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How come national sportswriting is now all predictions and comparisons?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by usedtoBinthebiz, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. I get my Sports Illustrated this week -- I still really enjoy the magazine -- and on the cover is Rory McEllroy (rightfully on the cover) but a headline: 2015 Master's prediction, because it's never too soon.

    Yes it is, it's too soon. Stop it, please.

    Then the story was nothing but a comparison of McEllroy to Tiger Woods. It's as if the writer had nothing else on his mind.

    On another recent SI cover it says LeBron James still needs 6 things (as in rings) to be considered for everything.

    I know this is the ESPNization of sports, but why does everything have to be a prediction or a comparison. ESPN goes on for hours and hours comparing Jordan to LeBron. We get it, OK? And I'm tired of the Tiger chasing Jack or who is the next Tiger stuff? Can't McEllroy's recent accomplishment stand on its own?

    Everything is a prediction or a comparison. It used to not be like this. Is it just dumbing down for the masses?
  2. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Reporters got tired of reporting.
    Everyone wants to write opinion now.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    No, it's called "By the time my SI arrives in my mailbox, whatever is on the cover is likely a week old, so the writer better have something that moves the story forward or else I'm not even going to bother reading it, and these halcyon days of 'Ain't this event grand?' also mostly existed before the internet, and certainly before mobile phones and Twitter."

    What you think of as "dumbing down" is reading habits changing.
  4. Why would they want to predict the 2015 Master's when golf predictions are usually 100 percent wrong? SI picked Woods to win the U.S. Open last year, he was far down the chart. If that's reading habits changing, we have problems. Anyone can say, "Yeah, McEllroy is going to win the 2015 Master's!" Why would he more than anyone else, because he won The British Open? That's pure stupidity.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    It seems you don't understand what is actually being done here. It's about giving the reader some reason to read the story about a thing that already happened. It's moving the narrative forward, not looking back. The idea that Bamberger (the author of the piece) is trying to anchor the story on is the forward-thinking narrative that Rory gunning for the career Grand Slam will be an exciting moment. If you actually read the story (I'm assuming you read only the headline), there is plenty of reporting within, about Rory's parents, his personality, what he means to the game. There is maybe one line in there about how a guy who hits it long and with a high draw will be looking forward to the course that favors those shots more than anyone. (Except maybe a hillbilly left-hander who hits it long and with a high cut.) If you don't get why Rory at the Masters will be big deal, why that course suits his game and why he and Bubba will be co-favorites, then well, whatever.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I thought SI's story on Michelle Wie after her U.S. Open victory was very well done. Just a lot of information and insight into the woman I had not heard before (not that I've looked all that much, but . . . ).
  7. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Predictions and comparisons are the best and most thorough way to distract everyone from Benghazi.
  8. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I thought this Rory story had similar qualities (though she is a bit more interesting than him, so the material Shipnuck was working with was better, but some of that may also be better reporting).
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Sports writing is not just predictions and comparisons. It's rumors, too.
  10. Meatie Pie

    Meatie Pie Member

    First, the "ESPNization" of sports, if you identify this as the excessive analysis and predictions, as well as comparisons of eras and players was occurring long before ESPN became the juggernaut it is today. ESPN simply does it better and more often than everyone else. They have the outlets, they use them.

    Second, I'm not sure why anyone would think this is some kind of "dumbing down" for the audience. Today's audience isn't just a group of people waiting for Mr. Sports Writer Guy to tell them how cool an event was, and what the participants said about it.

    Today's audience wants to participate in conversation. They have come around to the fact that they too can create compelling content, and they need more from their sports journalism. If ESPN or anyone doesn't help stoke such conversation, news consumers will just create their own.

    Also, as has been said: Rory McIlroy at the Masters will probably be THE story in golf as next year begins.

    (I understand that everything I wrote above should be circa-2014 Media 101 to most of us)
  11. As Meatie alluded to, the market is much different than even 10 years ago. It's amusing to read the ignorance and criticism as to why "ESPNization has taken place. If that's not your cup of tea, the NY Times and Wall Street Journal offer "smart" news in print sector. I enjoy Forbes' coverage of the business of sport. Deadspin's irreverent attitude is a great late rather to the linkbait model.

    Don't care what Mr. Sportswriter's opinion is, and could not care less regarding what an athlete or coach has to say. Speaking of Mr. Sportswriter opinions, does anyone still visit "Sports on Earth?"
  12. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Haven't read the story in question, but DD nailed it. SI would be irrelevant if it was still writing gamers off the British Open. They need to add something to the story. Sports have always heavy on records and comparisons ... ESPN just has a lot more time to fill and does it too often. Oh, and it's McIlroy.
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