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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 don't get tight with the people I cover. I used to back years ago. Then bad things would happen to them and I had a difficult time being objective about it. So now I play it straight. It probably hurts me at times, but it also comes in real handy at times. I have a lot less bullshit to worry about.

    Plus, when it's time to unload ... I don't have to feel bad about it.
  2. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Hey, good for you. Me too. I guess we both know where to go for loans!

    (that's the response your "sad creature" comment deserved).


    I find that writers who try to act like they're "friends" with the athletes do so because they want to be like those athletes. Mingle in those same circles, be part of the story, be cool and attend those same parties. But they're not.

    hence my comment about the same tax bracket. It's not the same tax bracket, it's not the same world. We're observers and storytellers who try to cultivate quality relationships through fairness and honesty.

    I think the saddest creatures are those writers who so desperately want to be something they're not, and let it affect their work.
  3. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    I became "friendly" with a volleyball player in college the day after her season ended after covering the team for two seasons. Does that count?
  4. slipshod

    slipshod Member

    These days, I don't see how a writer can be a friend of a player, especially in the pros. I suppose it's possible. I like being cordial and love any small talk, gets at who these people really are and lets them know you're human, too.
    Friendship, I don't know...
  5. Bears00

    Bears00 Member

    There's a distinction between actually wanting to be friends with the athletes and coaches and portraying yourself as a friendly person and cultivating those relationships to help yourself down the road.
  6. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    That's a whole different thing. Even if you never cover the person again, it could look bad, because people will assume it was going on before that.

    I used to get a lot of comments about my coverage of a star female athlete when I was writing for my college paper. She went on to become the first All-American in school history, but I still took a lot of garbage about it.

    Funny thing is, in a couple years of covering her teams, I think I spoke to her away from the court or interview room once.
  7. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    But it was Joe Hirsch, a writer who covered horse racing
  8. boots

    boots New Member

    I see nothing wrong with being friendly or ocassionally hanging out with an athlete. However, remember that you aren't an athlete. I tell my athletic friends when we go out, have a good time and stay out of the police blotter.
    Once its in the blotter, I'm still your friend but then I have to be a reporter. I haven't had any problems with guys. They understand the situation because I have to eat just like they have to.
  9. RFB-Boy

    RFB-Boy Member

    I just always try to be the person who I am and take things from there. If another person is/isn't going to like me, it's up to them. If that leads to friendship, then it is what it is. Can I be objective about my friends? I think so. Am I friends with any of the coaches/athletes I cover? It depends on your definition of friendship. I am most certainly friendly with them and try to let them know that I'm genuinely interested in their wellbeing and such, but that's just a product of how I was raised. Is it hard to lower the boom on someone you like? Of course it is, but you do it because it's your job. I've written stories on the firing of the head volleyball coach and athletic director at the JUCO I cover here and considered both to be friendly acquaintances. It sucks to write unpleasant facts about someone you like, but that's the business. You do your best to be fair and friendly, and hopefully people understand why you're doing what you're doing when you have to write something they may not like. So far, that's worked with me. I try to treat athletes and coaches like people, because first and foremost, that's what they are and that's what makes them interesting anyway.
  10. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Especially because now, their boyfriends would be more n your preferred age range. ;)
  11. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    *cough*Dan LeBatard*cough*
  12. Babs

    Babs Member

    Agree wholeheartedly with this, in fact, it's a good mantra for the job. If you're sensitive to the human element, that will come through in your writing and make it far more engaging. You'll also enjoy the task more. Combine this with kick-ass research, and you're golden.

    Ask how they're doing and really mean it.
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