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The No. 1 Clip in Your Packet. . .

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by daemon, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Of course, if I have such great damn clips, why did I end up inside in the early 1980s...? :)
  2. roxraidersfan

    roxraidersfan Member

    It just drives me crazy. I can't submit articles for contests because I think mine are all crap. Love to submit the page designs because I tinker with the work of others but my final products are ones I can't even read after writing them. People say I write well, my stuff just makes me sick after I finish, I'm guessing it's psychological, dunno.
  3. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    I read Mr Jones's Gatti piece a couple of years ago (researching a Gatti story before the anti-climactic Dorin fight). It did rock.

    Like I say, I farm all my stuff out to Mrs FoF to sort through if and when I do put clips together. I think maybe my best piece was not sports (the trial of a Canadian explosives expert facing 50 yrs in NM for training suspected terrorists from UAE and elsewhere).

    YHS, etc
  4. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I just did one that I was pretty happy with. Long for a newspaper piece. It wasn't in sports, but in a special Saturday longer-form section (Sunday for you Yanks).

    A local kid, a pitching prospect, failed a dope test last March and was suspended 50 games. I was in South Africa when it went down. But when I returned, I looked back and really didn't see anything anywhere about it, beyond a few brief conversations with the kid's father.

    You see plenty of stories about guys who won't talk about it, or say they were sabotaged, or their supplement was tainted. But rarely do you see a kid not only 'fess up, but tell the story of how it went down: why he did it. How he felt when he was doing it. What the fallout was.

    The irony was that he had just had by far the best season of his brief pro career (he's only 22) when he decided to do it. And the other irony is that his father, a former pitcher in the Pirates' system whose career ended before it began by multiple surgeries, works for the Olympic Association, athlete and community relations.

    Dad preaches fair play, hard work, commitment, all that good Olympic ideal stuff. Pushed his kid pretty hard. He had no idea his son was upstairs in the locked bathroom with a needle full of stanazolol. And while the kid was doing it, he was concurrently helping coach a local college team, presumably preaching those same ideals before he came home and juiced.

    It took some work, but I finally convinced the kid to let me tell his story. It helped that he's a smart guy, pretty introspective, and well-spoken. It was pretty heartbreaking when he told me about not being able to pick up the phone and tell his dad. He sent him an e-mail instead; and he wrote that he would understand if he was disowned.

    I tried to paint some kind of picture of what the pressures are like when you're a young kid in the minors, especially one who has talent, but little confidence in himself. He thinks probably 30-40% of his competitors are juicing. Every new guy who comse along is eager and hungry to take his place. It's dog-eat-dog down there, everyone trash-talking everyone else, almost rejoicing on another's misfortune because they can gain from it.

    Kid ends up exiled to the gulag of extended spring, where he promptly rolls his ankle. Gets back from that, and he develops back spasms which I have no doubt are at least partly stress-induced. Then, his girlfriend of seven years, the only girlfriend he's ever had, dumps him long distance.

    My boss wants me to submit it, but I never do that. First, it feels like bragging, tooting your own horn. Also, seen too many awards up here go to the less-deserving candidate. He'll have to do it for me. ;D
  5. Flash

    Flash Guest

    ballscribe, I would love to read that. If I PM you my e-mail addy, would you allow me?
  6. pittsburgie

    pittsburgie Member

    Whatever story I'm working on tomorrow...you always have to have that attitude.
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