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How fine-tuned are your college basketball gamers by halftime

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by doodah, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. doodah

    doodah Guest

    Just wondering the gist of what most of the people here do at halftime of college basketball games in regards to gamers. How much do you try to fine-tune the information at halftime to have the gamer almost ready by the time ends.

    Also, in a close game, how do you find time to write part of your gamer as the game is going on? Or do you try to avoid that? Appreciate all the feedback!
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It depends on the deadline. For college games, I kept a running gamer as I had to write a regular gamer for the paper and a brief for the AP that was due a few minutes after the final whistle.

    Once you get used to writing, you can turn a running gamer into something better rather quickly.
  3. doodah

    doodah Guest

    How is a running gamer different from, say, what the play-by-play is on the team's website?
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I'll often barely have a thing written before halftime. I prefer to concentrate on the game whenever deadline allows. I can usually hammer out the 200-300 words needed for online during the second half, finishing it when the game ends before I go down. I'm a pretty quick writer on deadline, so if I know I have a 30- to 45-minute window between the end of interviews and deadline, I don't worry about having most of the story written. I do keep detailed notes that translate well to quick writing, though.

    When deadline is an issue, I still try to save most of my writing for the second half. I avoid heavy play-by-play in gamers unless I'm writing a no-quotes version, but I do keep some play-by-play written in proper form to flesh out a story. Usually, that's just from key moments. I like to make note of scoring runs and such, which can always be thrown in when you're rushing or in need of another 50 words.

    A running gamer ideally isn't just play-by-play. It would include context and a look ahead. It's also written in proper sentences.
  5. doodah

    doodah Guest

    Hmm, well then are your gamer's stat-centric then. I assume you can always resort to intangibles and resiliency quotes if need be, though I hate those.
  6. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Actually, my game stories are usually based around a specific angle that illustrates the greater story of the game as it relates to the team's season. But thanks for your condescension.
  7. doodah

    doodah Guest

    No, I didn't mean it to come off like that, I was just saying if you had to that's always something you could resort to.
  8. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    For me, it's different from game-to-game.

    I usually try to have 6-8 inches done by halftime. There are times when I use all of it. There are times when I use none of it. Most of the time, I'll use at least some of it.

    In the second half, as soon as I'm certain the game has been decided, I'll start working on the story and pay enough attention to the game so I'm not hit by an errant pass. Even then, there are times that I scrap what I have if I learn something in postgame interviews.

    Basically, I try to do as much as I can as early as I can. There are times I only have three grafs at the buzzer and other times I have a complete story.
  9. skm007

    skm007 New Member

    Usually what I do is I would write a summary on the first half if anything of note occurred. Throughout the second half is when I really focus on writing my story. I also might add in some comparison on the style of play between the first and second half, but it depends from game-to-game. When the game ends, my story is done. By time I go to get quotes, I have enough time to give it a quick check. I might tweak some parts to make it flow better.
  10. doodah

    doodah Guest

    What if it's back and forth, down the wire and it ends on a buzzer beater? How are you able to write much of anything before the conclusion?
  11. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I like to write a description of a game that starts with a dramatic retelling of the introduction of the lineups. Did they lower the lights? What was the home team's video like?

    From there, the description of the opening tip is always huge. Some guys on the beat get annoyed when I spend 3-4 questions asking the center who wins the tip about the tricks to his trade.

    From what I've described so far, you may think I like to have the score at the end. Not so. You need quotes and since the press conference isn't until AFTER the game, that's where you put them, right after you describe the post-game handshakes and whether the home team faced the band for the alma mater.

    You close with a description of who both teams play next and what the practice schedule is leading up to that game.

    This advise is for DOODAH ONLY. The rest of you, carry on with what you've been doing.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I would argue that action from the first half of most college basketball games is meaningless and can be reduced to a couple of sentences or a couple of grafs at most.

    At some point in the second half of most games, the score will be tied. That is where the game begins, for the purposes of my typical story. Your mileage may vary.

    Hey, sometimes a team will take control from the tip. If the home team is up 30 at halftime, then you can get a good handle on your gamer at that point. That's rare.

    First thing I always did when I sat down was construct the "next game" graf. At halftime, I tried to grab a couple of "three-dot" notes for the end.
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