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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MilanWall, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I like a lot of the suggestions.

    If I have a story that requires a comment from someone, I generally put that they refused to respond when that is the case. Ace is right on this one. Just talk to the players. You don't even need the coach.

    But if you really want to make it a volatile situation, you could quote what he said to you in a column explaining the reason that you believe the hometown team will win 72-0.

    I've learned that you really need to develop a thick skin in this industry. Don't let things like that get to you. They happen. There are going to be assholes. Just take comfort in knowing that you're not one of them.
  2. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    I totally agree. Predictions are stupid. It's freaking high school. And any level is basically unpredictable. Even a team with a god awful 99 game win streek or lose streek can have a QB come in or some other player and tear the other team a new butthole, or a good team could all be tripping on acid because the other team really sucks bad. No telling what might happen. Predictions just piss people off, but it's too late now. Keep picking teams. Next year, do something different.

    If you have to pick teams, try the advantage/disadvantage thing. Say advantage: home team, after summing up the strengths of the home and away teams and each teams' weaknesses.

    When I get coaches that won't talk to me or after I've given them ample time to return my calls, or the coaches that won't talk only after losses, well then I just begin to ignore those coaches and those teams until a parent takes notice. Then I get the call or the drop-in. I explain as a meek, little timid gerbile that I'm at the coach's mercy for information because I have X-squared amount of teams to cover and only a 60 hour workweek, and I only use the info that I get. If I don't get info or cooperation, then I have to focus on the teams that provide me with adequate info and access.

    This usually gets results, but make sure when talking to the parent or whomever is bitching to be really nice and represent the offending coach as best you can. Don't ever say that the coach in question is a dickhead or anything like that. Just say that compare them to the other teams' coaches that are getting covered, and say the other coaches are doing better in getting you access and info.

    This works like a charm, or has so far. After I tried this in one community several years ago, the offending coach called me and apologized up and down the ladder, and then added, which is priceless, something like: "I hate the g-d media, you're all a bunch of friggin' turd suckers and on countless times the sports writers have cost me games. But g-d-mit, my job's on the line and I got to do what the boosters say. So we've got to reach some kind of understanding."

    I wanted to say "is that on the record?" but I knew it would make matters worse. After that, coach and I got along fine, but he still got fired because his team sucked.

    And this kind of situation is always worse when you're new to a paper.
  3. ronalong

    ronalong Guest

    This is weird, this exact thing happened at a small weekly in Alabama. I heard the coach wouldn't talk to the writer after beating a big rival from a nearby city. The next week, I read the writer's column on line and he started off with,"I have egg on my face." How weak. Don't let yourself be intimidated by these coaches. Pick them to win when you think they'll win and don't pick them to win if you think they will lose. I know a writer at one paper, who puts, "insert your prediction here," when two of his local schools play one another, so that way either coach who wins will talk with him. He may have had a experience just like Milan's, which lead him to that idea.
  4. I say go ahead and keep making your predictions.
    If the coach doesn't like it, simply tell him there's one thing he can do about it: take his team out there on the field and prove you wrong.
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