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Puking kids

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Scouter, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Scouter

    Scouter Member

    No, this isn't some sick-o YouTube video.

    Covered a high school basketball game the other night and one of the players puked on the court during the game. There was a delay for a few minutes to clean it up. It didn't really have any impact on the game so I didn't include it in the gamer, but we had a notebook that also ran that day so I mentioned it there.

    Kid's dad calls me the next day and said his son was pretty upset and embarrassed about it. He said he didn't think it was worth writing about. I told him I thought it was because it was such an odd occurence, therefore making it newsworthy. I said 10 years from now player aren't going to remember that Podunk beat Boofoo by 10 points; they'll remember that the kid from Podunk ralphed on the court.

    Am I wrong here? Have you/would you write about someone who threw up during a game?
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You're wrong.
    If it had no impact on the game, as you said, why mention it, even in a notebook.
    As a high school editor, I would have killed that note.
    And never mind 10 years from now, in 10 days nobody would have remembered the kid barfing on the court, except that you wrote about it..
  3. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I would write about it, but I would probably try to contextualize it.

    As long as it wasn't something along the lines of: Rob Simmons had six rebounds in a two-minute span in the second half ... Chuck Heave threw up at the foul line with 5:24 left in the third quarter ... Walter Raleigh had his first career dunk with 2:25 left in the first quarter. "I just saw that I was wide open on the break and was pumped up enough to give it a try," Raleigh said. "I'm just glad I didn't miss."

    Maybe ask the kid about it to find out why he did it ... did he not eat before the game? Did he eat pizza before the game? Was he dehydrated? Etc. and maybe tuck in a quote.

    It's a sensitivity issue, I think. I think you're right in the way you explained it, though it will probably piss father and kid off more to hear it put that way.
  4. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    I only would have mentioned it if it impacted the game, like changed the momentum. Otherwise, no.

    I disagree with Spirited, though, in that the folks at that game will remember the kid ralphing on the court for years to come.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Why? Who cares? What does it add to any story you write?
    The kid was probably embarrassed already, why compound it?
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Because if there's no good reason for it, then it probably shouldn't go in.

    But if the kid said he wasn't feeling well, or he was dehydrated, or there's some other larger issue here, maybe it's something taking worth taking a closer look at.
  7. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Wow, I think it totally warrants mentioning.

    Either way, there's an impact on the game. Let's just say the kid stays in and plays well. That should be a lede right there. Or if he has to come out of the game. How did that affect Podunk?

    Plus, as WolvEagle said, that's ALL people are going to be talking about who were there.

    I understand the differences between college/pro and HS sports, but really, if this happened elsewhere, is there any chance in hell it doesn't get mentioned? Of course not.
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    The original post said it had no impact on the game.
    Therefore, no reason to mention it. So what if the 100 people at the game are going to be talking about it.
    And seriously, zebra, what "other larger issues" are there to look at?
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If it was a scrub, then you probably should have left it out. If it was a starter or a player who played a big role at the end of the game then I think it makes for a very good lead.

    I wrote gamer once that focused around a kid losing his two front teeth on the hardwood (nasty freeking play) in the first quarter and playing the rest of the game.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Totally different situation.

    And, again, original pst said kid had NO IMPACT on the game.

  11. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    "Damn it! You just cost my kid a scholarship to culinary school!"

    I once thought I heard a referee fart, but I didn't put it in my story because I couldn't get confirmation.
  12. canucklehead

    canucklehead Member

    Did not deserve to be mentioned.
    Now, if he had barfed after scoring the winning basket, or had up-chucked on an opponent as he was preparing to attempt what would be the winning shot, that's obviously another story
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