Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sports Guys

Some interesting talk by Web Warriors this week about sports writers.

I was a sports writer for 10 years. I enjoyed a lot of it. I hated other parts of it.

People assume you have the dream cake job, watching sports for a living. You get into the games free! You watch sports and write about it. How hard can it be?

If you like working strange hours, enjoy debating mad soccer moms, get a charge out of meeting impossible deadlines and like dealing with the strangest and most passionate of people, this is your job.

Sports writers make good reporters in general because they cover fast moving live events. They pay attention to detail. Good sports writers look for different angles all the time — writing about a blowout hoops game gets old after a while unless you keep it fresh.

Sports writers learn to develop sources and figure out in a hurry who the good guys and not so good guys are. Good guys are coaches, men and women, who are accessible and know what you are after. Bad guys blow their own horns and don't return phone calls.

Sports writers can make the jump to news. But it doesn't work the other way. Covering sports makes you a good reporter, in time.

Very rarely I miss it, like on a Friday night when I'm going to a football game. Years ago in Michigan I used to bomb down rural roads and see the lights in the distance from the field and if it was a big game, I'd get that knot in my stomach.

I also miss the rush of finishing a story or meeting deadline, though that happens a lot on news side.

Our Whig sports guys do a great job.

If you are a sports writer, it's a way of life, not just a job, and those that do it should be commended.


TOOKIE said...

I could not agree MORE . That Web Warrior must be a bright guy/gal .

I think Sports writers also look for the "why" ....why is Alabama the greatest gift to NCAA football ?

Why does Michigan suck and blow ?

Why should ND just quit football ?

SheyFey said...

I'm just guessing but SteviE is not a former sports guy??? How can that be?

RH said...

He is. I hired him as a part-time sports writer at The Whig a loooonnnnggggg time ago ....

UMRBlog said...

Anybody going into covering sports should know at least three things aobut it:

1. It is impossible to be a sportswriter in the Tri-State area and maintain driving privileges;

2. No matter how smart you think you are, you end up spouting the "good guy" coaches' party line;

3. Much like being the Blue Devil Basketball Coach, everybody knows how to do your job better than you.

If Missouri is ever lifted from third world and there are actual cell signals that work with a weblink card, beating those deadlines could get easier.

Good topic. I'm waiting for you to explain why the NHL should go back to the original six.

Continued Success.