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Denver Post tells writers to stop making picks in games they cover

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    About damned time, too. If you're asking a journalist to cover something, it undermines that journalist's credibility if you also ask him to take one side or the other.

  2. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Seems silly to me...it's sports. Do we really need to take it this seriously?
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    The predictions are stupid, but not for reasons of objectivity. Sportswriters have always proven inept at making football predictions. This shows that despite their supposed knowledge of the league, they don't really know all that much.

    I'm sure Tuesday Morning Quarterback will love this. That guy compiles all the picks and makes fun of them at the end of the season. He makes fun of the NYT for trying to pick the score of every game and posits that his generic prediction of home team 24, visiting team 20 will be right more often than the NYT pickers.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    2much, you're one of the good ones here -- but you and I couldn't be more far apart on this issue. I RUSHED to this site to see if anybody had anything to say about this when I saw it.

    Picking the winner of a game, in my opinion, undermines absolutely nothing. It's thinking that was outmoded 20 years ago -- that the sports department isn't different than any other part of the paper.

    The sports department IS different than any other part of the paper. It's a unique mixture of news and entertainment that can't be found anywhere else but that section. Sports writers are different, and sports editors are different.

    Fans want predictions, and they want them from the people most qualified to make them: The people who cover the team for a living.

    I think this is ridiculous; it's trying to "hold the line" or something in the absolutely wrong place. And again, it's the kind of thinking that might have worked in 1982, when newspapers were in an unchallenged position of power within a community.

    Those days are long gone, and now, it's a silly gesture that takes away something at least some readers want.

    Couldn't agree less with this decision.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Agree with SF. People love that stuff, and the non-fanboys can appreciate the opinion of someone who spends every day around the team. Whether the opinion is right or not -- and of course it's often not, that's sports -- is irrelevant to the discussion. (Heck, if a guy was right every single time, I'd hope he'd get out of the biz and go make some real money!)

    That said, I have never been a fan of the beat guy picking every game on the board, because we all know how that goes -- guy spits those out on a Friday afternoon, usually without too much thought. But on his own team, knowing the personnel and the matchups, I'd like to hear what he has to say.
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Fans want predictions? Really?
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yeah, they do... When I wrote a weekly NFL picks column I would get more email as a result of that column than I would everything else combined. Occasionally they congratulate you when you were right, taunt you when you're wrong and scream "How dare you" when you pick the local team to lose. I would also get about 20 emails a week complaining that I didn't pick against the betting line.

    Readers care what the "so-called experts" think.
  8. Honestly, the fans are probably better qualified to make predictions than a beat writer. When I'm covering my (non-NFL) team, I know plenty about the team I cover, but all I know about the opponent is what I could scrounge together that week. There's almost no inside info beyond what my team's coaching staff tells me, and chances are pretty solid that I haven't seen any of the opposing team's games.

    Any fan who stays home and watches the home team and has seen 3-4 of the opposing team's games on TV (or even their highlights on SportsCenter) has probably seen more of the opponent than I have.
  9. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    I have never been a fan of predictions. It is a sportswriter's job to report, not predict. It's a waste of space and a lazy way to fill a newspaper.
    It's even more annoying on TV. I can't stand watching and hearing a ex-jock talk about why he thinks X team will beat Y team. Again, another waste of time. I want to know who's playing, who's hurt, who's benched and did any of the players get arrested the night before a game. It might be purely selfish, but that's what's important to me and my fantasy teams.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, RPM, in repeating Mizzou's points, I can't agree at all with "waste of space."

    We, too, get more feedback on beat writers' picks -- by far -- than anything else we do. Game picks, season picks, bowl predictions. Looking into the future, I guess you'd call it, is the most popular thing any of our writers do.
  11. SEeditor

    SEeditor Member

    They told the beat writers to stop, but columnist are still putting predictions in the weekly package they run for pregame.
  12. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    There was a sportswriter once, and I forgot who it was, but he thought it was ridiculous to pick the final score of NFL games he had no clue about. So every week, his picks would show up in the paper, and he would use the date as the final score.

    Sometimes it wouldn't be bad, like on Oct. 17 (every game was a 10-17 final.)

    Forgot what he did when the date was Oct. 10, Nov. 11, Dec. 12, etc.
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