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New here, but don't take it easy!

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by pressboxramblings07, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. I guess I can use this thread to somewhat introduce myself. I've been reading the site for a while now, and decided to register. I'm a young writer at a 40,000-daily in Texas, and I've really enjoyed the insights and help many of you guys have offered.

    I do a little bit of everything ... design, write stories, columns, etc. It's enjoyable, especially at 20 years old and working full-time. I've found more of a love for column-writing, and have gotten some outside opinions, but I wanted to get some more. So officially, it's awesome to meet you guys.

    Don't take it easy on me. Here is a column I wrote the day after the Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game. It's one of my favorites that I've written, but that may change after you guys get done with it. Anyways, here goes:

    Dear God,
    As I sit here on this bench, I just can't watch Tom Brady move down the field with a minute left in the game.

    We have the lead, but this is where you made him his best, God, and I just can't look up.

    I'm starting to wonder … Is there anything I did to suffer year after year while Tom gets the Super Bowl rings and the praise and the attention?

    It's not those MasterCard commercials was it, God?

    (Brady incomplete pass to Reche Caldwell).

    Because if that's the case, God, I won't do another one of those commercials. I wasn't even in it for the money. I just wanted to wear a moustache and find a new way to meet women.

    I take it all back, God. Please, can I just get one win in a big game?

    (Brady 19-yard pass to Ben Watson; Patriots on their own 40).

    I don't even know what's going on, God. I CAN NOT look up. You're going to give Tom another Super Bowl? Why?

    (Brady 15-yard pass to Heath Evans; Patriots on the Colts 45).

    OK, no more MasterCard commercials or talking bad about our kickers. Adam (Vinateri) is a cool guy! I know I shouldn't be praying for stuff like this, but I don't know what else to do!

    I worked so hard this game, and all my life for this shot at the Super Bowl. The Patriots got lucky when Drew Bledsoe got hurt and Tom Brady just waltzes into the Hall of Fame in three years.

    Don't I deserve something? I'll even look up now, God. Give me a sign!

    (Brady's pass intercepted by Marlin Jackson at the Colts 35).

    Wow! Thanks God! I knew you could do it. Time for the victory formation!

    Oh yeah. Amen!


    OK, so maybe Peyton Manning's prayer on the sidelines didn't go exactly like that.

    But he still prayed.

    "I said a little prayer on that last drive," Manning said after the Colts beat the Patriots in a classic, 38-34, on Sunday in the AFC title game.

    "I don't know if you're supposed to pray for stuff like that, but I said a little prayer."

    Answered, with a vengeance.

    He hasn't won it all - yet - but Manning showed that side of him we've all waited to see for years.

    That game-winning drive football hasn't seen since John Elway took the Broncos on "The Drive" 20 years ago.

    "I watched the drive with Elway; you never get tired of seeing that," Manning said. "I'm not comparing what we just did to that, but it sounds pretty good."

    Believe it, Peyton. It was good. It was classic.

    On top of it all, Manning also showed his ability to knock adversity and a team that's been in your head (like strikeouts for A-Rod) off to the side and dig out of a near decade-long rut.


    Finally, we won't have to witness a boring Super Bowl, or a game that includes the Patriots.

    A one-year break just wasn't enough.

    Instead, we get two teams who have waited at least two decades to get back to the big dance. We get two exciting teams who will make for a great game (and take the focus off a pathetic half-time performance).

    Finally, we won't have to listen to Bill Belichick for two weeks. He's about as exciting as allergy shots.

    Instead, we get two coaches who not only broke the color barrier for Super Bowl coaches, but two who are best friends and run teams that don't live off the trash talk of a middle linebacker.

    Finally, we won't have to hear more talk about the Patriots' "dynasty" which doesn't crack the top three or four of all time.

    Finally, Peyton Manning "won the big one." He's officially a good quarterback now. He's playing in a Super Bowl.

    Not that he had that much to prove before. That was all sarcasm by the way.

    But how does God answer prayers in the Super Bowl?
  2. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    We've talked about it on here before regarding writers at small-sized dailies writing about national sports news.

    Some said it could work, some said it doesn't work.

    My only question, is there a reason you're writing about the Colts-Patriots if you're in Texas? To me, that seems an odd choice of topic since you're 40,000 readers live in the Lone Star state and probably care more about high school football than two pro football teams in the northern part of the country.
  3. I wrote about it because it was big news ... I mean, it was the AFC Championship game, and Manning finally beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Keep in mind that this was late January ... no football going on except the NFL playoffs, which is/was being for our readership. Any kind of football is big around here, especially the NFL playoffs, and judging by the type of game it was, it was a great choice of topic.

    I got more response back on this column than any other one I've written. Our readers are in tune to national news because we give a good mix of local/national stuff every day. There doesn't seem to be a need for limitations if the readers read about it constantly and provide their own insight on it.
  4. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    The concept isn't bad. It really isn't. And your execution is decent, as well.

    But a couple of quick things: where did you get the Manning quotes? And is there a reason why you took so long to note that you are writing in Manning-voice?

    This column would have been a whole lot better if it had been about someone in your area, one of your main sources. Why? Because you know the person. You know the way they talk, what kind of phrases they tend to under-use and over-use. You have some idea of what makes them tick and whether or not they give a damn about the guy on the other sideline. Plus, the effort and creativity would have shown through to readers. Never judge how good yoru stuff is by how many readers comment. That's a fanatical base, and they're not fanatical about you. They're fanatical about sports, or a team, or a player. To them, you're just the monkey giving them the news.
  5. No, I wasn't saying the column was good judging by the response. I know better than that. I was pointing to the response because dawgpounddiehard asked why I chose the topic when our readership would be more interested in something else. I used the response as an example to show that our readership was interested. I don't use readers' opinions to judge whether something I write is good or not ... that's nuts.

    I did it on Peyton Manning because of his actions while watching the AFC championship game. It was the big news at the time.
  6. Money007

    Money007 Guest

    Yeah, the one thing that sticks out to me is why to write about this at that size paper in that part of the country. I understand that your audience likes the NFL - everyone does. But when people want to hear from writers about big events, they go to the writers that spend their lives covering them and spent that Super Bowl Sunday in the same stadium as Peyton Manning, not the local sports writer - no offense.

    Other than that, on a strictly writing basis, I really liked it. I thought the idea was creative and well done with the plays threaded in. I thought Manning's prayer could have been shorter, but definitely something I have not seen before. Good work.
  7. Thanks man. I really appreciate your help.
  8. There is one good reason why local writers shouldn't write national columns.

    They don't know what the hell they are talking about.

    They likely would know what they were talking about if they were actually covering the national event, if they actually knew the players involved. But they don't. No more than anyone with his or her ass glued to the couch each Sunday anyway.

    That's not to say you can't take a national news hook and localize it. Actually, you should be doing that because if you don't no one else will.
  9. I would throw in the towel on this one early.

    What did the old guy say in that movie about the TV network? "Who the hell cares what you think?"
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

  11. SportBlogNow

    SportBlogNow Member

    That would have been alot more enjoyable if I wasn't a die-hard Pats fan.

    Seriously though, really good article. 20 year old writers have to stick together, haha.
  12. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

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