1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Shut out of credentials: NFL combine

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Justin Biebler, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. I know I only work at a 20K daily in Podunk but I was a little disappointed to be shut out of a credential to next week's NFL combine. We are a 4 hour drive from Indy and there are a couple players from local HS we cover that will be working out there (for us, a rare occurrence). I wanted to go down for the day they were going to be available to the media. Got a form letter that said we cannot accommodate your request due to tremendous interest.
    I know we are the minnow in a sea of sharks, but I know damn well there will be credentialed media there just taking up space and I want to work.
    Just wanted to vent.
    Any other small paper folks ever been shut out of big events?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't know if you could still do it this year, but in the future, what I've seen guys from smaller papers do to get into bigger events is to list their chain, not their specific paper when they apply for credentials. Since, in most cases, multiple papers will be running the stories, it's not even really misleading anybody...

    I'm surprised the combine is pulling this. They credential a lot of people who run websites where calling them a media outlet would be very generous.

    I remember an instance when a writer from the Athens, Georgia paper was denied a Final Four credential when the Final Four was in Atlanta and the writer in question had traveled to every Georgia game that year. I think he ended up eventually getting one, but had to really fight to get it.

    The college town papers are the ones that tend to get screwed the most by this. It may be a 30K circ, but it should be based on how much do you cover the sport in question.

    I covered a Super Bowl where we asked for and received 30 credentials. We asked for 30 expecting to get 25 and we ended up using 26 of them.

    YGBFKM Guest

    I was just telling the story of meeting a buddy there who was covering the combine. I was worried about getting in the building without a credential, but I walked into the venue (the then-RCA Dome), spotted a door with no one around, walked through it and all of a sudden I'm in the middle of everything. Coaches, GMs, writers everywhere. I guess things have changed.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I think it's in the past decade that the combine has started requiring credentials.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The last one I covered was 2008 and it was run in a way where I would have been very surprised if anyone ever checked a credential. The hotel was attached to where they held the combine and you could just walk across and go down the escalators to the hallway where quite a bit of the action was. They might have checked credentials to get in the media room, but it wouldn't have surprised me if they didn't. I'm sure it's changed a bit since then, because there were always a lot of autograph seekers (the professional ones...) lurking in the hallway.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Have you tried contacting the players directly? You could still get your interview away from the stadium.
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    You didn't need one back in the dark ages when I last covered it.

    You couldn't get in the dome to watch the workouts, but you could set up in the hotel lobby and get everyone you needed and then some. That's where they'd do press conferences, and of course, players, agents, coaches, scouts and GMs were passing through or just hanging around all the time.
  8. I've covered my share of combines and I'm shocked they are turning anyone away. Some of the complete clown shows that are at this thing get credentials, I'd think they'd be more than happy to credential an actual newspaper. When did you apply? I wonder if they hit their ceiling on credentials by continuing to say yes to every Tom, Dick and Harry that applied and now they are just turning away anyone. The combine isn't what it used to be since it moved to Lucas Oil. Back at the RCA Dome, they had the hallway that GMs and coaches had to walk past and you could get some good stuff out in that hallway just by sitting out there and waiting for them to pass. Now, you're far more isolated and only get your chance to talk to the GMs and coaches when they come through the media room. You get the player access, obviously, but really that's not nearly as useful as the access to coaches and GMs, at least for beat writer types.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Are they aware you have an interest in specific players from your area? That could make a difference.

    As noted above, the rejection is bullshit. They have no problem credentialing every clown show for SB media events.
  10. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Two guys from Savannah State might have an extra GoPro for you.

    (Agree with the suckitude of the rejection.)
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Might be a longshot, but if you cover the Colts or another NFL team at all, maybe their PR people can help you out. I know it's an NFL event and not a team event, but at the very least they might be able to vouch for your legitimacy.
  12. This has not been my experience.

    Next week will be my sixth Combine, and it might be the least foof-populated event I've staffed. Everybody there seems to be working and serious-minded. The huge press area is jammed every day by 7:30 a.m. and the absence of ass-clowns, foofs and morons makes it a pleasure to cover.

    As for security, nobody is getting in that front door without a credential. The place is crawling with security.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page