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"Athletes tend to be pretty boring"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, May 1, 2009.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This is a quote from the Chris Jones interview someone linked to:


    I've always felt the same way, but have consistently beat myself up saying, "They are all interesting people with some depth. You're just not doing enough to draw it out of them."

    Wondering what the opinion of the board is on Jones' generalization?
  2. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    I don't disagree, in a general sense.

    Most pro athletes have been singularly focused nearly all of their lives, and grouped with similar-minded people. They haven't been exposed to a whole lost of diversity, which dulls the personality.
    And let's face it, the majority aren't rocket scientists, which is why we get all excited about the stories of the athlete that is actually intellectually accomplished.

    Olympic athletes, on the other hand, tend to be interesting because they have been exposed to many things - more international opponents and travel in particular - and most are in pursuit of something that isn't necessarily financially motivated.

    They are different breeds from the typical "pro"
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Agreed, most high-level athletes I covered were mind-numbingly dull to talk to. Once in a while, though, you get a Shane Battier.
  4. Pro athletes for sure, college athletes not always, high school kids almost never.  At least in my experience, a lot of high school kids haven't developed that filter yet and can make for some interesting quotes.  For example:

    Two of the four high schools in my area of coverage field ice hockey teams (still a club sport in this state), and when they play, as they did three times this past season, is pretty intense.  The star of Team A literally flicked in a shot from center ice that went about 15 feet in the air and came down behind the goalie of Team B.  I asked the kid about the goal afterwards and he said.

    "Well, he's not that good.  He gives up a lot of rebounds, so I just went for it just to see what would happen."

    Obviously not wanting to embarrass Team B's goalie, I left the first sentence out, but I almost choked on my cough drop.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The biggest problem I always ran into talking to h.s. athletes was the hooting and hollering going on by their teammates in the background while the interview is going on.

    "Look at Johnny - he's a superstar!"
    "Yay, Susie! Talking to a reporter!"

    It can be insufferable.
  6. Grimace

    Grimace Guest

    Since I make up all the quotes I put in my stories, it doesn't matter.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    High school athletes are good for giving quotes, but I get so tired of doing features on them. I just don't care about what motivates a 16-year-old athlete.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Um ... if they aren't interesting, why are you doing a story on them?
  9. Grimace

    Grimace Guest

    To get them scholarships.
  10. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The fact that they aren't interesting to me doesn't mean they won't be interesting to anyone.
  11. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Good point.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Even so. If you are consistently writing stories even you find boring, something is wrong.
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