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Are sportswriters funny anymore?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    This question came as part of a longer conversation I was had with a friend about the skills and style of thebest sportswriters today vs. the best 30 years ago. I was (willingly) in the position of defending this generation, which, at the very least, has the ability to render a scene with delicacy and more visual punch than many of the best 30 years ago. And I find far fewer hoary cliches, too.

    But my friend insisted on this point: Sportswriters aren't funny anymore. I pressed him on what kind of "funny" he was referring to, and it seemed to be turns of phrase, puns, jokes, quips, and the like. I'm not sure there's a universal definition of "funny," I told him, and he answered back with this: "Young guys are too damn intense. It seems like they're going to die on every hill in their stories. And they are not funny. They don't want to be funny."

    I throw it to the crowd.
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I feel a Goodfellas moment upon us.
  3. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    My colleague David Whitley is exceptionally funny. Perhaps you have to know him a little bit, maybe shared a ham sandwich with him in the press cafeteria, but how he writes is exactly how he is in real life. And in that life, he makes everyone around him laugh. He's self-deprecating, always has the perfect one-liner, and is a keen observer of the human condition, which isn't always easy. Plus, he makes fun of everyone, including himself and often his friends and sometimes his lovely wife.
    I wish I could write humor, but I fail miserably. David can even do the thoughtful column that makes the eyes tear, which pisses me off because that's supposed to be MY gig :)
    But seriously, in my humble opinion David's the funniest one we have, simply because you leave his column smiling and maybe even laughing. And he makes it look so easy, so I despise him even more.
  4. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    If you gove me enough beer, yes I'm funny
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member


    In my heart I know I'm funny.
  6. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    If you give ME enough beer...I bet you would be funny as well.
  7. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    +1. I was his colleague and assigning editor once upon a time, and he always provided a laugh or two with his columns. Gingerbread hit it squarely -- what you read is his genuine personality. An exceptional guy and an exceptional writer.
  8. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    Different styles/different generations.

    30-40 years ago, you were chumming around with the players more and could add some of those colorful, funny moments to a story.

    The younger generation (mine) has been taught to stay out of the story and it's much more analytical/black and white. I try to turn a funny phrase now and then in a gamer, etc., and this topic makes me want to focus on doing that a bit more often.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I think we've become desensitized to funny. Twenty years ago, you had one guy on Page 2 or maybe a Sunday column trying to do humor. Now you see it on every blog and in every Simmons-like column every single hour of every single day.

    It used to be a breath of fresh air to read something funny. Now funny is all there is, and it's a breath of fresh air to read something serious.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    No, the difference is that 30-40 years ago, there was no discussion of free agency, arbitration eligibility, service time, etc. There's much more business-related material to cover now. Statistical analysis is also 100 times what it used to be, and that is also a big change.

    Another lesser factor is the demise of the post-game press room, where a lot of anecdotes were shared by scouts and other baseball people.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    It's really a matter of individuals' taste. Some can't stand TJ Simers, for example, I find him hilarious. After reading some writers over a period of months/years, I get their humor.
  12. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    I also think Simers is hilarious.
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