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Death of the general sports columnist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Oz, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    In terms of general-sports columnists, when they're bad they're almost comical -- they're experts on how to run a baseball team one week, experts the next week at what's wrong with the running game of the local college and NFL teams, then experts on how the NBA team should be developing talent, etc etc etc.
  2. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Agree completely. I stopped reading the columnists of the papers I follow. They just didn't offer anything fresh, IMO.
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    I always looked at the general columnists as the writers for the casual sports fans, the people who like to be in the know without getting ass-deep in statistics and specifics. So much of the beat work has been given over to minutia, injury updates, numerical analysis and salary negotiations that I think there is a real place for top writers who, yes, report but clearly are superior writers. Who can opine, analyze and give us drama and wit and stuff in between.

    Problem is, finding someone who can do it well 4 times a week is downright impossible. A bad columnist is worse than a bad beat writer, because the latter at least has the facts to lean on.
  4. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    Ray Ratto. Nuff said.

  5. PaulS

    PaulS Member

    Not sure why an NHL blogger would make the case that less coverage is better for his sport. Just because he doesn't like columnists and their NHL coverage doesn't mean all readers are like him. A casual NHL fan may find a column more appealing than a game story.
  6. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    That's a very good point, Joe. Never really saw it that way, but you're absolutely right and I can see why there would be a place for it. But you're also correct that finding someone who excels in it consistently is downright impossible.
  7. Babs

    Babs Member

    Put me down for never reading general sports columnists.
  8. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Because the coverage they do get from a general columnist is so unsophisticated, its practically insulting.
  9. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I don't know who you are reading. I'm not saying you're wrong.

    But the guys in my area are generally pretty good. Generally fairly well reported. Generally the anchor of the section.
  10. jackfinarelli

    jackfinarelli Well-Known Member

    Good writing is what matters...

    If a paper has a great writer doing gamers and beat coverage, then that great writer can possibly overshadow whatever columnist is at that same paper.

    If a paper has a great writer - - or two - - doing general columns, then people will continue to go there to read those "great writers" doing columnist work.

    Folks who are damned good writers are the ones I seek out for my reading - - in hard copy newspapers and on the Internet. I don't care how anyone classifies them but I enjoy them for their writing. For example, what is Chris Dufresne of the LA Times? Is he a columnist or is he a college football beat writer? I don't care what label you put on him, I just enjoy reading his work - - because I think he is damned good writer.
  11. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    I agree with jackfinarelli. I don't understand the "I don't read any general sports columnists" stance. There are good ones and not-to-so-good ones, just like there are good and not-so-good beat writers. A good general sports columnist is a good reporter. It's gotta be more than just "sitting in your basement" and opining - readers will see right through it.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    And then they contradict themselves the next week. You must be referring to Mike Lupica.
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