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Critique of football gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by fremont, May 18, 2008.

  1. fremont

    fremont Member

    Here we go again. A football gamer this time from September. The next season's gone up and, as usual, I'd like to produce better stories than last year.


    By James Fremont

    DICKINSON – Homecoming took on a new meaning for the Dickinson Gators, and it was a cause for celebration.
    But celebration may have cost Gators starting quarterback Brody Trahan the remainder of the season.
    The Gators opened the new Sam Vitanza Stadium in appropriate fashion, defeating Bellaire by a 28-7 score on Friday.
    But on the Gators’ final touchdown of the game in the third quarter, after Trahan threw a 6-yard pass to Clay Honeycutt, Trahan twisted his knee while celebrating with Honeycutt in the end zone and limped off the field with help from Dickinson trainers.
    Head coach Warren Trahan, the quarterback’s father, was far from jubilant at the end of a historic night for the Gators, opening their new stadium to possibly the largest crowd ever to see a football game in Dickinson.
    “It was a good win,” Trahan said. “The kids played hard.”
    Honeycutt, having been the target of what may have been Brody Trahan’s last pass of the season, found himself under center in his place. He also took snaps in Dickinson’s 49-3 victory on Sept. 7, and Warren Trahan says the sophomore is ready to start.
    “Clay did a good job,” the coach said. “We’re going to go with him. He’s tough he’s smart and we’ve got as good a quarterback coach as there is on the Gulf Coast working with him,” referring to his oldest son, Beau.
    “There’s little to no dropoff at the quarterback position.”
    Honeycutt was 4-for-6 passing for 46 yards.
    Trahan’s injury took place in a much more mundane act than his high-flying theatrics earlier in the game, leaping over a defender near the goal line and getting flipped head over heels on one play. Trahan finished the same second-quarter drive with a diving leap over the pylon. He finished 7-for-17 passing for 114 yards and was involved in three of Dickinson’s four touchdowns,
    Trahan's season was cut short last year as well, and he also lost playing time as a freshman in 2005 due to injuries. The Gators have struggled heavily with injuries to key players since their last postseason appearance in 2002.
    The Gators turned over the ball on their first two possessions and the offense was slow to materialize, with the score remaining scoreless after the first quarter and the Gators also committing penalties that negated a long Colbert Archie run in the first quarter and a Honeycutt pass to Donald Hunter late in the game. Bellaire’s Michael Cox accounted for both Gator turnovers, one fumble and one interception.
    “It’s a big night, and everybody was excited and nervous,” Warren Trahan said. “We got it over with.”
    But the defense that has helped Dickinson to its first 4-0 start held another opponent to under 10 points, which it has done three times in four games. Chris Myers recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter as the Gators put the game away.
    “Defensively, two weeks in a row we’ve played great,” Trahan said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way our defense is playing.”
    The Gators open District 23-4A play at Angleton on Friday.
    With this game, the era of football at the old Sam Vitanza Stadium is over after serving as home to Gator football since 1936. The new stadium carries the same name due to a clause put into place when the school district named the old stadium after Sam Vitanza, a former Dickinson bus driver who died in 1972.


  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    You start a lot of sentences with "but".

    Try and figure out more interesting ways to start those sentences.
  3. fremont

    fremont Member

  4. SamMonson

    SamMonson New Member

    Try and avoid passages where each sentence begins with the guy's name, or a 'he' in its place. It's a trap i fall into regularly, but it just reads a bit too much like a list. There's ways to reword the sentences so they flow better whilst still getting across the same information
  5. fremont

    fremont Member

    If there is anything that I catch myself consciously trying not to do when writing but sometimes end up doing anyway, this is it. Deadline pressure? Mental block? Weak dollar against a strong Euro and yen? Who knows. Maybe this will be the year I get the "listgrafs" bug outta my system :D

    Thanks for your input, and anyone else feel free to chime in.
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    One point I noticed, after you wrote that coach Warren Trahan was far from jubilant with respect to his son's injury, I'd have used a quote from him about Brody Trahan's condition. I just think that would improve the flow.

    Also, here:
    , score remaining scoreless is too repetitive. I'd use "game remaining scoreless" just to keep it from looking too mundane.

    All in all, not bad, except for some of the things pointed out previously.
  7. fremont

    fremont Member

    I'd have loved to, but I believe new medical privacy laws prevent that and it would be the coach's problem. He actually told me it was a torn ACL and I didn't put it in the paper, for that reason. I've been told that coaches are not to divulge specific injury or any other health information regarding their players, and I'm not aware that there is any sort of exemption for coaches regarding their kids who play. I might be wrong on all this, but I err on the side of caution.

    "Score remaining scoreless." That indeed came from the front desk of the Dept. of Redundancy Dept, didn't it?
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Can you check with the paper's lawyers? Perhaps do some research to find out how the laws apply to kids who play football?

    If I'm a copy editor, I'd rather take that detail out if it's legally necessary than not have it and wonder. Obviously, as a reader, I'd want to know what happened to the quarterback if I follow the team.

    And yeah, I think the Department of Redundancy Department was working overtime there. ;)
  9. fremont

    fremont Member

    This was produced for a small, independently-owned twice-weekly. Maybe I should ask if they even have a "full-time" lawyer like most newspapers/media companies do. In any case I'll try to find a better explanation of this law from someone who knows for sure; I just don't want to get anyone in trouble.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Perhaps your state's (or region's) press association might have a legal hotline you could call. They may be able to provide you quick information about legal matters.

    That could be a good resource if the paper you're stringing for doesn't have a lawyer.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's not a violation of medical privacy laws if the paper publishes the info off material the coach gave you. And if its his kid, the point is moot anyway. And it's not your problem to check to see if the coach is breaking the law.

    Please don't quote a coach when he said "the kids played hard". That's not news. If he said they were "spineless sacks of garbage", that's news.
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