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Sports and News

Month: September, 2012

Great Online Sports Storytelling

In a world with a need for immediacy, ESPN and its affiliates delivers all the breaking news on every team in every major sports of interest in this country. Every possible opinion, angle, motive, injury, or replay is instantly available via social media, the internet, and television in a 24/7 news cycle. Sports writers are joined by countless bloggers (myself included), who will tell you just how bad Mark Sanchez is, or their take on Joe Paterno’s legacy.

Anyone can write a story about sports but only a few are actually gifted storytellers. While anyone can give you statistics and opinions, a sports storyteller digs deep into the heart of a subject, and captivates their readers with in depth features that few writers can pull off in this day and age. There is an art to telling a good story, and sports stories are no different. Here are some of the best stories and writers of today’s day and age that I have read.

Bill Simmons is the easy one, and one that I will get out of the way write away. Nobody can deny that this man is one of the most gifted writers alive. Not only is he witty, sarcastic, and engaging, but he is one of the most likable, unique and knowledgeable writers and person out there. This article written after the LBJ decision is a perfect example of Simmons providing a unique perspective and story that a reader is actually motivated to read from top to bottom.

A recent story following Sunday night’s Patriots-Ravens game on Torrey Smith. Every NFL writer picked up this tragic story, but it takes skill to integrate the love of the game into the realities of life, done well in a simple yet compelling story here.

An example of a very simple article covering the Lance Armstrong banning. The article is well written, concise, and captures in an organized fashion everything a reader would want to know.

Finishing with a classic, this is a pure, through and through, tennis article. If you are a tennis fan and were as captivated by the great Rodger Federer as I was back in his prime, than you will appreciate this article even more than the average reader. That being said, even if you are not a tennis fan, this is an amazing article providing fantastic insight, that is well organized and is a darn good story.

 

Bears in Trouble?

As the Bears recover from an embarrassing week 2 loss on thursday night football to their nemesis the Green Bay Packers, the good news and drama continues to pour out from the team. Bears cornerback DJ Moore has publicly scolded Bears quarterback Jay Cutler as Jay just being Jay. Cutler was very publicly seen bumping and mouthing off to left guard Chris Spencer, who failed to block Clay Matthews as Matthews beat the Bears offensive line for sack after sack. ESPN analysts, columnists, and bloggers galore have piled on the criticism of the maligned Bears quarterback, as many have called for Cutler to publicly apologize to Spencer and his team. Nonetheless, the Bears have benched Spencer for the veteran Chilo Rachal, who hopefully will be able to protect Cutler next week against the Rams. The once cocky and confident Bears have a long week for players such as running back Matt Forte to get healthy, lick their wounds, and get their season back on course.

NCAA Basketball Tournament

PBS did a great job giving background information and providing an interactive look into the NCAA Basketball Tournament as well as its hypocrisies. The video provided was especially interesting, as was the line of questions presented to NCAA president Mark Emmert. There’s no denying it, the NCAA makes the majority of its money off the NCAA tournament off of huge television contracts and endorsements. Emmert himself is assumed to make a sizable six-figure salary, while the NCAA refuses to pay their athletes, even after they leave college. Many have an issue morally with the NCAA continuing to make money off of someone’s legacy and image long after they leave NCAA sports, while giving no royalties or a mere cent to these ex players.

In the ‘Legacy’ article, PBS gives you the figures, gives you the facts on what is going on, and even gives you insight from those in the industry, ex players, coaches, even recruiters. From this one thing is especially clear: There is money to be made, lots of it, and even at an early age players can be exploited and bled for every single cent of their value. Should athletes be paid? Maybe. Should it be based on the school you go to, a player’s performance, or even how far you get in the tournament? It’s a tricky idea, one that won’t be resolved soon, but it is definitely an issue that needs to be discussed.

Acknowledging that there is a disparity between the athlete and the facilitator is one thing, but to get to the heart of the issue we must also acknowledge that each program and athlete is unique and that there is no overarching solution or way to group all athletes together. The PBS article and our own discussions opens the door to finding answers, and this in all of it’s cliché meaning is half the battle.

Adam’s first post

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