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Avengers Fall to the Philadelphia Soul With Scoreless Half

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by sportsnut, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. sportsnut

    sportsnut Member

    I need some opinion on this game story if you guys and girls would not mind taking a look.

    The Los Angeles Avengers (2-2) returned home Thursday night, in front of 13,398, to fall scoreless in the second half to the Philadelphia Soul (4-0) 71-34.

    The Soul arrived at the Staples Center with the goal of going home with the victory and continuing their dominance in the National Eastern Conference.

    The player that the Avengers were not looking forward to seeing again was the current Soul star receiver Chris Jackson, who spent the 2000-2004 seasons with the Avengers before being let go in free agency. Jackson, who had 6 touchdowns for 167 in the Soul’s victory over the Avengers, was seen as almost being unstoppable.

    Bret Munsey, Head Coach for the Philadelphia Soul: “ I knew they would come out ready to roll, they struggled a week ago on the road, but I knew that the staff would have them ready to roll.”

    The Avengers started the game with elegance and style, but that’s how you have to look at what became a shoot out for both teams. Sonny Cumbie went 18-30 for 152 yards and three touchdowns, but he was also intercepted once and sacked four times by the hungry Soul defense.

    The Souls got into the redzone to score first, with 12:01 to go in the first quarter.

    Cumbie answered by connecting with his receiving corps. Kevin Ingram was ahead of the pack with 113 yards and two touchdowns, while LaShaun Ward had 10 yards and a score.

    But Lonnie Ford was a big hit on the field on Thursday as he scored two touchdowns with only 6 yards.

    Ford would be the last Avenger to score with 7:21 left in the third quarter, as the Soul defense would not give the Avengers another chance.

    Matt D’Orazio, the quarterback for the Soul ,went 28-42 for 338 yards and 8 touchdowns . His longest pass was for 30 yards. His target of choice was of course Mr. Jackson, who also shared the spotlight with Larry Brackins who had 95 yards and a touchdown. Cliff Dell got 63 yards and a touchdown to round out the scoring for the Soul.

    Bryan Save was the one player who was able to stick the last nail in the coffin with less then a minute remaining in the game -- he recovered a fumble and took it in for the final score of the game.

    Coach Ed Hodgkiss spoke to SPM after the game and said “We came out to play kind of tierd, kind of flat in the second half.”

    Coach was not talking just about Thursday night's game -- the Avengers have played three full games in 11 days in three time zones.

    The Avengers will hit the road again for games in Michigan and Colorado, before returning home to take on the Utah Blaze on Sunday March 20.
  2. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    Three quick hints:

    Never put a record before the final score. In a related note, never put anything that might look like a final score before the final score.

    Never post anything to this Web site that has a misspelling. You will be severely criticized. (See "tierd" in third to last paragraph.)

    Never write anything like, "Coach was not talking just about Thursday night's game..." Use last name on second reference.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I saw the story in its edited form. Just see what the desk changed.

    My notes:

    The lede is incorrect since L.A. did score in the third quarter.

    Second graf is useless to the story since it's stating the obvious. Yeah, we know they want to win.

    Just quote the Soul coach the normal way. "Blah, blah and blah," said Philadelphia coach Bret Munsey.

    Why did the Avengers start the game with elegance and style? You didn't tell me anything.

    LaShaun Ward's stats don't need to be in the story. No one cares if he had only 10 receiving yards.

    Bryan Save was not the one player who hit the nail in the coffin. He just scored. No use talking him up in a blowout.

    And name the two teams in the last graf.

    The gamer is salvageable, but it needs some heaving editing. Not something the desk would want to deal with on deadline.
  4. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    Thanks for posting. I'm glad you posted because your game story needs a lot of work.

    At first glance, I see a lot of rookie mistakes made. Mistakes one would make who did not have schooling or any sort of guidance from an editor or an AP Stylebook.

    We have to start with the basics for writing a game story (a.k.a. "gamer"). Have you heard of "inverted pyramid" style?

    If I were you, first and foremost I would look at AP stories on the Web that are game stories. Read and take note on how a writer approaches game coverage. A straight gamer, as this is, needs to be simple and to the point.

    Now, I'm assuming your audience are Avengers fans. I think you missed the angle of this game story. It should have hit you when you came across this fact:

    "The Avengers have played three games in 11 days in three time zones."

    Coupled with this quote:

    "We came out to play kind of tired, kind of flat in the second half."

    You needed to focus on exactly how tired this team was and how it reflected on their poor second-half play. Ask a player or two if that played a role, use a follow-up question with the Avengers coach on the same line of questioning.

    Now, remember that in game stories play-by-play should be limited. No one wants to read sentence after sentence of game information. Pick and choose the most important parts and weave those with quotes and analysis.

    All this information may seem too difficult to grasp at first, but it'll become second nature the more and more you write. In addition to reading, when you're watching a game, try and pick out a few angles you could go with it if you were writing a game story... that's good practice.

    Now, when it comes to actual writing, that also needs plenty of help. I'm not sure where to begin on that other than if you read most basic online gamers, from some of the better newspapers or a wire service, you'll probably see the mistakes you've made in this piece. Learn from it and don't make the same mistake twice.

    Good luck.
  5. sportsnut

    sportsnut Member

    Your 100 percent right, I wrote the above right after the game ended and had very little time to write and get quotes. What I should do is write most of it during half time and edit it after the game.

    Thank you for the help and I will look over this for the next game and write shorter stories, instead of trying to do to long with just BS.
  6. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    Dealing with deadlines is something common in our business. You should get in the practice of doing some writing at halftime, or during a game, but remember, most of the action you'll want to describe will come in the second half... usually, that's when a game is decided.

    In Arena Football is different because there is so much scoring. Most times, a game is decided by who has the ball last or who throws an interception.

    Also, instead of "just BS" watch for cliches... AVOID at all times. You had some in this gamer.

    Most of all, just keep at it. Like anything else, over time you'll improve as long as you want to keep learning and improving.
  7. sportsnut

    sportsnut Member

    Will do and thanks for the help.
  8. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    The attendance isn't necessarily info you need to know unless a whole lot of people showed up, or nobody showed up.

    "Three full games in three days."

    You can just say three games, I've yet to see a soccer team that plays only half games.

    You really gotta just read some gamers and see how others do it.

    Rarely do you want to use the full name of the Team. For example. Blue Jays instead of Toronto Blue Jays.

    In the first reference call them Toronto. On the second reference say Blue Jays and follow it with the record. The record, should not be on the first reference.
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