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Favorite lede you've ever written or read?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Wonderlic, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Wonderlic

    Wonderlic Member

    This was in today's Delaware News Journal:

    Disclaimer: I found a similar thread from 2008, but figured it was too old to resurrect and thought this could be fun.

    AP photo
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    The lede to Dan Jenkins' Namath profile. You can stop after the first sentence and it's still amazing, or read the entire first paragraph and it becomes an all-timer.

    Stoop-shouldered and sinisterly handsome, he slouches against the wall of the saloon, a filter cigarette in his teeth, collar open, perfectly happy and self-assured, gazing through the uneven darkness to sort out the winners from the losers. As the girls come by wearing their miniskirts, net stockings, big false eyelashes, long pressed hair and soulless expressions, he grins approvingly and says, "Hey, hold it, man—foxes." It is Joe Willie Namath (see cover) at play. Relaxing, Nighttiming. The boss mover studying the defensive tendencies of New York's off-duty secretaries, stewardesses, dancers, nurses, bunnies, actresses, shopgirls—all of the people who make life stimulating for a bachelor who can throw one of the best passes in pro football. He poses a question for us all: Would you rather be young, single, rich, famous, talented, energetic and happy—or President?


    The lede to Moehringer's "Resurrecting The Champ."

    I'm sitting in a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, waiting for a call from a man who doesn't trust me, hoping he'll have answers about a man I don't trust, which may clear the name of a man no one gives a damn about.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    1996 Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

    "There was only one bad seat in the house at the new Stone Mountain Tennis Center on the opening day of Olympic tennis competition, and it was on the throne."

    Story went on to explain it was a mundane day of action, but the facility toilets weren't working properly. I still chuckle when I think of that lead all these years later.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Jan. 5, 1997, the AFC No. 1 seed Broncos at home in a divisional playoff game against the second-year Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos were a 12 1/2-point favorite and led 12-0 in the first quarter yet inexplicably lost 30-27.

    "What do the Pope, Billy Graham and the 1996 Denver Broncos all have in common? They all got 76,000 people inside Mile High Stadium to stand up and shout, 'JESUS CHRIST!'"
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Columnist John Schulian in Chicago Sun-Times advising Bulls fans the morning after their favorite team drafted Quintin Dailey, the USF guard who had beaten a rap (some said) for sexual assault of a fellow student:

    "You shouldn't boo Quintin Dailey. You should hate him."
  6. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    This is one of my personal bests.

  7. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    This one from Thomas Boswell in 1981 remains one of my favorites:

    You may notice his wooden leg first, but it’s his face that you remember. It’s a wreck, as in Veeck. Here is a man with the gift of radiant homeliness.

    “How can you be a sage if you’re pretty?” rumbles Bill Veeck, with a rhinocerine laugh. “You can’t get your wizard papers without wrinkles.”
  8. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    In the land of the pickup truck and cream gravy for breakfast, down where the wind can blow through the walls of a diner and into the grieving lyrics of a country song on a jukebox—down there in dirt-kicking Big Eight territory—they played a football game on Thanksgiving Day that was mainly for the quarterbacks on the field and for self-styled gridiron intellectuals everywhere. The spectacle itself was for everybody, of course, for all of those who had been waiting weeks for Nebraska to meet Oklahoma, or for all the guys with their big stomachs and bigger Stetsons, and for all the luscious coeds who danced through the afternoons drinking daiquiris out of paper cups. But the game of chess that was played with bodies, that was strictly for the cerebral types who will keep playing it into the ages and wondering whether it was the greatest collegiate football battle ever. Under the agonizing conditions that existed, it well may have been.

    YHS, etc
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The favorite lede I ever wrote was at Lillehammer. Nancy beat Sluggo. New graf. It didn't run due to the news side editor's intervention. We had words later.

    To read. Well, here's one I remember from Jim Murray. "Before the season, I wrote the Dodgers had players to burn. If they blow this lead, that'll be too good for 'em.
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Favorite I've written was from a gamer on two winless FCS teams playing a conference game on a dreary, cold, rainy day in early November. The definition of two teams playing because they had no choice. It started raining at the end of the first series of the game and stopped late in the fourth quarter. The final score was something like 12-3, and it was as shitty as it sounds, with lots of fumbles and rain-fueled mistakes:

    "The football gods wept on the Delta Saturday afternoon."

    I think I posted that one in the 2008 thread and Spnited ripped me a new one for the "football gods" conceit, and then another new one when I tried to defend it. I was farting in stereo by the time he was done.
    Fuck'im. I thought it was brilliant.
    RIP, you crotchety old bastard.
  11. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    The lede I poured the most love into ended up being used as a deck. Possibly the longest deck ever. (This is a draft. It came out a little different.) It was goofy but the whole story of the Arnold Classic was goofy.

    Please be advised this story contains: men rubbing oil on each other’s virtually naked bodies; women clad in oversized g-strings mutually lubricating counterparts likewise; Caucasians walking around with skin as dark as obsidian in what resembles Blackface performance; athletes expectorating into the crowd; fans paying hundreds of dollars welcoming the aforementioned spittle like Dust Bowl farmers would a July drizzle; dietary regimens clinically constituting eating disorders; champions using cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs; body-image psychosis; disfigurements from surgeries and implantations; shameless product placement; crimes against film; philandering; vomiting; fraud; racism; the liquefaction of internal organs; and death.

    YHS, etc
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I see it in various forms over the Internet and cannot find the original article (someone have Lexis-Nexis access?), but Tom Keegan of the New York Post wrote this (or something like it) in 1998: "Had he known that his New York Mets would play baseball so badly, Bobby Valentine never would have invented the game in the first place."
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