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game story protocol

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by henryhenry, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    tom keegan, who was a great baseball writer until he left the Post, insists that the first number in a game story has to be the final score, and it has to be in the first three grafs.

    it's old school - but not necessarily outdated.

    any thoughts on this?

  2. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    That's always been my rule of thumb, to be broken only in very rare, desperate occasions. The final score has to be the first SCORE in the game story, though. I'm not flexible about that.
  3. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    At least give the final score before giving any other scores, such as, The Yankees scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-8 victory over the Red Sox ... , rather than, The Yankees overcame an 8-3 deficit in the ninth inning with six runs for a 9-8 victory ...

    That's unnecessary and can be confusing.
  4. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I have stretched it to the fourth graf on occasion, but it's a pretty good rule to live by. And NEVER give any score before the final score.
  5. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    one thing i don't like is when the lead is about a past event - as foreshadowing the present event -

    better to start with the present and then invoke the past
  6. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I'll give some leeway on the three-graf rule if the writer wants to "set the scene." But the other thing -- final score is the FIRST score -- is a dead-bolt lock to me. Any derivation from that simply serves to confuse the reader, and there's a better way out there.
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    As in the case of all ironclad rules, I have broken the "score in the first three graphs" edict on isolated occasions, but very very rarely.

    But I have never broken the "never mention any score other than the final score of the game first" rule -- never. And I immediately take the lightsaber to any story I see on the desk that breaks it. I don't discuss it, I don't explain it. It's just wrong.
  8. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    This might be the most agreement we've ever had on an SJ thread, even on the Journalism board.
  9. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I use the score-in-one-of-the-first-four-graphs rule. Obviously, the sooner the better.

    And no score, no scoring play, no other numbers prior to the final score.

    I think we'd all agree with his philosophy on quotes, too, no?
    - - Don't use quotes unless they add to the story. - -
    There's a coach around these parts whose quotes are useless. I use only ones that have substance, which are few and far between. Otherwise, I paraphrase, use "said" and "according to."
  10. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    That and our despisal of Scoop Jackson and Sportsbruh.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

  12. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    My bad. Thanks.
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