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FairGame
Jul 24, 2001

Oh, I feel it! I feel the Kozmas!

I generally only read the MLB threads in here, which frequently have examples of terrible sports journalism--writers clearly failing to do research, writers claiming something despite all evidence to the contrary, writers getting mad at the nebulous "blogosphere" for perceived Slights Against the Profession, etc.

Baseball's not the only sport that's plagued with shameful coverage, however. It's merely one of the most notable.

Whether it's Stuart Scott doing a poetry slam about the Boston Celtics (ignore the stupid last 10 seconds; I couldn't find a copy of the original), Norman Chad calling bloggers "a threat to our free land", or some writer blithely accepting that Torii Hunter has the ability to travel through time to an era where he overlapped with Kirby Puckett, we're constantly exposed to absolutely terrible coverage of sports (which is, after all, a Very Serious Topic worth getting upset over).

Fire Joe Morgan used to be a wonderful repository of "dumb poo poo that sportswriters and announcers said," but it's largely defunct. I've heard that maybe it'll come back on Deadspin; one can only hope.

Since I like to get upset about people who are not me getting paid to do a bad job of covering sports, I don't want to miss any other examples of egregious sports journalism. There's probably a whole library of shame that the NFL, NHL, NBA offer if only I knew where to look.

I'd like to make this a repository for such things.

To get things started:

MLB

SABRmetrics vs. "Traditional Statistics": In the last several years, there has been a greater focus on "advanced" baseball statistics since many of these metrics are better indicators of player performance and value than the standard statistics that appear on the back of a baseball card. This helps to explain why players like Pedro Feliz can drive in 80+ runs a season for years, yet every time he comes to the plate you think "goddammit Pedro Feliz is up and he sucks."

Enter Murray Chass, a former sportswriter for the New York Times. Chass, who has the ability to cast votes for entrance into the MLB Hall of Fame, hates the poo poo out of anything that isn't wins or RBIs, and he especially hates bloggers and their blogs. In spite of this, he has a blog.

Murray Chass posted:

This is a site for baseball columns, not for baseball blogs. The proprietor of the site is not a fan of blogs. He made that abundantly clear on a radio show with Charley Steiner when Steiner asked him what he thought of blogs and he replied, I hate blogs. He later heartily applauded Buzz Bissinger when the best-selling author denounced bloggers on a Bob Costas HBO show.

Bloggers, however, are welcome to visit this site; so are stats freaks, fantasy leaguers and Red Sox fans. How else will they know what is being said about them by a columnist they love to hate?

Otherwise, this site will most likely appeal primarily to older fans whose interest in good old baseball is largely ignored in this day of young bloggers who know it all, and new- fangled statistics (VORP, for one excuse-me example), which are drowning the game in numbers and making people forget that human beings, not numbers, play the games.

...he's actually not completely horrible, and when he doesn't fall into his frothing hatred of statistics and instead writes about the ins-and-outs of a 162-game season (which is something he has direct experience with, unlike a blogger who isn't afforded that level of access), he can be a pretty good writer. Still, he's kind of held up as a strawman by the SABR crowd since on any given day they can point at him and say "Look! He is literally saying he would rather have Livan Hernandez than Zack Greinke because of WINS!"

I'd prefer this thread not to fall into the trap of debating SABR vs. Traditional Stats since it seems tangential to the purposes of ridiculing crappy journalists. That said, it's probably what irks me most in baseball journalism, and I'm probably not alone in that.

Here, for example, is an article unironically titled, "Maybe Schumaker Isn't So Horrible After All" about a baseball player who is objectively horrible. He did A Good Thing yesterday, though, so this undoes the previous 100 games' worth of work in which he literally was interchangeable with any schmuck from the minor leagues.

Please post other examples of terrible journalism so we can all laugh and then get moderately embittered that the people producing this work are being paid for it while we're not.

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stuart scott irl
Mar 9, 2007



I object to this thread on the basis that Murray Chass is indeed completely horrible

Nut Bunnies
May 24, 2005



The only good thing Murray Chass has done was an awesome hit job on Selena Roberts for her lovely A-Rod defamation book because it didn't name any of the sources that gave her the juiciest information since it was most likely bullshit

Ross
May 25, 2001

German Moses

Haha that Hunter/Puckett thing is awesome.

Sam Smith is a huge hack but I assume everyone knows this.

Dick Williams
Aug 25, 2005


There's a lot of reasons why sports journalism sucks. To an average paper, sports is considered a light subject and relatively unimportant. The way it used to work was that usually the guys who end up reporting on sports start somewhere else and eventually end up over there over time. With social media that's starting to change although a lot of media outlets are still somewhat reluctant to embrase their new competitors.

