1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Hruby on former 49er George Visger, and the price his brain paid for football

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member


    A powerful piece. A lot of important questions being asked here by one of the best writers working, even if the answers are hard to figure out.
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I probably will read this because I enjoy Hruby's writing, but how many readers want another story about brain damage and football?
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    "He suffered his first concussion in ninth grade, on a helmet-breaking hit that left a bloody divot in his forehead. "

    The NFL attorneys thank Mr Hruby.
  4. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Fewer than want a story about where Alex Collins will end up, I suspect. But on another thread, we have people arguing ESPN has a credibility issue when it comes to writing stories that appear to damage their business partners. Some go so far as to suggest ESPN outright won't do it. Here is an example of a pretty compelling story that hardly paints the NFL in anything other than a horrific light.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I'm about a third of the way through the story, but I tend to agree with this. It's very compelling on its own. Puts you in the guy's head for sure. But the Jim McMahon story was also that, and a lot of others have been as well.

    If we haven't reached the point of overkill on these, we're certainly very close to it.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Patrick Hruby could write that Roger Goodell has been selling crack-cocaine to 8-year-olds out of the Giants Stadium parking lot, and that would not change the point that ESPN - nor Fox, nor Sportsline - should not be eligible for major journalism awards. Conflicts of interest are about appearances. Once the appearance of a conflict of interest exists, then game over. No one has the time or interest for a case-by-case analysis. On its face, does Hruby's piece appear to pull no punches? Sure. Do we know that the truth wasn't even worse than portrayed, because of ESPN's business relationship with the NFL? We do not. And we have no way of knowing.

    You are offering the same argument that a lot of good ol' boys from the APSE ran up the flagpole when the MLB.com employee was invited back to the judging.

    "But you can trust this guy!"

    "His work speaks for itself!"

    Sorry, it doesn't.

    P.S. When can I catch the next episode of "Playmakers"?
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    The question wasn't of why you posted it here but why the piece was written. Did we need this story? I can't determine until I read it. Maybe it furthers the concussion issue. But we've reached the point of saturation on the long-form feature about the athlete who deals with the ramifications of concussions and contact. Those who want to read about them already have.
  8. silent_h

    silent_h Member

    I'm interested in everyone's answers to this question. I think I did something different with this piece. I had a very specific effect in mind. But I tried to do it by showing, not telling.
  9. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Hruby has been an excellent voice on this subject for some time. I expect this one will be a great read.

    Regarding the question of "how many more of these stories do readers want?" As many as there are, should be the answer. But this issue goes back to Al Toon and Chris Miller having trouble finding their way home.

    ESPN tried to downplay the concussion/longterm football damages issue for as long as it could. It was the last major sports media outlet to put the Junior Seau suicide on its site, too busy concentrating on the Saints bounty scandal that day.

    Then, its hand forced, a week of Outside the Lines on concussions followed, and now ESPN is really pushing the story. It has become a leader in such coverage.

    But it did have to be cajoled into this.
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Read what I wrote again, please, and try to view it as something other than an attack on your criticism, which it is not.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I read what you wrote, and I don't view it as an attack at all. I understand that other posters wrote that ESPN pulled punches, whereas I don't profess to care whether it actually has or not. I care about the appearance of a conflict. But the fact is that, yes, ESPN does have a credibility problem when it comes to coverage of the NFL. And, as Azrael pointed out, the New York Times arguably has a credibility problem when it comes to coverage of, say, Macy's. Those are the seeds we sow. There's a reason Consumer Reports does not run advertising.
  12. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I never said anything like this, frankly. Not once did I bring Hruby's credibility into this discussion. I believe the issue is complicated, that there are obvious conflicts of interest there, but that it's still possible to do good work. Whether it should be "Pulitzer eligible" isn't something I'm particularly passionate about. I just think this there are plenty of examples of different departments of ESPN looking at these issues critically. Doesn't mean the business side isn't still making billions of dollars.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page