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Football preview: who to put on the cover

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Seventy times seven, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Seventy times seven

    Seventy times seven New Member

    I publish a high school football preview magazine for a six-county area (18 schools total). This is our second year. I'm wrestling with who/what to put on the cover -- one player, a group of 4-5 of the area's top players, one photo of a player from every school in a collage format? Maybe a couple of players and helmet icons/school logos for every school? Or at the very least, list every school that is in the magazine?

    I'd love to hear some ideas. Each team will have its own section inside the magazine, but since we are somewhat new still I want the cover to grab as many people as possible. Thanks!
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    When doing tabs, I've used all the ideas/concepts you cited above. I like variety and not doing the same thing year after year.

    A couple of questions to consider:

    1) Is there one star in this year's crop (most likely a senior)? Someone who is heavily recruited and generally considered the best player in the area? If so, that's a strong option.

    2) Does the publication have some sort of theme, starting with the lead story? That often works to set the tone for the rest of the publication.

    I do like the collage concept, because it allows you to get multiple pictures/images out there. Have used photos some years, logos in other years. Don't be afraid to be creative.
  3. Whoever got the stats on the high got the cover, ya dig?

    Or hit up they moms. If she swallows, her kinfolk gets the ink.
  4. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Active Member

    The girl with the biggest tits?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist the Monty Python reference) ... :)
  5. You never disappoint, good sir.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Me, I like one subject. Do 'em big, do something original. Fill the page with that subject. Big, big, big.

    Oh, yeah. And do it big.
  7. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Are we talking the player, his mom's tits, or both?
  8. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Only room for one.

    The mom.
  9. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    We've had some pretty nice high school covers over the years, and here's what I learned:

    1) I disagree with shotty. Unless you have one truly dominant player, I'd avoid doing just one guy. Doing more than one player lets you get in multiple schools, which to me is always a good thing with high school sports since the preview is about so much more than one player.

    2) That said, I think you limit the number of players on the cover. To me, five is a nice number. Much more, and it gets crowded. We've done as few as three and it looked good; in fact, the one I did with three is one of my favorite high school covers. We've also had covers with 10, and they seemed forced. Maybe with a photo shoot with all of them there, they could have turned out better.

    3) It sounds like you are thinking about using Photoshop to pull together images of the players. If you can, I'd advise against it. You can make it look pretty good, and if you're good in Photoshop, you can make it look great, but it won't be special. Instead, I'd get the players together somewhere and doing a shoot where you can get something unique. If you have a theme, pick somewhere where you can carry the theme out. If you don't, then pick use one of your local stadiums. Or find somewhere that's unique to your area (a local landmark or something). It always seems like it would be hard to work something out, but my experience is that it's always been worth the effort. Even if you have to make it the top couple of players or two three running backs or something to make it work, I'd try to get a photo shoot organized. Heck, if worse came to worst, I think I'd rather do a shoot with one player and control how the cover looks than Photoshop together multiple images.

    4) If you want to be more inclusive and have the option, maybe you do more than one cover. Shoot a cover for each county, with a player from each school in that county or the county's top two or three players. Have your printer run enough copies for that area and distribute each counties cover in that area.
  10. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    Just don't go with any variation of 'gunslingers' unless you want the PC crowd to go nuts.
    An area paper did that a few years back, highlighting some pretty good quarterbacks. Dressed them in a little Western gear with their jerseys and had a few toy rifles with them.
    A few people went nuts, saying the paper was promoting gun violence, thuggish behavior, etc.
    Oh, yeah, most of the quarterbacks were from small, rural schools. They probably knew more about proper gun etiquette and safety than those making blanket accusations.
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Anyway, check out Rivals to see if any of your area players are considered big time players, maybe you have a group of linemen, receivers, linebackers or whatever that will be playing on Saturdays - shoot the linemen in a trench or some blue collar type environment, linebackers in front of a semi or on a train, receivers next to an airplane etc. .....
    I always enjoyed those shots SI used to have in their preview with players on campus also enjoy the pictures when athletes are in some kind of different environment (a jungle/a library/a zoo) with other people.
  12. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    Yes, many ways you could go on this one...typically I favor one big shot — a small-town version of an SI cover. :)
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