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Pet Peeve: Box scores that don't add up

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. In three of the four stories I got for today's paper, the basketball box scores don't add up. In one story, the box score's quarter breakdown doesn't match the final score, which doesn't match the final score listed in the actual story.

    Does that drive anyone else crazy that folks don't add these things up before they send their stories in? Then I'm left scrambling on deadline to figure out how to make the numbers work... sorry, had to vent a little...
  2. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is a major hassle no one needs. I'm willing to wager that 95 percent of writers don't know how to justify a boxscore, let alone ensuring that all the individual stats add up to the proper totals.
  3. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    That's what I spend my nights doing ... adding up boxscores. Usually 50 or so on a Friday night. Upwards of 100 during holiday hoops week.

    For the guys typing agate all night, I expect a few errors. They've got a stack of shit to type and really don't have time to add up every box. The reporters have one fuckin' game to type in. If they're pushing deadline, I get it. But there's no reason I should find an error in a box for a game that was over at 3:30 p.m.

    What's most frustrating is the same reporters having errors in every box they send.
  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I think the absolute worst is getting something like "1-2, 2-2, 7". How any coach can read the line out and think that a basket and two free throws comes close to seven points boggles my mind.

    Unfortunately, this stuff always gets through the first line of defense. Then comes the deadline scramble - if it's even actually checked.
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Fortunately, my shop doesn't run very many box scores.

    We did for a while with the Class AA team we cover, but dropped them because we were getting a new production manager. When we got box scores, I would C & P them from the team's Web site, then format them so they were less of a PITA for production.
  6. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Are these your staff members or are they the schools sending them?

    This is why, while faxes and e-mail are great, I like having another person on the phone.

    Oh, and on another comment, if sports writers cannot valdiate box scores, they need to learn. It ain't optional.
  7. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    How do you validate/justify a box score? Are those just fancy city words for addin' 'em up right?

    I'll admit, sometimes I come back with a box that just doesn't add up right, and I've had to randomly select a kid and take away a point or two from his total. Stings.
  8. Number of missed shots must equal number of rebounds.
  9. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    Lee Jelenic used to add up the box scores for WW-P baseball games and tell his father when they didn't add up. The publisher/editor/SE would get screamed at early in the morning.
  10. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    My box scores never added up. Ever. It got to the point where my editor got so pissed he made us get copies of the scorebook after games.

    It wasn't just me. One of the kids that went on to write for much, much bigger papers screwed it up too.

    It's umpossible.
  11. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    odd, i never found it all that difficult to have the box be right.
  12. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    You just need to be careful and add each person's line before you type the next. It's not that hard. I've screwed it up before, but I double-check it before I submit it to the desk. Most times, all it takes is a second glance.
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