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Thought NBA All-Star Weekend was over? Not so fast!

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jason_whitlock, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    yes. if it's a legitimate discussion. it seems more legit than a lot of stuff on this board.
  2. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    the real issue posed by whitlock's column, from a sportswriting standpoint, is how marketable is his column?
    do sports fans want to read about the macro black culture issues whitlock raises?

    seems to me whitlock needs to write for an op-ed page - he's grown beyond sports - and his real passion is for culture and politics. in fact, when he actually writes sports, there's conspicuously little passion.

    and we all know the cardinal rule for sportswriting: you must be PASSIONATE about sports. you must have passionate opinons on EVERY SINGLE SUBJECT AND EVENT - like kornheiser and wilbon and all the other screaming ninnies. even if the subject is america's luge team for the next winter olympics - must be passionate.

    No passion - get your ass out of the business.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I would love to see Whitlock raise his pimp hand at an editorial board meeting.
  4. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Uh, I was only only kidding. I wouldn't delete any threads just for the fun of it.
  5. I dunno, maybe if you randomly smite one the rest of us will fall in line ... :)
  6. mesoanarchy

    mesoanarchy New Member

    henry hecht -

    For many black sports writers the socio-political climate of our country is easiest viewed through sports. We're passionate about sports, but we also see sports as a reflection of society as a whole. Just because I might write a piece excoriating writers for (as I just did) the inevitable slew of columns written under the premise of lambasting the NCAA and all it stands for while ending with the ever-predictable "ha-ha," 'now let me go fill out my bracket' doesn't mean I'm not passionate about the Big Dance. In fact, with three televisions and the satellite package allowing me to view every game, I'd say I'm more passionate then pretty much anyone who contributes here. I also generally watch about 25 NBA game per week - same during MLB season.... do you?

    Your way of thinking about Whitlock's tying together "aspects of the social" to sports is a major reason why we read the same crap every day in major media outlets. It's the reason very few writers have the ability to relate something unknown to the reader about a game they may have seen the night before. It's the reason we rarely get to the bottom of deeper sports topics like Phillip Fulmer's culpability in the whole UT-UA recruiting affair, or why UW attempted to throw Rick Neuheisel under the bus - and it's why the results of Neuheisel's suit isn't national sports news. It's the reason why reporters knee-jerk so hard they smack themselves in the face while reporting Barry Bonds' new shoe size while breathlessly reporting it as evidence he's used HGH....

    I'm not even a fan of Whitlock's - not in the least, as a matter of fact. But when you suggest he isn't actually writing sports because he mixes the socio-political with sports, you advocate a continuance of the good old boy network where the catchphrase is, 'nothing to see here, move along.' And that advocacy is a good part of the "what's wrong with sports journalism today" topic.
  7. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    you may watch 25 NBA games per week - but do you get worked up over them? if you're just going through the motions - that's not passion. you have to be foaming at the mouth like talk radio callers. otherwise, it doesn't count.

    you seem to be posing a serious indictment of sports journalism - but i'm not quite clear on what it is. that it is too lightweight? it focuses too much on competition and human interest? or that it doesn't adequately interpret the socio-cultural-political impact of sports?

    whitlock seems most passionate writing about other sports journalists. but he doesn't seem too interested in the competition or performers.
  8. mesoanarchy

    mesoanarchy New Member

    Do you really think I watch these games for s**ts and giggles?!

    Dude, the first words out of my mouth as a child dealt with sports, not Momma or Dadda, but "Nebraska Football." As my daughter says, "Dad, don't yell at the televisions. The people playing can't hear you." And actually, I can't even understand how someone could "go through the motions" of watching that much sports, not to say beginning the day with Mike & Mike in the Morning, then Cold Pizza and on through the day.... in other words, your question doesn't even compute....

    And yes, I am posing a serious indictment of sports journalism. It is incredibly homogeneous, variations on a theme, at best. Lightweight? Absolutely. I wish writers took the time to truly understand the game they watch - spend the time watching film, reading book on football theory, using their connections, if they have them, to go into a film room with players and coaches and listen and learn - and convey that which is learned to the general public. Think of the work that could come from that type of involvement in knowing the games covered?... and "human interest" stories have a certain connotation - fluff pieces. Human interest pieces need to be released from the constraint of fluff... I just say an ESPN "human interest" piece on Adam "Pacman" Jones by Stuart Scott. For its alloted what, maybe four minutes, it was, for television, very illuminating. Human interest, to me, is digging into a person in an effort to explain their essence to the public.

    And for Whitlock, he's been writing about games and the people inside them for years. Like I said I don't agree with the man's socio-political views - or his apparent worldview, for that matter - but he's done plenty of writing about "competition" and "performers."
  9. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    you watch 25 NBA games a week, mike&mike in the morning, and cold pizza? when do you come up for air?
    (and on your day off, let me guess, you prepare your charts for selection day)

    those are some serious criticisms of sports journalism. homogenous, lightweight, fluffy. you could be describing a vanilla souffle.

    are you sure it's all that awful? there are some talented people doing it.
  10. mesoanarchy

    mesoanarchy New Member

    ha! maybe mid-afternoons.... and dinnertime between PTI and the seven o'clock games...

    A vanilla souffle - perfect.

    It feels that awful. Where is the work that goes against all we're told, but actually is the truth? Why has there been no meaningful look at the inner-working of the NFL since Bernard Parrish's, "They Call It a Game"? Why have no mainstream writers explored David Stern's deal with Russell Athletics that resulted in the microfiber ball? No on has even tackled something as simple as why was Ryan Howard kept in the minors for so long when he'd outgrown the "A" leagues at least two years before his call-up; especially when trading Jim Thome might have resulted in the pitching the Phillies need to get over the proverbial hump?

    There's a lot of talent, but that talent is producing very little in the way of meaningful work. There are soooo many events topics to explore that would aid in exploding any of the carefully crafted myths used to maintain the veil separating the general fandom from knowledge of the sports they enjoy. But it appears that the talent is more interested in being myth-keepers than truth-seekers.
  11. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Because Ryan Howard was the second shooter on the grassy knoll?
  12. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    I don't think Elliotte was serious, but I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment.
    Whitlock's self-importance is staggering.
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