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Game advances

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    First of all, this is NOT about the Orlando Sentinel, or criticizing it at all, more a general topic.

    My son sent me the audio from John Calipari's postgame press conference yesterday after Memphis blew out Central Florida.

    Pretty early, after saying how well his team played, he praised the UCF situation and said they really had something going there with great facilities and a great setup for college basketball. For those unaware -- most of you -- the whole campus got really revved up for the Memphis game, it was a record crowd, they all wore the same color, and it was a big deal.

    Anyway, he then basically chastised Orlando for not getting behind UCF and one of his pointed criticisms was that the game advance was not on the sports section front for this game (UCF was unbeaten at home, by the way) and that it obviously should have been.

    So, aside from Super Bowls, were do we stand on advances? We know our attitude is changing on game stories. If a highly ranked team comes into a town for one of the home team's biggest games ever, is that a mandatory for the section front? Or are we at the point where advances are more informational, tickets, gametime, TV, radio, etc., and as long as we give readers that info, that's good enough. Or somewhere in between?

    (By the way, I'm relying solely on Calipari saying it wasn't on the section front, and nobody disputing that in the press conference ['Am I right?' he asked]. So if he's wrong, then I ask forgiveness, but the topic still might be worthy.)
  2. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    For our three colleges, we do advance boxes with lineups, stats, notes, etc. But no game advance stories. If you do them, I think they should be features leading into a game with a teaser for the game itself. But not a pure Xs and Os type of story.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think a lot of papers are phasing out advances... With the exception of a HUGE game, we usually rely on a game box that has time, date, place, lineups and a few notes on the home team and the opponent... Sometimes we'll run features that will mention the next game, but almost never a straight advance...

    Considering the No. 1 team in the country is a few hours away, I'd hardly be stunned if the Sentinel didn't do anything major to preview a UCF hoops game.
  4. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    I don't know that I want to comment specifically about the Orlando situation (maybe there's some sadness because Van died), but I kind of agree with Calipari (gosh, that hurts). Other than the Magic, what else is important locally in Orlando.

    I think seeing a preview story is something worthy because you want to see what is going on. I think the writer and readers get a chance to prepare and to look for things.

    The other thing is if the fans and campus were that excited and it was unique, I think it was a pretty big story.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Yeah, I thought twice about posting because it was Orlando, but again, this is more of a philosophical discussion than any criticism whatsoever, and thought it was a fair general topic for the board.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    My paper does some sort of a story for about damn near all the men's basketball games, whether its a feature, more standard preview or the fact that two coaches thing BracketBusters is an obsurd idea. We do advance boxes for all men's and women's games.
    Sometimes its a pain in the ass, but I also think it gives me some freedom to find better stories and write them.
    Keep in mind, unless its something special, most of the advances are 10-12 inches -- nothing long.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'd be curious what the Sentinel runs as an advance for a Florida game.

    I'll bet it's not much and that's not a criticism in any way. But if they're not doing it for the No. 1 team in the country, why should they do it for a horseshit program like UCF, even if it is in their backyard...
  8. satchmo

    satchmo Member

    At my shop, we tend to avoid running advances on the front, unless they've been featurized. If it's just Joe Blow University versus Mike Smith State, there's no real point in giving it prime real estate. If you take the time to find and angle ... maybe you work your way out there.
  9. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    For the big four men's college programs in our town, we write small 10-12 inch advances for each week's worth of games. I, as Cosmo said, try to turn them into short features or trend stories and try to leave out the X's, O's and standard stat crunching.

    Only two of the shools ever really get front-page basketball advance coverage unless it's a big, big game.

    However, in some ways, I think the pre-game stuff is every bit as important as the game coverage. I don't mind advance stories that spell out what's on the line, who has been slumping, who has been hot and if there is something significant that might be happening. I want my readers to anticipate the games and part of my job, IMO, is to feed that anticipation -- without becoming a homer or a shill, of course. I think game stories are the things which often should be trimmed (especially in light of instant stats, video and AP reports from TV and websites) while analysis, notes, etc., should be played up bigger in the paper the day after the game. We need to use the limited inches we have providing something different and more expansive than what our readers can get 30 minutes after the game via sportsline.com.

    But on Super Bowl week, any basketball team shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves off the front page for the advance as well as for the gamer.
  10. One thing in SF's initial post jumped out at me: the reaction on the UCF campus to the Memphis game. I don't like X-and-O advances, either, but it strikes me that there might have been a decent advance story about the anticipation for the game.

    That seems like something that might have made a nice story before the game was played -- whether the game was a sellout, how scarce tickets were, what the mood was like around campus, etc. It sounds as if it might have been worth writing about.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Advances is one thing. A game like this is unique and a big deal.

    And just because a story is written the day of the game doesn't mean it has to dissect how the teams match up or crap like that.
  12. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    With us, we try to "feature-ize" the day-of-game story, so that the accompanying advance box (with starters, notes, game info, etc.) is not redundant. It seems to work well for us.

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