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Sportswriters who are friends with the players

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FantasyAlliance.cm, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. I was reading Chris Palmer's book (ESPN Mag basketball writers) The Sixth Man about his experience following 5 players around throughout the 2004-05 season, and it seemed like he was friendly with some of the players. He was talking about how he would eat lunch with Damon Jones and hang out with Elton Brand in the clubs. Brand would call him and ask if he wanted to hang out. Is this normal for a sportswriter?
  2. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    For something like that, yes.
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Up until 10 years (give or take) ago, it was the norm.
  4. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    It's been more than 10 years, I'd say. Players stopped hanging out with writers on a regular basis when the disparity in their paychecks reached Grand Canyon levels a couple or three decades ago.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    You're right. It has been at least 20 years.
  6. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I think a lot of baseball writers become friendly with players because of the road thing. Watch "Almost Famous" and apply it to sports.
  7. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I covered a college women's team at one point. I was only a year older than the lone senior on the team, and by the end of the season she and I were pretty good friends. Course I think the fact that we were so close in age had a lot to do with it. I think the fact that I'm over 30 would preclude a similar friendship from developing now.
  8. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Were you concerned about keeping it professional if this girl did something or knew something newsworthy (i.e. cheat in school, commit a crime, know a player getting special treatment or having some dirt on the coach)?
  9. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Totally, and that's one reason we rarely hung out until the season was over. I knew I could be professional if any of those things came up (although she never would have cheated or become a criminal), but I didn't want to give anybody any reason to question my work.

    If she had been coming back the next year, I don't know if I would have been comfortable hanging out and being really good friends with her.
  10. Bill Horton

    Bill Horton Active Member

    I once gave up a beat and switched to another because the head coach and I had become good friends and I felt like I couldn't be as objective as I needed to be. Go ahead, tell me I blew a professional code of ethics, but at least I recognized it. The man became sort of a mentor for me and he and his wife supported us through a difficult time and shared their hearts, experiences and wisdom with us. I'd say that's more important than anything I've ever done professionally.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    It's not like he borrowed money from one of the players to help settle a gambling debt or anything...
  12. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Actually, I give you credit.
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