It's indicitive of the entire media, though. Obviously the media is having a tough time adjusting to technology. Bloggers report news faster and better than their paper counterparts and it's much more of a niche market. More importantly, it's free. Technology also removes the need for a lot of middlemen. I met with a producer of a major NBC affiliate a few months ago and he showed me NBC's news system. He explained that back in the day it would take three or four people to do what he does by himself now and he hates it because a) it means less jobs overall and b) he's getting paid less to do more work.

What I'm trying to get at is this is why guys like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal loving suck. They both do good, if not great, jobs reporting stories. They're reporters. Heyman was a Yankees beat reporter. Rosenthal was a beat reporter too. But they're asked to do analysis on things that they have no clue about. There was an article by Heyman floating around here around the MLB draft which was absolutely terrible. It was clear that he had no idea about the draft. So why was he writing it? Because his boss asked him to. Because Sports Illustrated doesn't have someone dedicated to covering the draft.

More importantly, you write to your audience. People want to be entertained. Why do you think ESPN is so popular? ESPN isn't about sports, it never has been. The Decision, the ESPYS, SportsCenter -- it's all about entertainment. Hours of footage cut into thirty second soundbites with funny one liners cut in. Websites like Deadspin are popular not because of heavy duty analysis but because the vast majority of people care more about Brett Favre's dick pictures than Brett Favre's performance on the field.

The media is defensive about bloggers because they should be. They should be scared shitless. These people do a better job than they will ever do and for free. But of course, instead of hiring them or working with them they try to block them because that's the way the media works.

Dick Williams fucked around with this message at Aug 10, 2010 around 19:49

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



stuart scott irl posted:

I object to this thread on the basis that Murray Chass is indeed completely horrible

I agree with this, Murray Chass is unmitigated trash.

Dick Williams
Aug 25, 2005


Basically what I'm saying is don't become a Communication major

THE MACHO MAN
Nov 15, 2007

...Carey...

draw me like one of your French Canadian girls


We had one of these a few months back and still remains the same: Anything by Ross McKeon of Yahoo's NHL section is utter loving trash. It bothers me so much that someone like that gets a job. He can't write, he can't analyze... I don't know what he does.

Greg Wyshynski has a really nice blog though.

soggybagel
Aug 6, 2006

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

-Robert F. Kennedy on Being a Minnesota Sports Fan

Dan Le Batard had a great article that kind of ties in to this.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/...-worth-the.html

Dan Le Batard posted:

If you consume sports media, you know the best-and-brightest don't go into my profession. They become doctors, lawyers, scientists, owners, whatever. Sports tends to be the place where people go to rest their minds from heavy lifting and . . .


"Not true," says Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. ``There are very smart media members and plenty of dumb asses. Same in my profession -- some very smart people and some dumb asses. By far my biggest frustration is what I see as a hypocrisy. The media wants us to be accessible, honest and forthright. But when we are, we get destroyed. It's like you want us to talk so you can kill us. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind if people kill my ideas. I think it's interesting when people disagree. I mean the people who say I should just shut up and coach. Fine. Then don't ask us any questions."

DO YALL WANT A BOXC
Jul 20, 2010

C'EST UNE BOULETTE DE VIANDE EPICEE


One of the things most people kind of hate about college, anecdotally, is the lovely classes they make you take freshman year to 'broaden your horizons'. Maybe it's just because I go to a liberal arts college, but there's a lot of resentment if you get stuck with a lovely class in something you don't want to study. I got pretty lucky in that I got to take my two classes with amazing professors. One was a semester all about Homer, and learning that much about the Iliad and the Odyssey from a cultural and historical and literary perspective kinda owned, but the other one was just as good. It was about arguing, and the professor chose pieces not typically studied in higher ed.

He introduced me to Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated. He's kind of unique in that he's won the National Magazine Award an unprecedented four times. There's a great listing of his articles on his wiki page and anyone who likes good writing in general will love him. He's probably well known to anyone that reads SI, but I never really read it cover to cover and now anytime he writes something I make sure to pick it up.

Tangent aside, everyone should read Joe Posnanski(obviously), the sports stuff by John Updike and Michael Smith, and despite his hatred for blogs, Buzz Bissinger is another really good writer.

FlamingLiberal
Jan 18, 2009

DAMMIT WESLEY!!!


We should make a list of crappy journalists to go in the OP

Tavarin
May 10, 2003

I am definitely a madman with a box


FlamingLiberal posted:

We should make a list of crappy journalists to go in the OP

It might just be easier to make a list of good journalists.

DO YALL WANT A BOXC
Jul 20, 2010

C'EST UNE BOULETTE DE VIANDE EPICEE


Tavarin posted:

It might just be easier to make a list of good journalists.

