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Best and worst of sportswriting

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by micke77, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. micke77

    micke77 Member

    It's list time.
    Five best things about being a sportswriter.
    Five worst things about being a sportswriter.
    I can only imagine the answers we might be getting here.
  2. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    Best thing: Turning to SportsJournalists.com for the phone number of the Eagles media relations people when it is readily available via the same Internet used to access SportsJournalists.com.
  3. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    1. The pay
    2. The parents
    3. The pay
    4. The parent
    5. The pay
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    The good (in no particular order):

    1. Taking my time drinking my coffee and getting ready for the day because I don't have to be somewhere by 9 a.m.
    2. Doing a good portion of my day's work at the ballpark/stadium/gym/golf course (depending on the season) rather than the office.
    3. Getting to know a lot of great people, whether they're coaches, parents, athletes or fans.
    4. Writing about things that matter to people, even if they're inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
    5. Not dreading going to work.

    The bad (in no particular order):

    1. Working late almost every Friday night, and lots of other nights.
    2. Not being able to leave work at work.
    3. Having to put up with assholes, whether they're coaches, parents, athletes or fans.
    4. The pay, of course.
    5. The instability in the industry right now, and the accompanying terror of possibly having to do something else for a living in the not-too-distant future.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member


    1. The good feeling after putting out a good finished product
    2. Seeing the name in print.
    3. Having someone compliment your article for being witty, interesting funny, etc.
    4. Seeing someone reading the newspaper you helped create.
    5. Breaking the story/beating the competition

    1. Job security/corporate bullshit
    2. Pay/Benefits, or should I say lack thereof
    3. Having too many bosses who are too reliant on corporate speak
    4. Crazy readers/phone callers/people who don't understand how the company runs.
    5. Not being able to move up. Having to take another job at another newspaper to better your life, instead of being able to move up in the office.
    6. Giving away our product for free.
    7. People out of the business not realizing why/how we work on weekends and holidays.
  6. best - the people

    worst - none
  7. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    The Best:
    1) Writing every day.
    2) Having to dread the workday maybe once every three months.
    3) Getting compliments from readers and coworkers.
    4) Meeting some of the kindest, most intersting people I've ever encountered.
    5) Honest, supporting colleagues.

    The Worst:
    1) Your worst writing is sent to thousands of homes in your neighborhood.
    2) The job (in)security.
    3) The pay/benefits.
    4) Dealing with some of the meanest, dullest people I've ever encountered.
    5) Snarky colleagues.
  8. highlander

    highlander Member

    One of the Worst - People saying "Wow, you get to go to all the games for free." Yep, but I'm working.
  9. micke77

    micke77 Member

    five best things:
    1-hearing someone say an article inspired them to be better in their lives or to reach a goal.
    2-maybe providing a clipping for a mom or dad's scrapbook that will be looked at gosh knows how many times through the years.
    3-fulfilling a gap left by maybe many of us in the media field who wanted to be the best damn athlete on the block growing up, but became a frustrated athlete; next best thing: being able to write about sports.
    4-using the gift of writing that the good Lord blessed you with.
    5-hearing a youngster say, "gosh, I wish I was a sportswriter like you."

    five worst things:
    1-People who think you only go to games, then go home afterwards ("oh, you mean y'all have to write about it?")
    2-People who think they can do your job 10 times better.
    3-Callers or letter writers who give you hell, yet don't have the gonads to sign or give their name.
    4-Little League parents who believe their son is the next coming of Albert Pujol or A-Rod.
    5-Some of your news side cohorts who think there's nothing to writing about sports, that it's still the "toys and games" department and who don't have a freakin' clue how to turn out copy on deadline.
  10. cvincent40

    cvincent40 New Member

    Sitting in the Soldier Field press box late in a late afternoon NFL game many years ago I complained to Bob Marquis, a Chicago writer, who had recently had his column taken away: "Damn, I've got to top this column as soon as the game is over, race to the locker room, get back up here and sub the whole thing!"

    "Better," he told me, with a straight and solemn face, "two columns than none."

    I never forgot that.

    The best thiing about being a sportswriter always was writing!!!
  11. micke77

    micke77 Member

    Cvincent...yep, you're right. when all is said and done, that's really the best thing of all, isn't it?
  12. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Best things:
    1. Doing a job and talking to people I never, ever would have thought I would do when I was crawling through vegetable fields and standing next to 600-degree pizza ovens for hours at a time.
    2. The relationships with coaches and athletes.
    3. The autonomy I have in my job, especially when I talk to others in my position at other papers and learn the stuff they have to deal with.
    4. I'm not going to lie: Winning awards. It's an ego boost.
    5. The occasional compliments about my work, even the one where the guys said, "That's the best thing I've seen in that rag in a long time."

    The downs:
    1. The hours. I'm in a town where 2-12 pretty much kills your social life.
    2. At my paper, a certain class of employee changes schedule at a moment's notice, then complains when I get freelancers I can rely on to cover what I need covered.
    3. The e-mails and phone calls from parents. I do a better job of letting that roll off my shoulders than the people in No. 2.
    4. I have a slightly clueless boss, and that causes some consternation at times.
    5. I don't get away from the job enough, something I am trying to correct this year.

    I quit radio 20-plus years ago because I figured out I was going about 10 percent of what I got into radio for.

    The downs I listed are regularly overcome by the positives.
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