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Remembering why I left the field

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 50 scent, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    I guess I've been lucky. I haven't had to deal with the asshole parents on a regular basis the way a lot of people seem to have. Not saying there haven't been any but they've been few and far between. Parents, in my world covered by rose-coloured glasses, have been gracious, helpful and, yes, even grateful.
  2. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    I left the field in February purely based on principle (I won't go into the details, but I'd had enough of a bad situation).

    I miss it. I loved the prep beat more than anything else, and I still look at how my old 'beat' teams are doing. In fact, I dragged myself out of bed at 7 a.m. yesterday to watch a team that I covered for five seasons win a state title.

    The only thing that sucks is that now when I go to games, bored out of my mind. I'm so used to keeping track of the action that I can't enjoy myself.
  3. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    When do games become true events? High school varsity. Does anybody in the community at large say, "boy, I want to go to Queefrag High's JV game tonight. That oughta be bonkers!" No way. High school varsity football? Hell yes. That's a big deal that draws people from the community in an event-like setting. More people than just the parents care. Same for high school basketball.

    That's where I have a problem with giving lots of coverage to minor sports. No, retard mom, I don't give a shit that your precious little shitbag of a soccer player "works just as hard as the football players." It's not about rewarding hard work. It's about using my resources on something the people in my community care about. When there are 30 people at said soccer game, and all 30 are parents, that tells me that NO ONE CARES. So why should the paper? Get the scores in through a call-in, write a couple of grafs for your roundup. That's all it deserves.

    Soccer/softball/cross country do not deserve the same REGULAR SEASON coverage as football and basketball, and you will never convince me otherwise. The public doesn't care about these sports. There are obvious exceptions (the huge XC invite that draws 50 schools and a ton of people to town, etc.). But that's it.
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Does anyone base their coverage on a loose formula of how many people attend an event?

    Say 4,000 show up for the Saturday night stock car races but only 800 show up for university women's basketball. Do you ditch university hoops for the races?
  5. flaming_mo

    flaming_mo Guest

    Exactly. This was what troubled me during my time as a preps guy. There was a legit news reason for covering football and basketball. There was no legit news reason to cover golf or tennis other than to provide scrapbook clippings for mom and dad (and I didn't get in this business to do that). If you're going to cover sports that no one cares about except the participants and their parents, why not cover marching bands or chess clubs or student governments with equal fervor?
  6. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    THAT'S what everyone should keep in the back of their mind, that answer. Because you know you're going to get the opportunity to debunk an argument with it.

    "Ma'am, if your son was doing all that hard work to get his name in the paper, he was doing it for the wrong reason."
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Well said, Shottie.

    And I'll add another one: "No college coach is reading our paper to determine who to give his limited number of scholarships to. And if they are, you don't want your kid to go there anyway."

    Also agree with Maestro: High school varsity (American Legion/AAU in the summer) is the level where "game coverage" should begin (with an exception for district all-star teams that are eligible to make it to Williamsport, Pa. Pony/Dixie/Babe Ruth leagues don't count. LLWS counts.) Anything lower/younger than high school varsity that can get a feature or profile in a youth sports section, but keep results to a minimum.
  8. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    I think so.
  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Look, we cover golf when it gets to the postseason, region and state tournaments. Same with softball, soccer, track, cross country. At that point, it's on people's radars, so to speak. But no one wants to read 20 inches on Podunk High vs. South Southwest Podunk girls soccer in the regular season, not when you've got 20-plus schools in your area.
  10. JME

    JME Member

    Of course not.

    Queefrag West is where all the top young players are going these days.
  11. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    Years ago, I covered a few of podunk high's golf matches. got to know this one kid pretty well and his family, too.
    He's now a Top 50 PGA Tour guy with several wins. he always returns my phone calls, and has given me insight and access to a lot of places and people a lot of writers will never get.
    We've got a few major leaguers and NFL guys that have panned out the same way.
    Guess I shouldn't have taken the time to cover them when they were kids, playing kids games.
    A lot of people have similar stories, I'm sure. So, before you throw a general blanket on youth/minor preps coverage, think about the possible payout down the road.
  12. Pencil Dick

    Pencil Dick Member

    2under, I think the last time you, me and Mr. Top 50 PGA Tour guy teed it up together I had him down by 1 stroke after the first hole, only to see him sack up and rally for a 23-shot victory.

    I take solace in the fact he had to shoot a course record to beat me that day. :)
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