A new year and a new website.
OnSports, which has been a blog for three years, is now moving to a website in preparation for the publication of the ‘Field Guide To Covering Sports.’
This site will continue to house archives, but, starting next week, all future posts will be at http://www.sportsfieldguide.com. For now, you can access new posts (including one on college media bowl coverage) at www.sportsfieldguide.com/sports.
Hope you enjoy the new look and new features.
Most sports fans get far more excited about fantasy leagues and analysis than by an athlete’s personal fantasies. Yet, Mitch Albom believes sports journalism is devolving into gossip, rumor and paparazzi.
Seems like a lot of people are angered by how Tiger Woods has been treated in the media during the past month. Woods’ affairs have certainly been reported rather heavily. But I do not share Albom’s fears about sports reporting.
Unlike Albom, I do not believe this coverage is going to send sports journalism spiraling. We are not going to see stories about cheating offensive linemen, point guards and second basemen plastered across sports pages.
Why? Because they are not Tiger Woods.
So why is it okay to report on Woods’ affair? Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the cover to the Field Guide To Covering Sports, a sports reporting book that will be published by CQ Press the first week in February. More than 70 sports journalists and 20 coaches contributed to the Field Guide. This book focuses on ways to prepare, observe, interview and write about 20 different sports – everything from auto racing to field hockey to rowing to wrestling. Besides these chapters, the book also offers chapters on writing game stories, writing sports features, covering high school sports, writing blogs, interviewing, and covering fantasy sports, among others. Will Leitch wrote the foreward. I’ll post a Table of Contents in the next few weeks as the final pages are sent my way.
So what are college newspapers saying about three big games set for kickoff today?
Florida vs. Alabama
The Independent Alligator offers a story that is filled mostly with overview and background. The ‘Gator also includes several columns along with a podcast where football writers preview the SEC Championship game. Decent content. But nothing spectacular for a game promoted as ‘the game of the millennium’ on the podcast. Columnist Mike McCall says he’s pulling for several teams (Texas Christian, Boise State and Cincinnati) to win so there will be added pressure on college football officials to create a playoff system. Good luck convincing those greedy, self-serving league officials to change the system, Mike, but keep trying.
I’ve written about this terrific story by the Los Angeles Times’ Kurt Streeter before. But I’ve never really talked about the multimedia package that accompanied the piece. Streeter tells the story behind this story of a young female boxer, narrating as a slide show reveals the girl and her father in East Los Angeles. In addition, you can watch interviews with Seniesa and Joe Estrada. As a result, readers can literally see and hear more about a story already told so well in print. This is a great model to use for your own reporting.
Fortunately, Sally Jenkins, the Washington Post’s talented sports columnist, offers Tiger’s ‘side’ of a story that is growing more bizarre by the minute. (Somebody who knows public relations, please, please speak to Tiger before he completely destroys his public image.)
I just completed a class blog that will be used for Sports and the Media, an upper-level class here at Eastern Illinois University. On the blog, I have included about eight to 10 Power Point presentations that students can review before, or after, these respective lectures.
In addition, I included links to assigned articles, although our library has a great eReserve system that allows students to click and read selected articles from reserved journals. I have yet to find the definitive sports media textbook – at least, one that covers subject areas I assign – so I have also placed several texts on regular reserve. Students can read an assigned chapter from these books for up to three hours.
MLB.com is once again seeking interns to work this summer, a terrific opportunity for either undergrad or grad students. Deadline is Dec. 11, 2009.
According to MLB: “Applicants should submit a resume, 5 to 10 published articles, a list of references and a 750-word essay on why MLB.com should select you? Your clips ideally will show a variety of work, including game stories, previews and features.”
Pete Carroll earns more than $4 million per year coaching football at the University of Southern California. Robb Akey earns $258,187 for doing the same at Idaho while David Elson gets $259,808 for coaching Western Kentucky. This disparity is not a shocker – the largest schools with the wealthiest fan base (re: boosters) usually get the most money, the same way that larger schools also get most of the BCS dough.
Even assistant coaches get paid more than head coaches at the biggest football schools. At Alabama, assistants are paid up to $390,00 per season. Assistants at Arkansas ($378,238), Clemson ($350,000), Florida State ($629,000). Louisiana State ($429,000), Maryland ($468,000), Oklahoma ($406,000), and Washington ($600,000) are also paid exceptionally well. But nobody beats Tennessee, where an assistant coach reportedly earns $1.2 million.
Check out this terrific data base created by USA Today. You might also want to develop one for your own school, outlining how much each head and assistant coach makes. (Compare these figures to the salaries paid to teachers and administrators and see where the story takes you.)