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How much community/youth sports is too much?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ogre, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    I recommend you pass this on to EVERY paper's publisher. Now. You couldn't have worded common sense more eloquently.
  2. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    That was a great story, but shows perfectly the mental state of some of these "coaches." Great read.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Excellent job of boiling down my 10,000-word threadjack.

    No kids' sports "national championship" means anything. None of 'em, not even the hallowed Little League Baseball, Inc.

    Whenever, through force of dire necessity, you are absolutely forced to use a story about an alleged "national championship" team, always be sure to use quotes around the term, to show that the validity of the description is questionable (in fact, probably bogus simply by definition).

    They can call themselves "national champions" all they want, and there's almost certainly a team in the next town, or the next county, or the next state, who could beat 'em.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Speaking of scams, do y'all have to deal with these bogus "elite summer camps" every year? We always seem to have one or two kids -- typically, one who averaged about 4 points and 1 rebound a game for their local junior high B-team -- who get the "invitation" in the mail and pay an entry fee to go to a camp in Hawaii, Australia, California, or some other far-flung destination, then want us to do a story on it. We've developed a policy that you have to either have tried out for it or it's one of well-known camps (like the Nike camps), but when we tell the person that it always starts a shitstorm. This summer I think one of them actually went home and cried. If you TIVO's the moment, you could pinpoint the exact second her little heart broke. Is there a delicate way to tell these people their kids are scrubs and not worth our time?
  5. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    I have Aug. 7 circled on my calendar. Why? It's University of Iowa football media day, but it also is the first weekday after the end of the high school baseball and softball season in the state, and it's also the end of the ASA softball summer season. I'm sure we'll still have a Junior League team playing in the district tournament, or something like that, but for the most part, it's over.
  6. ogre

    ogre Member

    Thanks for all that posted on this. I really want to print it out and take it upstairs to the Man. But as we've noted, they don't care what we think in the first place.
  7. We have a simple rule: no names printed under the age of 13 in the sports section.

    That pretty much shitcans all youth sports, except the occasional scores.
  8. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    I would be very interested in how you got everyone in the leadership there, up to the publisher, to sign off on that one. That's a story worth telling.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    You bet it would be. As soon as Mr. Publisher gets three calls from pissed-off midget soccer moms, that whole deal goes up in flames.
  10. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    This "kid has been selected to go to Australia" for an all-star team has a definite footnote: They are to fund their trip, so they come to the paper and want that in. I tried the angle: "Congratulations Johnny. We'll run the note that you were selected sometime this week." Johnny's mom: "Well that's nice, but would you run the notice that he is seeking help from the public to raise funds so he can go?" "Me: "So you're saying he has been honored, but it's cash up front?" Her: "Well, not really. He qualified to go, but part of the commitment is that you raise your own funds." Me: "Have you considered a car wash?" Her: "Well, Johnny has a lot of people out there that know him, so we thought this would be the best way to get the word out."

    I yawned, smiled, and ran just what I said.

    I got some heat from the top brass but explained, with proof, what this was. "And if we do this, we might as well do stories on every little league car wash," I said.

    That ended it.

    However, I've got this office secretary who still takes these calls and in obvlious tone, promises them the world.

    I'll ship her and 20 percent more newshole for considerations to be named later.
  11. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Right there, folks, is part of the problem.

    We think that the thirty-somethings sitting in any sports bar or restaurant are our target audience.

    The families are our target audience. If they don't care about this shit, fine. But don't go by what Joe Talk-Show Caller thinks is important.
  12. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    True. But for the most part, everyone who cares about the kids' games are at the kids' games.

    Isn't it the same as local drag racing, frisbee golf and rec leagues? I sit around at the bar and rehash my softball games, too, but I wouldn't expect my neighbor to care about my 4x5 7RBI performance.

    If they care, they're there.
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