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Photogs vs. writers, sideline vs. press box

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    There are a lot of different opinions on that, Snoop. We've found that out on here. Quite a few writers swear by covering from the sideline.

    I always preferred the press box when writing, but if I'm at a game now, I try to walk the sideline if possible. Your feel for the game is much greater.
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Skilled photogs are better than unskilled... I'm not disputing that.
  3. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    No question.
  4. By the same logic, a photographer should not get to use a zoom lens. You can't see up the nose of a player 50 yards away and thus get more insight into what is really going on, so why should he?
  5. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    Well, there's always the issue of working for a place that's too cheap to have more than two people on a photo staff and usually give the shaft to sports. Then we take our own, of course, from field level. So, it's still a preference.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i started out at a small paper and have had one petty pic see light of day ... and it sucked, horrifically.

    if your photogs can't find the time to take football pics, and if your SE and his/her boss allows that to happen, i would roll through one year's experience and leave on day 365.
  7. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member


    Because it rains, the photgrapher wants the writer on the sideline. I would tell him/her to take a hike.

    That is ridiciulous. He doesn't have to write in the rain. You guys have different jobs, and that requires different areas to work.

    After he files his photo, does he go back to the office and wait for you to finish writing the story? Tell him to f off.
  8. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I would disagree that there is "NO reason." It depends on your situation and preference as we've covered ad nauseum each fall on this message board.
    You can keep stats from the sidelines. It isn't that difficult for most people with opposable thumbs and any amount of coordination. (Believe me .. I'm not all that coordinated.) But I've done it for several years, switching between a notebook and a stat sheet. Depending on the press box, you can see the spot of the ball better from the sidelines and keep more accurate stats. You can see the plays just as well, I think. You're also not looking through some smudged, bug-encrusted window that they haven't cleaned since 1980. Also, you're not dealing with the 10 yahoos who are in the press box just hanging out and yukking it up.
    At certain schools, there's not enough room. The one time I used a press box this year was during a downpour, and I had to stand the entire time anyway because four assistant coaches for each team HAD to be up there. I muttered "So much for the PRESS box." That got a slight, hollow laugh from the woman up there doing God knows what. But, hey, it's not my money or my paper's money paying for the thing (Was in a different county so I didn't even contribute taxes).
    Again, this is depending on your situation, but I think it frankly helps me on my beat. I have gotten numerous story ideas and bits of information that I used in stories by talking with the people who normally hang out on the sidelines each week (local youth football coach, guy who supervises the ball boys, head trainer, et al). That's probably the biggest reason for me.
    I go out to practice each week. Then the players and coaches see me on the sidelines as well. That's just a little more face time, which I think helps on any beat. The more people recognize you and know you, the more I think they get comfortable with you.
    Also unlike most reporters I know, I was a former football player. I'm also taller than average, which helps to see over most of the kids on the sidelines. And my knees start to stiffen if I sit for more than an hour (which I blame on 10 years of playing offensive and defensive line. :eek:) I like the atmosphere from field level, and I think fall football nights are lovely gifts from the Good Lord. Why waste it sitting inside?
    Like I wrote, it depends on your situation and preference. I don't have that tight of a deadline on Friday nights. If I had to file right after the game, I'd be up in the box too.
  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Snoop ... I've gotten to the point where I have a lot of trouble discerning between uniform numbers from the press box, and my stats suffer because of it. That's why I'm mainly a sidelines guy now at prep games.

    Plus, you really can get a lot of color from the sideline. I was covering a region playoff game a couple of weeks ago and the team from our area is driving, down a point with less than a minute left. They didn't even try an extra point during the game because their kicking situation was so bad, but they got to the 13 with about two seconds left and called a timeout. I can hear a good three quarters of the players on the sideline screaming for their coach to try the field goal; I'm watching the coach waffle in his decision making, watching the quarterback's eyes, which tell me he wants to go for it. I can hear and see the reactions of the players when the kicker slips and falls and misses the kick. All stuff I'd otherwise have missed in the press box.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That's why I love covering hockey games from the penalty box, preferably if the sin bin is right beside the players bench.
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