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The poker bro may know what he's doing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I can't put down this issue of ESPN The Magazine. It's probably the best I can remember. Here's what I like:

    1. Instead of some half-assed attempt at a overriding concept, this issue revolves around something specific and handled it with deftness and completeness. The concept is "One Game, One Day." It's a look at the 24 hours surrounding the Heat-Bulls game on Jan. 29.
    2. There's an excellent, excellent feature that doesn't even attempt to fit the concept of the issue, which is rarely the case in ESPN The Magazine.
    3. The columns by Howard Bryant and Chris Jones were very good, even by their high standards.

    There are still overdone graphics, and there's probably a little too much on the theme for me to read it all. But I have read three of the longer features, a few bits from Go and those two columns, and I've enjoyed it all quite a bit. Sports Illustrated rarely has three long-form stories of this quality in one issue:

    Of course, the last issue of ESPN The Magazine had almost nothing I found interesting. I think that's one of the biggest issues with opting for concept issues every time: There's no insurance of consistency, and there's no way to make sure everyone finds something they want to read.

    Still, ESPN The Magazine eschews The Big Story for less timely pieces more than Sports Illustrated does, and I think when those features hit the spot, it has more upside. The depth of long-form experts is tough to match: Keown, Van Valkenburg, Van Natta, Jones, Wright Thompson, Tom Friend*, Seth Wickersham, Ryan McGee, etc.

    * For those who might know: Friend hasn't had a long-form story published by an ESPN outlet since December. Is he working on a book? Does he have something wonderful that he's about to drop on us? He's a top-10 sports feature writer, as far as I'm concerned. But one of the tricky things with long-form writers is they can just seem to disappear for months at a time. Thomas Lake had a lengthy stretch without an article for Sports Illustrated, then dropped three long and detailed pieces in less than two months.
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    There has been sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much written about James that I really did not want to read the KVV piece, but someone once wrote here that a documentary (and for me a feature) is good if you take one thing from it you did not know before. James riding the bike was the one thing I will remember from this piece. That was a very good detail.

    And it made me think for a moment.

    James is entering his late 20s and has a bike with his name on it? What adult does this? Could the root of all the problems ("choking") just be a simple lack of maturity?

    Verse is right, though, if you make an entire magazine about one thing, you are going to lose people, but since I basically get this magazine for free, it does not bother me.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Tim Keown makes every issue of The Mag worthwhile. I agree about Friend, too. He's as good as anyone in the game.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I love most of the writers for ESPN The Magazine, but between the funky graphics and the funky concepts ... sometimes, it seems as though ESPN The Magazine distracts itself with things that I'm not sure have much of a real audience.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I think it's safe to say the target audience is probably young.

    Did you see the graphics for the Masters preview (which was inside the MLB preview)? I thought that was pretty cool, showing the location of where Rory's shots ended up on No. 10 last year, every shot Tiger has ever hit into No. 11 off the tee, and every tee shot Mickelson has ever hit into No. 12 over the years.
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