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Q&A with Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel on LeBron, Cleveland

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TMitrosilis, Jun 14, 2011.

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  1. TMitrosilis

    TMitrosilis New Member

    Got another one, fellas: http://bit.ly/iMPKz5

    Hope you can take a thing or two away from Dan.

    Hope all is well,

  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    This makes me long for the days of being spammed by the Biofile (and I still call BS on him interviewing Jim Murray)
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    There's very little need to be a smart aleck here. There is actually real insight for journalists in these interviews, and they're being done by someone who deserves a better answer than that, dools. There are 10,000 other threads for our insider EssJay jokes. Go make them there.

    Keep grinding, Teddy. Wetzel is one of my favs too. I liked the detail he offered about just bringing scraps of paper into the bar, because it took me some time to learn that it's not wise to stick a notebook or a tape recorder in somebody's face, especially a regular person. Find a quiet moment, scribble down the quote or detail, and get back to observing.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Completely agree.
  5. brandonsneed

    brandonsneed Member

    I liked this, too. And I was skeptical about your site at first, Teddy, but probably just because I'm not much older than you and so I felt sort of jealous that you were doing something I've thought of doing but never actually did on my blog. (Winky-face.)

    So good on you for that, and keep it up. I'm serious, I'm genuinely liking these interviews.
  6. TMitrosilis

    TMitrosilis New Member

    Thanks for the kind words, Double Down. I found that interesting too. I wish he would have opened up a little more on the question about what "story" he was rooting for rather than saying, "It really didn't matter, it was just a column about the city." The column obviously would have been different had the Heat won, and what I was trying to get at was what angle did Dan think would make the better or more compelling story. (Because, to some degree, don't we all root for a certain story?) But no complaints here. Dan is a fantastic writer and was very generous with his time. Very grateful he allowed us to take a peek inside his process.

    Dooley, you aren't forced to read. Going through high school and college, I learned the most by reading a ton, studying those stories, talking to writers, asking questions, and basically just listening to the people who held the positions in the business that I one day hoped to get to. So my hope with these Q&A's was that I could return that favor a little bit to other young writers. I link them here because this is a board to discuss writing, and so hopefully there's someone who reads and learns a thing or two and becomes a better writer/reporter because of it. That's all. If I start linking every blog post to this board (which I won't), then you can call me out for spamming. Otherwise, click or don't click. No worries. Not like I'm making a penny on this blog. It's just to share what I learn with others who may benefit, as well.

  7. TMitrosilis

    TMitrosilis New Member


    Ha, thanks. And I don't blame you. It's not the most professional-looking thing (hey, I never pretended to be a designer) and I guess it doesn't help that I haven't filled out my bio page yet. I'm wrapping up a couple loose ends on a job offer right now, and once that's complete, I was planning on updating the bio.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and glad you're getting something out of them. I'll keep doing them as long as writers are willing to cooperate!

  8. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I won't speak for Dan, but I will say that experience teaches you that the story tends to sort itself out. It doesn't matter which way it goes, you just try to tell it well. I think that's what the best writers like Wetzel do anyway. You don't really end up rooting for stories because then you might end up scrambling if it doesn't go the way you want. You want to do reporting that will resonate no matter what happens.

    One thing I think I learned over time is that the story everyone is rooting for can often less interesting than the opposite one. If Miami had won, Wetzel still would have had an interesting portrait of the city, people saying they're over James but not really believing it in their hearts. They'd still be riveted one way or another to the game. Because they care. He's an Ohioan, even if he turned his back on them. That seems to be what his intention was. Win or lose, their thoughts are interesting tonight. Disappointment and hurt make for beautiful writing. Often much more compelling writing than victory. When the Sox blew the '03 ALCS against the Yankees, none of the compelling writing was about Boone's home run. It was about Pedro and Grady Little. Going into that game, a writer might have thought "I'm rooting for the Red Sox to win this and break the Yankees dominance over them, because that would be a really compelling story. Or for a dramatic Yankee victory." But the Pedro collapse was by far the most compelling thing.

    Good columnists, good storytellers, they're always churning things over in the mind, even as the action develops. You can tell from Wetzel's writing that he does that. Just try to think of it from that perspective. Whatever happens, that's the story you have to nail, the scene you have to get.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    If some work is good, someone will link to it on here Blowing your own horn is unseemly, in my book. And as well-meaning as your guidance about where I should post surely is, I'll probably choose to keep my own counsel onthis matter
  10. TMitrosilis

    TMitrosilis New Member

    Interesting. I have never heard it quite like that, but makes a ton of sense. I like that. Thanks.
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Or make funnier jokes instead of recycling tired SJ memes and maybe you won't need my counsel here.
  12. McNuggetsMan

    McNuggetsMan Active Member

    There is an awesome button on left side of the message "Ignore." If you hit that little button, you never have to see another TMitrosilis or BioFile post again.

    It will take only seconds -- much less time than it took you to be an asshole on this thread and belittle someone who has posted something that at least a few people have found interesting so far.
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