It'd be a lot smaller, too. No one really wants to remember all the Plashckes and Mariottis to avoid through all the sports towns.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Rule of thumb, if you see Boston Globe on someone's credential and it's not Fluto Shinzawa they loving suck.

Criminal Minded
Jan 4, 2005

Spring break forever


That's a fantastic name.

ForbiddenWonder
Feb 15, 2003



MMA 'journalism' has to be worst overall out of any of the 'major' sports. Josh Gross sucks a lot, and 90% of the online stuff is atrocious in every way.

ForbiddenWonder fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2010 around 00:36

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Criminal Minded posted:

That's a fantastic name.

He's a solid hockey beat writer and a very very nice man.

I didn't know there was MMA journalism, is it carried on the wire?

dokomoy
May 21, 2004


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

He's a solid hockey beat writer and a very very nice man.

I didn't know there was MMA journalism, is it carried on the wire?

I don't know about other newspapers, but in the LA Times they throw up a preview for a UFC event(and sometimes a full recap) but thats it. Those articles are generally fine, it's the myriad of lovely websites that are the problem.

The broken bones
Jan 3, 2008

Out beyond winning and losing, there is a field.

I will meet you there.

LA Times now links bleacher report articles lmao

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

I didn't know there was MMA journalism, is it carried on the wire?

I'm noticing a lot of boxing writers are doing UFC now - take Kevin Iole for instance. Up here in Toronto, the Sun will dedicate a page to MMA once or twice a week.

Nut Bunnies
May 24, 2005



ForbiddenWonder posted:

MMA 'journalism' has to be worst overall out of any of the 'major' sports. Josh Gross sucks a lot, and 90% of the online stuff is atrocious in every way.

Dave Meltzer's fine but Kevin Iole is the loving worst

Luigi Thirty
Apr 30, 2006

Emergency confection port.


The broken bones posted:

LA Times now links bleacher report articles lmao

Back when I cared I'd write a troll article and it'd get linked to on every CBS-owned website there is.

morestuff
Aug 2, 2008



I spent a couple years working on a few different sports desks. The younger reporters were almost always wackos whose lives revolved around sports sports SPORTS, while the older editors were uniformly awesome, funny, well-rounded people.

I'm sure some of those guys will grow out of it, but I always wondered whether it was a generational thing. Are people just more obsessive about sports now?

Nut Bunnies
May 24, 2005



Luigi Thirty posted:

Back when I cared I'd write a troll article and it'd get linked to on every CBS-owned website there is.

Even CNET?

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

morestuff posted:

I spent a couple years working on a few different sports desks. The younger reporters were almost always wackos whose lives revolved around sports sports SPORTS, while the older editors were uniformly awesome, funny, well-rounded people.

I'm sure some of those guys will grow out of it, but I always wondered whether it was a generational thing. Are people just more obsessive about sports now?

Bill Madden is old and loving horrible I'm not sure your theory holds.

Luigi Thirty
Apr 30, 2006

Emergency confection port.


Captain Charisma posted:

Even CNET?

Not CNET, but I'd google the title and it would appear on a bunch of websites within minutes. I'm a Syndicated Columnist!

LARGE THE HEAD
Sep 1, 2009

"Competitive greatness is when you play your best against the best."

"Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow."

--John Wooden


DO YALL WANT A BOXC posted:

He introduced me to Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated. He's kind of unique in that he's won the National Magazine Award an unprecedented four times. There's a great listing of his articles on his wiki page and anyone who likes good writing in general will love him. He's probably well known to anyone that reads SI, but I never really read it cover to cover and now anytime he writes something I make sure to pick it up.

Really, everyone ought to just start here. Gary Smith is phenomenal, and an example of how powerful sports journalism can be in the long-form format.

Start here. Then go here. Then here. Then here.

Then keep going.

e: Silly me, for forgetting one of the more memorable pieces he's ever written. Read this first.

LARGE THE HEAD fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2010 around 10:23

Bigass Moth
Mar 6, 2004



Avoid ye all Cleveland media, especially Browns beat reporters. When Mangini was hired he cleaned out the front office and installed his own people. The people he fired were media leaks. Lo and behold, the media immediately had a grudge against Mangini and he was deemed a bad coach (2 playoff runs in 3 years with the Jets) and a terrible evaluator of talent (Mangold, Revis, Ferguson, etc.) Drafting Alex Mack may as well have been a deadly sin with Maualuga still on the board according to these people, who are now grudgingly admitting that a good offensive line is better than a 2-down linebacker.

