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"Meaningless games"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    The Thanksgiving Day game that I covered involved a team that had already clinched a playoff berth and a share of the league title regardless of the outcome of the game.
    During the postgame interviews, another reporter, one who is younger than I am and will probably go further in the business than I will (assuming there still is a business, of course) asked players and coaches who they got up for a "meaningless game."
    Nobody appeared to be bothered by the question and had no problem answering it. They said it's Thanksgiving, a traditional rivalry, etc.
    Still if that phrase "meaningless game" rubbed a player or a coach the wrong way, I could certainly understand it. Obvioulsy, the game means something to the people playing and coaching in it. Also, if the game were truly meaningless, why cover it?
    I hear that expression used a lot, especially with college bowl games that don't have a national championship at stake. I've also heard many football people take offense to the expression when it's used while talking about those bowl games.
    I don't use the expression "meaningless game" when doing interviews or in my writing, but is there ever a time when it is fair and accurate to use it?
  2. CM Punk

    CM Punk Guest

    From a certain perspective, they're all meaningless.

    But I've never used that term with the people involved. To call it meaningless is an interpretation we're putting on it. Now, if the interviewee calls it meaningless or expresses that sentiment, then it's fair to address.
  3. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I've asked the same question, but always phrased it as a game that would not affect the playoffs or conference picture.
  4. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    No games are meaningless when players/coaches get hired/fired because of their record, when players are being analyzed for possible scholarships, when players/coaches are getting paid, when you sell tickets to the game.
  5. accguy

    accguy Member

    I agree with appgrad, there's a way to ask it without using the term "meaningless."

    Call it a game without playoff implications. Say, 'normally this game determines whether you get in, what was it like not having that?' etc.
  6. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    "Coach/Players - what are the benefits and motivation that come from a game like this, which has no bearing on your final season standing?"
  7. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    Around here, the high school football season is well over before Thanksgiving, but all the teams come together for the final game. I'm quite surprised that the phrase "meaningless game" didn't cause more of an uphoar with the coaches. Sure, I agree with Appgrad that the game doesn't affect the standings or playoff implications, but it's fun for players, coaches, etc. when they get to play against a team that that shares the same town with them, etc.

    The Pro Bowl and All-Star Games are pretty much meaningless (except MLB), but they are still fun to watch.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I might not ask a question with the word "meaningless" in it ... but I'm not averse to using the word in a story, if the situation arises.

    Say the Giants have everything wrapped up going into the last game of the season, they play Eli Manning, and he suffers a season-ending knee injury. You're damn right I'm writing a story questioning the wisdom of playing your star quarterback in a "meaningless" game.
  9. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    What planet do you live on where the Pro Bowl, or really any of the All-Star games are fun to watch?
  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Somebody must have invented a hell of a Pro Bowl drinking game. "Every time Roy Williams blows a coverage, everyone do a shot!"
  11. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I have missed only one MLB All-Star Game since 1991 -- 1997; stupid family trip to Maine with an empty promise of a television -- and, if I can help it, that'll be it until I die. I've called it "my holiday" for years. It's the only baseball game I'll invite other people to watch with me, order food, pick up a case of beer, etc. It's my highlight of the summer. I have a blast watching it.

    But I haven't seen an entire All-Star game for any other sport in years.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    It's all gone to hell since the NFL champs stopped playing the College All-Stars
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