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SI critique -- Why SI still matters

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bristol Insider, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. http://www.culturecloud.com/Articles/00002139/Why_SI_still_matters.aspx
  2. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    The writer got it exactly right. The global warming issue was like a throwback to the good old days of SI. I fear it may be an aberration though, judging from the Scorecard revamping which gives you pages of pages of bullshit before you actually get to anything worth reading.
  3. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    Not to get into a global warming debate, but I thought the SI piece was a little forced. I might have been biased...I had just finished Gregg Easterbrook's very interesting global warming story in the Atlantic Monthly, which was much more nuanced.

    The SI story was a smidge alarmist for my taste, and not just because I'm a knuckledragging Republican who hates science and progress.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I don't say this about Easterbrook that often, but his Atlantic story was refreshing.

    Sorry, didn't mean the hijack the SI thread either. I also think SI has floundered in trying too hard to be hip, but it still does consistently good work. Gary Smith could scale back to only two stories a year and I'd still subscribe just for those two. Then again, I might not be in the mainstream. I'm the guy reading Gregg Easterbrook in the Atlantic. You can have me shot anytime now.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I thought last week's SI was particularly good, with the global warming, steroids, Bill Walsh and a story on wrestling in Iowa. It took me more than one stint in the easy chair to get through that issue, which doesn't happen every week.
  6. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    The Bill Walsh story was good, although the "he used to be an asshole, but now he's sick so everything's forgiven," stuff came off oddly. There was a lot of revelling in what a dick he used to be to players.
  7. brettwatson

    brettwatson Active Member

    I look at SI this way. If I come home to 3-4 new publications and have my choice of what to dive into first..It's SI every time.

    SI is still the standard by which all other sports publications are judged. It plays a key role in helping set the national sports agenda too. Maybe not as much as it once did, but still influential in an increasingly fragmented sports market.

    No single newspaper casts as long of a shadow as SI.

    I'd suggest USA Today is the most influential newspaper, if only because of its wide distribution base. While many dailies are better (in my opinion) none is as critical to the sports conscience as USAT. And USAT is a distant No. 2 to SI.

    Just the fact that we continue to critique SI week after week, month after month, shows the staying power it has.

    The same can be said for Rick Reilly. We love to debate his strengths and weaknesses, but he's got more reach than Wilbon, Lupica, Posnanski, et. al. And I find him to be a must read every single week. He doesn't deliver every issue, but the fact he holds down that inside back page 50-plus times a year makes him the king of columnists.

    And rumor has it men like to look at the swimsuit issue too. Look what that concept has done for them.

    Maybe they have been a little slow innovation-wise in the past few years, but they remain the major player in sports journalism.
  8. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    True, true and true.

    The rest of the post made good points too, but these seven sentences say it all.
  9. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    The wrestling story was perfect (having grown up with the sport in Iowa).

    The global warming story was a little alarmist, although I found the prototype "green" stadium pretty interesting. (I did like the aside that oh, by the way, this thing would be too expensive to build today).

    I read SI cover to cover every week. I can't say the same thing about ESPN's magazine or Sporting News.
  10. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    What most of you are saying may be true, but compered to itself at any point in my readership life (my subscription started with the cover story on the 3 NFL rookies - Marino, Dickerson & Warner) it compares very unfavorably. It's even worse than it was a month ago.
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    the fact that we're saying SI "still matters" says everything about how far SI has fallen.

    30 years ago SI was to sports journalism what Tiger Woods is to golf. it was that dominant. way more influential than ESPN is now.

    now? just another voice in Babel.

    okay, its middle-aged writers are established names - but they made it before the internet and cable boom.

    but how many of its young writers are stars? can't think of any. SI is no longer a star-making machine, and without name writers it will slowly sink into the morass. won't disappear. but its days of being influential are over.
  12. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Thought this was a great issue, but the wrasslin' story was pretty rudimentary, nothing special, just a love letter to the state of Iowa. The type of thing a preps guy writes when a couple moms complain and the boss kowtows to them.
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