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Game Advances & Out of Town Coaches

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I'm taking a break from writing a game advance - an advance of a game with pretty big playoff implications, actually.

    I called the out of town coach, who had better quotes, more things to say and whose team is actually a little more interesting than the home side this season.

    So, I got to thinking, is it wrong to use "too much" from him? Is it wrong to focus a little more on the visitors just this once?

    My initial thinking is this: I'm giving the readers a perspective they can't or won't get unless they read the online version of a paper from 200 miles away. Even then, there's no guarantee they offer up what I offer up.

    Your thoughts on this? And your thoughts on advances? Personally, with the immediacy of the 'net, I think advances are useful. Results can be found ASAP after games. There isn't much info leading up to games.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I think you're on to something.

    You can probably wrap up most of the crucial info about the "home" team on game day in a capsule.
  3. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    I say: Hell no, it's not wrong.

    But I had an editor once, long time ago, who went off on me because I quoted the "non-home" coach first in a gamer.

    It didn't matter to the editor that the quote was perfect and about the "home" team and how it dominated the game.

  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I do this all the time, Pete. In fact, any time we do an advance for a big game, I usually try to talk to the out-of-town coach. And any time I talk to an out-of-town coach, it seems the material is much more interesting than "our" team. I think our readers probably agree, because anyone reading the advance probably follows "our" team, and thus already knows what is going on with them.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I'd say go for it.

    When I was the managing editor of a biweekly paper on my big school campus, I'd often run what I called "the enemy report," which would be gamers or opinion pieces from other schools who played against the school I was going to. Actually pissed off the kids at the daily student paper when I ran something from their hated archrivals. I didn't give a fuck what they thought because it was a great piece.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    One the daily grind of stories, these were my priorities:

    1. Find the best stories.

    2. Find a fresh angle whenever possible

    3. Fill the page.

    Go with the visiting coach if he's good. I would only feel guilty if I didn't even bother to call the home coach.
  7. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Absolutely run with it. I wouldn't say do it everytime, but if your readers really want to know about the opposition, they'll love this. If they just want to read about how the home-team coach is proud of his kids, you'll hear about it afterwards and the lesson will be learned.

    I've always thought that finiding a new angle on stories like this is what keeps this job interesting. I once wrote a story about a softball player who was a monster hitter. Before I talked to her, I talked to 5 or 6 pitchers that faced her and got their impressions. Those impressions were really interesting and were the lede to my story.
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Go for it, Big Pete. A change of pace isn't only refreshing for the readers, it's a good change of pace for the writer. I see no problem doing this at all, although my former bosses would feel differently; I was criticized internally for even speaking with the opposition.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's the dumbest damn thing I've ever heard.

    Especially as I'm sure there are thousands of legitimate reasons to criticize you.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Countless reasons, Ace. Fucking countless. But I was actually reprimanded for talking to the "away players and coaches and not focusing as much on the home team" by my publisher. I refuted, told him that's not how I do things, it cheats the readers and it's ethically flawed. And I refused to change. Three months later, I was at another paper.

    By the way, I shouldn't have said "bosses." I never heard anything negative from my editor, a good guy; just the publisher, a fucking dillhole.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    He does sound like a classic Vlasic ass.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    You didn't happen to work for my current publisher, did you? Oh, right. He doesn't even look at sports.
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