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Interesting stories we've done

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ScooterP, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. ScooterP

    ScooterP New Member

    I have done some interesting stories in my time as a freelance journalist. Everythying from deaf swimmers to the various troubles of getting a bunch of freshman tennis players to adjust to the serve and volley game. I'm wondering what kinds of interesting stories you all have. I love getting onto this board and reading all the interesting stories.
  2. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    Many years ago, there was a little town at the top of the Texas Panhandle, Darrouzett, that was about to close its school and consolidate with some nearby districts. That last year, there weren't enough girls to have a basketball team, so the three girls that wanted to play suited up for the boys team. One wound up being the starting point guard.

    The coach was an ex-truck driver who had taken nearly 10 years to earn his degree and teaching certificate while driving fulltime. The guy wanted to get his foot in the door any way he could, so he accepted the job knowing it was a one-year deal. I think they had one other teacher assigned coaching duties, but he was pretty much the whole athletic department (it seems like they had a few kids run cross country and track in addition to the junior high and high school hoops teams).

    The story was as much about the community losing its school as it was about girls playing on the boys team, and I made a couple of day trips to the place to interview students, teachers, administrators and townspeople.

    The team was something like 0-23 before it won a road game two days before the story ran. The coach called in and gave me a great quote to end the story on: "We didn't settle for hamburgers that night. We went out and had steak!"
  3. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Many moons ago when I was a reporter, I did a story on a softball player at Indiana State who'd FUBARd her right shoulder. While recovering from surgery, she taught herself to throw and field left-handed (she was already a switch hitter), and played left-handed the rest of her career.
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I just got done writing a story about a dad who wakes up at 2 in the morning to check his daughter's blood sugar. She's a diabetic and should be on an insulin pump, but she's a cheerleader and she can't wear the pump and cheer. So she went off the pump and her dad, who is a doctor wakes up every day, and does the test.
    I just thought this was the most interesting thing, talking about his daughter...
    But that does lead to some problems, “so occasionally she does go low at night,” XXX said. “So when I get up and check her and if she is low. I give her a little something to eat.”
    Not that his daughter knows it.
    “She doesn’t wake up,” XXX said. “She could even eat a granola bar and not wake up. She’s a pretty good sleeper and it has worked out for the both of us.”

    I once did an interview with a deaf girl by AOL IM. That was cool.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Jay, why can't she wear the pump and cheer? I've covered two athletes (both volleyball) who wear an insulin pump during play. As long as it's strapped down with athletic tape, they're good to go.
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Jason Johnson wears an insulin pump on the mound when he pitches.


    A larger pic available <a href="http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=jason+johnson+pump&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz2&x=wrt">on this search page</a>.
  7. Last spring I did a story about two girls on the same high school soccer team that had cancer but now were in remission. And before anyone posts that the "athletes overcoming adversity" story has been written countless times, please understand that this one was a little different. The mother of one of the girls also had cancer at the same time. All three are doing fine now.

    Another story a couple years ago involved a girl on the high school golf team who had a serious problem with anorexia nervosa. She almost died because of it. Her organs were shutting down. After recovery, she insisted on talking to me for a story to help other girls that could be going through the same thing.
  8. I like the weird stuff.

    Aussie Rules Football--the world's biggest league outside of Australia is in Ontario. I got to spend a lot of time with one of the teams in the loop and found it fascinating. I went in thinking it was a beer league, but quickly found out how seriously it was taken (some of the teams brought Australians over to play, giving them "jobs" for the summer).

    There is an old drag racer in the area I'm in now that is trying to make a comeback (he had some national and international success in the '80s). His comeback is hopeless. He needs millions and no one is going to give millions to a 50-year-old, portly drag racer from Canada. But, he's convinced that he can race again and you can't help cheering for him.

    I beat covered a lacrosse team that went 0-33. It was oddly fun.

    High school girl's rugby--all of it. A bunch of young women tearing down gender stereotypes then thanking you (sincerely) for covering them. That's what I love about this job.
  9. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Is the drag racer Jumpin' Junior Hanley? I remember seeing him back in the day at Drag, Drag, Dragway Park Cayuga (as it was always said in the radio ads)....
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I've heard this story a thousand times. ;)
  11. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    She can wear a pump and cheer. She doesn't want to wear it because she's embarassed by it. Trust me, going out with a diabetic, I've learned a lot about pumps and how difficult it is for girls to hide them so no one knows.

    I was shocked about the Jason Johnson thing. I'm even more surprised no one in the Boston media did a story on him being diabetic. I guess they were too busy rewriting stories from the past to write one that would be new and sort of interesting.
  12. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    As an intern, I wrote a story on an uncle/nephew who had a kidney transplant on the same day from the same damned dead person. Apparently, it was a genetic disorder that happened to strike both men at the same time. The odd part was that they both received calls in the middle of the night and didn't expect to see each other at the clinic, which was a good two hour drive from their homes.

    When the older guy saw his nephew, he demanded that they give the kidney to the nephew because he was younger. The old guy was pretty tickled when he learned that the nephew didn't expect to see the uncle, etc.

    I remember sitting in a leather recliner at that old guy's house and choking back tears and stuttering as I tried to ask my next question. The strangest thing about is that, while I still remember the guy's name, I have never spoken with him since then. That has always struck me as odd. We go out and pull these incredible stories from the hearts and minds of the people who have lived them. Then we walk around with these intimate, Technicolor details without really ever talking about them again. At least, not until somebody starts a thread like this one.

    Last year, I also wrote one of those against-all-odds stories. Kid hits a tree while snowboarding. Kid is declared dead. Emergency room doctor gets a pulse and brain activity. Kid recovers. Kid joins weightlifting team and finishes third in state for weight class. It's been done before. But I love them every time. Think about it: We wake up every morning to death and destruction. We need these positive stories even if it's the same story line over and over.
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