatant misinformation, which is the direct opposite of journalism.

If columnists are going to antagonize, then what the hell's the point of there being one in the paper? There's relatively little insight, and little research. They're just throwing darts in the dark as hard as they can.
Sorry Can, but you just took FauxNews out the running for your services.

cornball
08-14-2004, 10:27 AM
In many cases, media/writers love sports, but never played the games they cover. They are so called experts because they have a press pass.

I do believe with years of experience they have an advantage of getting better stories, but the basic understanding of the game is weak. You don't have to be a former player to have a great understanding of the game, but many of these guys act as if they have been through it.

Everyone has an opinion and are entitled to it, it amases me have no clue of the sports they cover.

The examples are endless.