Group 2

Group members

  1. Nicole Chrzanowski
  2. Evan Greenberg
  3. Jordan Hill
  4. Emily McLanahan

58 thoughts on “Group 2

  1. The biggest thing I have learned in this class, and that I will continue to apply, is that the best part of the story often lies in the cracks. I have tried more and more to listen to every single thing someone says, because one small detail can sprout a lede or a new direction for the story that otherwise would not have been written. This is not something I was ignorant towards before, but flexing the reporting muscle as much as I have this semester has reinforced and drilled this into my brain. Every interview requires full focus and attention to detail, because it is the foundation of every story. Anyone can go and ask someone questions, but what I have learned is that it’s what you do with the answers that counts. This has aided my writing in that I can be more descriptive, direct, and thorough. For this, I am grateful and look forward to continuing to apply and hone these skills in the future.


  2. I wish words could better express what I’ve learned in this class, but I will do my best. Before starting multiplatform, I didn’t even know the basis of telling a story, even though I thought I did. First and foremost, I’ve learned how to report. The difference in reporting from my first story to my trend story is tremendous. I’ve learned how to ask the right questions and not leave questions unanswered. The second major thing I’ve learned in multiplatform is how important GOOD multimedia elements can be to a story. I look back on both the stories we’ve read and written and I think of great examples- Navy seals video, Serena Williams story. I also look at not so great examples such as the multimedia element in my second story and the Alex Meyers example. While good writing is important, a great multimedia element can put your story on a whole new level. Moving forward, I feel prepared to whip out my iphone at any point and take the best possible picture with the resources I have.


  3. The scene setting in the Shane Ray video really makes it what it is. From the beginning, the viewer can see where he came from and what he had to overcome. Photo and video from “Murder Factory” puts into perspective the poverty and hardship he lived in. When the high school coach described the gun shots going off during practice, that was also a powerful quote that added to the scene setting.

    As the story developed, the scenes the viewers were given developed as well. They set up his success into college by showing the helmet for hardest hit, having the coach say he was in the weight room, and through the anecdote of visiting his father in jail. One could argue that videos of his success at Mizzou set the scene for what is to come in his future. Although it is not part of the short documentary, it leaves the viewer hooked and eager to keep up with how he does in the NFL draft.


  4. Character development in the video is really story-driven because the story is the main focus and drives the people in it.
    Shane Ray is introduced on voiceover and background, and then we hear from him as the story progresses. What I liked about the way the people in the story are addressed is that they are shown as impetuses for Ray’s maturation into a better person and subsequently a better football player. His mom is shown as someone who deeply cares for her son and who makes it her personal mission to make sure that Ray does not end up like a lot of people who grew up in his area of Missouri.

    I also found it interesting that his father is not portrayed to be an all-out villain, and his absence is both a footnote and overlying presence at the same time–that he wasn’t around was not a huge part of the story, but that he played football and Ray wanted to beat his records because of this is.

    Ray’s coach is also presented as one of the main authority figures in his life, the first male to call him on his acting out and attitude at the time. Again, a lot of these people are impetuses for the direction in which his story takes. This is a great accomplishment in just six minutes of a video, and it does his story service and tells it well.


  5. There were several useful anecdotes in the Shane Ray video. One of the biggest ones early on came from a youth football coach, who calmly stated that it was common to be practice while shots rang out somewhere nearby. The mention of Ray’s cousin’s murder and how it affected both Ray and his mother were crucial in the story telling. Ray explained the cousin was a mentor and his death left him withdrawn from the world, while his mother made it her mission to keep Ray safe. There was also the description of Ray and his father touching the glass between them during his father’s incarceration. It was an image someone could easily picture in their heads.


  6. EX-NFL players and rugby story

    The causes and consequences of the athletes turning towards the yet-to-be-launched rugby league were clearly stated. It’s clear for the ex-NFL players that the idea of being part of a team again was a huge motivation for many. The consequence of the decision is waiting around to find out if the league will happen and being willing to go across the world at the ring of the phone.

    One of the better parts of this story is its use of examples and, specifically, its use in the lede to draw readers in. While the names of the former NFL players aren’t recognizable to most, connecting them with that league and painting the National Rugby Football League as a second chance for these men made the story more interesting. Without looks at these players as well as college rugby standout Derek Van Klein, the draw would be weak.

    The scope is described thoroughly in the story. With the statistic of 5 million kids playing the sport in the United States, Mandell shows how the league could be followed and how players could flock to it.

    Timing is important in this story. With the league being on the cusp of starting, Mandell wrote a timely piece about the league’s uncertainty and reached out to players who continue to wait on word about playing. The “why should I care” piece of the argument ties into rugby’s growing popularity and the league’s status as another chance for many players who could not cut it in the NFL. The league’s bizarre on-again-off-again situation is also an intriguing piece of the puzzle.

