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Tips for covering Division I football?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bristol Whipped, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Covering my first Division I football game Saturday night after years of high school and small college coverage and would love some tips. I'll admit, I'm totally clueless.

    I know stats will be provided after the game, but I'm used to keeping my own stats and jotting down play-by-play notes, so I'm wondering -- what do most of you guys actually do while you're watching the game? Still keep pbp notes? Keep your own stats just to keep track and organize your thoughts?

    How early should I arrive? What do you typically do pregame? Is there a pregame program or media guide I pick up in the pressbox?

    Thanks in advance for the help. I appreciate it.
  2. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Get there as early as possible. I pick up all the notes and guides that are available, just so I have some early information.

    During the game, I have a legal pad that I jot down plays/down and distance with. If there's a particularly big play--long pass, long run, touchdown, sack, interception--I'll put an asterisk by it, just so I can refer back to it later.
  3. Mostly try to out-do the other writers on the beat in terms of a running snide commentary about the team you cover.
  4. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Seconded. It's a lot easier to find a particular play or series in your chicken scratch than it is trying to sniff it out from the book.
  5. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I pay particular emphasis to the defense, since the play by play notes later will not go into specifics.
  6. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Is it called Division I anymore?
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Yes. It's still Division I.

    It's no longer Division I-A or I-AA, though. It's I-FBS or I-FCS -- stoopid.

    As for tips on covering the game, just go and cover it like you would a high school game. But don't worry too much about keeping your own stats. Also, talk to the SID and he'll be happy (you'd think) to help you find your way to the locker room, the interview room and the potty.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Make sure to gorge yourself on on the free food and drinks

  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you have to write? Gamer? Notes? Sidebar? All three?

    Before the game is a great time to catch up with the AD of the school you're covering or troll for easy notes that can be done before the game. What's your deadline like? If you have to do notes for a 7 p.m. game, you better have something done before the game or you're going to be screwed come deadline time.

    We have an entire inside page of stats, notes, breakouts, numbers, etc. for each of our schools, so I'm working the entire game to fill that stuff in.
  10. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    I like to get to the game at least two hours early, spending time to check out the scene, look over the notes (especially the really important stuff - day-to-day decisions, etc.) and just poke around to see what's going on. Of course, by the time this has started, I've already spent most of the week reading the other team's media guide, checking out past coverage online and learning rosters, so that's something you might be able to do before the game if you haven't already.

    During the game, I'll keep my own version of play-by-play, and then jot down the specifics during the big plays to make sure I can capture them better later on (because as you know, Flynn to Doucet for 3 yards really isn't that important in the grand scheme of things). By the end of the game, if I'm writing a gamer, I have most of the stuff ready to go and spend the middle third of the fourth quarter thinking of questions and the last third on the field (because, well, I can.)
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Everytime the quarterback completes a pass, scream, "Yeah, you know he's getting laid tonight..." and try to high-five the writers next to you...

    30 Seconds after each quarter is over, turn to the SID and scream, "Where the fuck are the stats?!"

    When you're going through the free media buffet, turn to the AD and say, "You don't seriously expect me to eat this shit do you?"

    When the cute intern hands you stats or game quotes, turn to the SID and say, "Who's the new hooch?" or "What did she have to do to get that job?" Then try to high-five him...

    Sing the fight song after every touchdown...

    Enjoy the game... ;D
  12. a_rosenthal

    a_rosenthal Guest

    Bring your drunk girlfriend in the press box and make out with her. SIDs love that.

    (Side note: This actually happened. We fired the guy and he somehow got a job in the same town... Go figure)
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