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Help with game column.

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by KSTANBACH, Mar 23, 2013.


    KSTANBACH New Member

    This is an article I'm doing school. I need help as I really suck at this journalism stuff, so any help would be appreciated. Please proceed to destroy it.

    Georges St-Pierre defeats Nick Diaz at UFC 158
    MONTREAL— The title fight Saturday night for the UFC welterweight title, the biggest fight of the year for the UFC, between Nick Diaz (26-9) and Georges St-Pierre (23-2) was two years in the making. The fight-originally set for September 2011- was postponed due to St-Pierre injuring his knee and was postponed again due to Diaz failing a drug test for marijuana.

    St-Pierre wanted this fight for personal reasons. Diaz is not the number one contender – he isn’t even the number two contender. He earned his spot for the title because he insulted St-Pierre. “He’s the most disrespectful human being I’ve ever met, and I’m going to put the worst beating you’ve ever seen on him in the UFC,” said St-Pierre in response to Diaz saying, “I don’t think Georges is hurt, I think he’s scared to fight everybody right now” when St-Pierre had to withdraw from their initial fight.

    Their rancor intensified in the Pre-fight press conference when Diaz accused St-Pierre of using steroids and opined that the UFC changed their scoring system to favor St-Pierre’s style of fighting. St-Pierre, usually calm and collected in these situations, started his own angry tirade when Diaz recollected an incident at a hotel in 2011. “Do you really think I’m afraid of you, man?” said St-Pierre, “are you crazy in the head.” Diaz’s pre-fight theatrics did have an effect on St-Pierre as he was noticeably bothered by the comments and actions of Diaz. “It was a tough fight for me. I just wanted to get rid of it. It was tough. It was very demanding, very stressful,” said the champion. “Some people play head games with me before, but that level it was quite uncomfortable. It was something else.”

    Diaz’s games intensified just before the fight when he had one of his corner men, a former defeated opponent of St-Pierre, Jake Shields, protest St-Pierre’s gloves, turning the locker room in to a raucous circus: “Just before the fight I was in the locker room. They sent some guy over to check my hand wrap. It was going back and forth. They were yelling in my locker room,” said St-Pierre. “Everything was about head games. It was crazy. It’s the first time someone played a lot of head games like this with me.”

    In the end, though, Diaz would have been better served defending against St-Pierre’s takedowns instead of complaining about them. St-Pierre won this fight via unanimous decision 50-45, 50-45, 50-45. Seconds into the first round, St-Pierre easily took Diaz to the mat with a double-leg takedown. From the top guard position St-Pierre threw strikes at his opponent at opportune times while defending against his attempted submissions. Diaz attempts to lock in St-Pierre’s wrist and roll into his arm for a submission never materialized, because St-Pierre would simply hop over him to take away any leverage he had, neutralizing his efforts. Once Diaz realized he wasn’t going to get the submission, he spent the rest of the fight trying to stay on his feet.

    In the third round, Diaz started to mount an offense, stuffing attempted takedowns, and getting back on his feet quickly if he was put on the mat. But Diaz, an excellent boxer, couldn’t get into an effective rhythm as St-Pierre had him covered here too. St-Pierre described his strategy by saying, “he’ very good in boxing range… I didn’t want to fight the fight in close boxing range. I wanted to fight the fight like in the kickboxing range: all the way in or all the way out.” Diaz did start landing punches well in the later rounds, but anytime he started getting the best of St-Pierre, St-Pierre would put him back on the mat.

    The criticism leveled at St-Pierre was immediate. Diaz complained he never submits or knocks-out his opponents, and that the UFC unduly favors takedowns in its point structure system, however, Diaz let himself open for nine takedowns, so it’s hard to comprehend how St-Pierre was awarded too many points. These takedowns put Diaz in the bottom guard position, a position of offense in Brazilian Jiujitsu (Diaz has a black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu), he couldn’t get an arm bar or leg bar while in this position, and that’s why he didn’t win rounds or the fight. Diaz also failed to acknowledge St-Pierre’s striking in the top guard position. Though he didn’t strike Diaz a lot, it was enough to win.
    When the fighters were on their feet, Diaz was out struck there too. Again, St-Pierre didn’t strike a lot, he struck enough, which Diaz complained about: That St-Pierre is too conservative, but it’s that conservation that makes him a champion whereas Diaz’s recklessness cost him the win.
  2. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    First off, I have a question about your terminology. Is this a game story (telling people what happened and what it means) or game column (giving your opinion on what happened, or telling people some behind-the-scenes stories about WHY it happened)?

    If it's a game story, it fails miserably. You rehash way too much backstory before telling us who won the damn fight. Even in a column, unless you're weaving some complex tale and leaving it intentionally ambiguous -- which you weren't doing here -- it ought to be mentioned higher than 300 words into the story.

    A minor thing ... Is it OK to assume the weird breaks are the result of your cut-and-paste job for this site instead of the way it appeared in print or on the website? A formatting thing, not a writing thing?

    I think, in a story like this, where you're trying to play up the animosity between these guys, you need an anecdotal lede. The incident with the gloves protest right before the fight is a good hook, and it's something fresh. It's a good hook for the story, and it's woefully misplaced here.
    UFC fans are generally pretty hardcore. They follow the sport closely and know a lot of of the old stuff that's happened. If they're reading your story, they know these guys have a genuine dislike for each other, as well as a lot of the previous incidents. Give them something they don't know, use it as example, and link it back to the older stuff. Then come back to how the insults continued all the way through the fight, with the criticisms of the scoring system and St. Pierre's fighting style.
    You do something a lot of young writers tend to do: write chronologically. It's not the best way to do things. Ask yourself what's most important. If you were talking to someone about this, what would you tell them first? Would it be that these guys had spats two years ago? Or that they've disliked each other a long time, and you wouldn't believe what happened the night of the fight?

    When writing about an event, whether it's a game or a fight or whatever, it's a fine line between telling people things that have mentioned leading up to it, what happened during it, and what it means going forward. Good stories have elements of all three without dwelling too long on any of them. Here, you have elements of the first two, none of the third, and dwell way too long on what happened leading up to it (some of which happened two years ago).
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