Explaining those tasty blocks

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Kris Knowlton focuses on an aspect of football in the Daily Nebraskan that is not familiar to all fans – the pancake block (as opposed to cockroach and rodeo blocks.) The pancake is essentially a block where the opponent is forcefully knocked back and flattened like a Bisquick flapjack. Blocks like this give line coaches warm fuzzies.

When writing stories about unfamiliar topics, take extra time to clearly describe, or define, them. Even better, break down plays like the pancake block. How does one execute this block? You can ask someone to explain the technique for readers. The best resource for this? Coaches who know far more about football than players or reporters. Asking coaches to break down technical aspects of their sports serves several purposes. First, it educates a reporter who can then better explain to fans. Second, it can initiate a wonderful conversation with a regular source on your beat. Third, these stories can be further developed into multimedia presentations – perhaps, a video showing a pancake block executed perfectly (and which can even be narrated by an offensive line coach.)

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