Specifically, avoid Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabbot. I don't think I've ever seen either of these two actually break down the information given to them. They are muckrakers through and through. The only Cleveland-based writer of any value of Terry Pluto.

DNS
Mar 11, 2009

by Ralp


LARGE THE HEAD posted:

Really, everyone ought to just start here. Gary Smith is phenomenal, and an example of how powerful sports journalism can be in the long-form format.

Start here. Then go here. Then here. Then here.

Then keep going.

e: Silly me, for forgetting one of the more memorable pieces he's ever written. Read this first.

why does Gareth Thomas keep calling him 'butt'? is that a welsh thing? It's super distracting

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


LARGE THE HEAD posted:

Really, everyone ought to just start here. Gary Smith is phenomenal, and an example of how powerful sports journalism can be in the long-form format.

Start here. Then go here. Then here. Then here.

Then keep going.

e: Silly me, for forgetting one of the more memorable pieces he's ever written. Read this first.

Smith's piece on the last days of Jimmy Valvano is one of my favourite things SI has ever published. It's a great (and depressing) story.

FairGame
Jul 24, 2001

Oh, I feel it! I feel the Kozmas!

I guess it is easier to list out good stuff than bad.

To that end, there was actually a really good piece about the dude who hit the ball that killed Mike Coolbaugh. I want to say it was on ESPN.com but I cannot find it. If anyone manages to locate it, I'd hold it up as an example of good journalism.

The broken bones
Jan 3, 2008

Out beyond winning and losing, there is a field.

I will meet you there.

don't forget Gary Smith's Mike Tyson article. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/va...67130/index.htm


I personally love this one: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/va...58635/index.htm

BackInTheUSSR
Jun 22, 2004

1.5 HR/9
ACE


http://www.sptimes.com/News/webspecials/abaseballstory/

Back about 11 years ago the St. Pete Times did this really great piece following Josh Hamilton through the low Minor Leagues. For whatever reason it stuck with me all these years. It's a really good look into how lovely the Minors are and there are cameo appearances by Carl Crawford and non-prospects like Seth McClung.

sidenote, when I applied for an internship about a year ago, I wrote about this article getting me interested in the field, and one of the writers on staff of the publication I was applying to was actually a designer at the St. Pete Times when this was written. brownie points!

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



FairGame posted:

I guess it is easier to list out good stuff than bad.

To that end, there was actually a really good piece about the dude who hit the ball that killed Mike Coolbaugh. I want to say it was on ESPN.com but I cannot find it. If anyone manages to locate it, I'd hold it up as an example of good journalism.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20.../coolbaugh0924/

I believe that's it. S.L. Price is the author.

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

The broken bones posted:

I personally love this one: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/va...58635/index.htm

This is a really wonderful profile piece about a kid from South Africa who plays baseball you should all read.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



leokitty posted:

This is a really wonderful profile piece about a kid from South Africa who plays baseball you should all read.

Gift is like the black Reggie Willits. I hope he makes the show more than anyone not named Disco Hayes.

morestuff
Aug 2, 2008



If we're just listing great pieces of writing, there's always classics like Mark Kram's piece following the Thrilla in Manila and Tony Kornheiser's Rick Barry feature. Then there's the long-form stuff like The Breaks of the Game and The Last Shot.

Edit: In more recent stuff, I thought this piece by Wright Thompson on the disappearance of former Washington State basketball star Tony Harris was amazing.

morestuff fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2010 around 17:08

DO YALL WANT A BOXC
Jul 20, 2010

C'EST UNE BOULETTE DE VIANDE EPICEE


LARGE THE HEAD posted:

e: Silly me, for forgetting one of the more memorable pieces he's ever written. Read this first.

Yeah. And if you want to read the piece that got both Gary Smith and Joe Posnanski into sportswriting really, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu is the one everyone should read first(although no sports article is going to ever be as good as it). I know I mentioned Updike, but goddamn, I went and read it again and that's just gorgeous craft.

Ten Cent Beer Night is another classic, and is actually more relevant to me understanding the history of Cleveland now in the wake of LeBron leaving(it is not written in comic sans unfortunately).

XxGirlKisserxX
Mar 16, 2009



gently caress all this great writing, I want more awful articles to get angry about

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KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



DO YALL WANT A BOXC posted:

Yeah. And if you want to read the piece that got both Gary Smith and Joe Posnanski into sportswriting really, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu is the one everyone should read first(although no sports article is going to ever be as good as it). I know I mentioned Updike, but goddamn, I went and read it again and that's just gorgeous craft.

Ten Cent Beer Night is another classic, and is actually more relevant to me understanding the history of Cleveland now in the wake of LeBron leaving(it is not written in comic sans unfortunately).

Someone should update ten cent beer night to feature comic sans.

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