SPORTSWRITING How to write like Phil Musick Who? Or
Qualities of sports writing. or How to break most of the rules you’ve just learned. ► Be objective, but….root for the home team. ► Be descriptive. Use colorful language. ► Be very aware of everything. Or it’s really not important who wins the game. ► Be opinionated. They really want to know.
Do’s and Don’ts of Slanguage ► Do use original, colorful words and phrases. ► Do distinguish between legitimate slang and jargon (birdie, eagle, strike out) and sports clichés. (split the uprights, local gridiron) ► Do use the actual explanatory word or phrase as much as possible: Homerun, not cleared the bases; wrestlers, not grapplers. ► Don’t use forty different verbs for lost or won.
Know your stuff! Immerse yourself in the sport Go to the games Watch TV coverage Listen to radio play by play Talk sports with friends
Sports coverage Cover every sport ► Girls’ sports as well as boys’ ► Lacrosse as well as football ► Losing teams as well as winning teams. ► In-house sports as well as WPIAL. ► Recreational sports as well as school sports
So many sports; so little space! Or How to cover it all. ► Sports shorts---brief articles that capture relevant information; provide record of events. ► Boxes: report scoring records (wins and losses) ► Highlights only
Understanding Sports ► Learn the rules ► Learn the strategies ► Learn the reasons behind the rules and the strategies. ► Get to know coaches and players. ► inside information ► interviews
Sports features Articles that highlight the personal side of sports (personality profiles, human interest, ► Examples: Bowler who grew up in the “allies” ► Son of basketball coach—pressures, perks ► Girl playing football ► Trainer-types of injuries, most serious etc. ► Oldest alumni football, baseball star ► Coach who played for the school ► What is lacrosse, rugby, ultimate frisbee? ► What
Sportswriting: The good Can be more partisan (for the hometeam) Can interpret more than news reporters Can explain the tension, color, excitement Can include writer’s perspective Can use more colorful language
Sportswriting: The Bad ► Must avoid slanguage (jargon, cliches specific to sports) P. 285 ► Must know and understand the sport ► Must cover all teams ► Must cover all records
Pregame Stories ► Gather information on opposing teams ► What was last year’s score? ► What is the condition of the athletes? ► Who are the key athletes/who is on starting lineup? ► Comments on style of play ► Importance of event to the school
Game Story ► Take detailed, accurate notes ► Watch for turning points ► Develop easy to read note taking system ► Analyze the story ► May write in a partisan or biased fashion; cannot be cheerleader. ► May be less more specific in details of game; must include important details (score)
Post Game stories ► Also called sideline story ► Offers chance to untangle confusing events—call by ref; what happened to a player; any injuries ► Tone and lead—more feature, can start with a story or a quote ► Should be colorful and vivid like pre-game and game stories
What about quotations? ► Should be pertinent to the game or contest ► Should not highlight only star players ► Must include quote from coaches
How to gather information for sports articles ► Scores: http://www.msasportsnetwork.com/ http://www.msasportsnetwork.com/ ► Letters sent to coaches of opposing teams or editors of opposing school’s newspapers ► Ask : how many returning varsity players ► how many starters lost from team ► size, weight, position and year in school of players ► strengths and weaknesses
Photos ► Action, ► Action, action we want Action