    I believe the Los Angeles Coliseum general manager Joe Furin constitutes as a neutral and knowledgeable expert in the situation. Furin’s comments didn’t really promote the league and discussed its unpredictability as far as success rate. He brought up the XFL, which wasn’t a positive comparison for this rugby league, but it was a far point to be made. I think the inclusion of the prospective players and there honesty in saying they’ve prepared but not had a chance to play was important as well.


  7. Are the causes and consequences of the trend clearly stated?
    Does the story include enough specific examples of the trend?
    Is the scope of the trend clearly established?
    Does the story address the “why now” and “why should I care” elements of the story? What are they?
    Does the story quote at least one neutral yet knowledgeable expert? If so, does that give the story more context and/or credibility? If not, does the story need that for context and/or credibility?

    NFL Coaches Trend Story
    I feel like with these trend stories, that they are a trend is what makes them necessary. I realize that this is an obvious thing to say, but I think it is true. The causes are explained in that in college, coaches have a lot more latitude over decision making and answer to a lot less people, and this makes those jobs more appealing than NFL jobs where everyone has the same boss in the owner of the team.

    The story cites several examples past and present of coaches who have gone from one level to the other, and uses Jim Harbaugh as the prime example because his is the most high-profile and recent. This is the “why now” part and also explains why we should care, given that lots of other big names have attempted the move.

    There isn’t really a neutral source here, but there doesn’t really need to be. The coaches are experts because they have lived through this, and this gives the story credibility and reach.


  8. Skin Is No Longer In trend story:

    The trend clearly stated but it is also describes the trend in detail. “In a trend on full display at the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament, skin is concealed behind the triple protection of shorts hemmed below the kneecap, socks raised to the calf and a base layer of tights underneath.” The article pinpoints different reasons as to why these players follow this trend and it includes a good variety so I’d say that there are several examples of the trend. At the time this story was written, it was around March Madness, so they why now is there. I’m not sure the why should I care was addressed because the story actually bored me a bit. However it does appear to be a credible story as they cited NCAA rules for jerseys and shorts. “Section 23 of Rule 1 (“Court and Equipment”) covers undergarments. Undershirts must be a color “similar” to the game jersey and match those worn by teammates. Sleeves must be the same length and not extend past the elbow.” This did put the story in context because for one it demonstrated that clearly uniform and presentation is important to the NCAA and two, it explains why the undergarments are subtly paired with the uniform. This story was pretty structured and I liked it in that sense, but I didn’t find it to be overly interesting!


  9. My mind immediately went to this photo after reading the assignment description. Michael Phelps was on his way to his way to record setting in Beijing but it looked as if he might fall short in the mens 4×100 meter relay. Anchor Jason Lezak came from behind to barely out touch the french, giving Phelps the gold. This photo shows the raw emotion, as we do not normally get to see Phelps like this since he is in a pool with cap and goggles. Almost as if he cannot believe what just happened. Teammate Garret Weber-Gale shows raw emotion behind him as well, displaying a great team victory. Phelps is centered nicely in the frame but is unfortunately cut off right below the knees.


  10. I chose this photo because it makes me smile. But beyond that, if I showed a relatively knowledgeable sports fan this photo, they would know exactly what is going on and what it means. The pitcher Maxwell is obviously in the midst of a no-hitter, and through just this image, we can tell a lot about this game. (article by Eric Sorenson)



    The photo I chose is a picture from Sports Illustrated in 2009 featuring Wisconsin running back John Clay during a game at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium. One of the main objectives of a good sports photo is to capture a moment, which is made possible by Clay’s visor. With the reflection of his team clearly visible, you can get a sense of what is happening as Clay and the Badgers face off with Michigan in what was probably an important Big Ten game. The photographer did an excellent job of filling the frame, as he or captured Clay’s entire helmet and also did not leave anything unnecessary in the shot. The photo made the cover of an SI issue that showed the year’s best photos, and it’s not hard to tell why. When I read the prompt for this week, this photo immediately came to mind.


  12. Question 4:

    This was a tough question for me to evaluate simply because based off the reading, I can potentially understand why you would overlook something that really does seem “too good to be true”. As journalists and in Sally Jenkins case, renowned journalist and author, we want to tell really good stories that will sell books and sell papers and be popular reads. I don’t think as a journalist you WANT to be the person to break a controversial and bad news story, at least that’s not the journalist I want to be (yeah I know it happens and that somebody has got to do it). I think Jenkins didn’t want to be that person. I’ve read several of her books that she has done with Pat Summit, all of them phenomenal, and she is open and descriptive and brings you into a person’s world… So there’s no doubt in my mind she had an idea of what he might have been doing. However, we have a duty to the public to be honest. As a journalist, a strategy we can employ is to morally to the right thing for the people we serve. I believe we are supposed to paint an honest picture in everything and stick to our conventions of inspiring people. I honestly think that if we follow the facts and always report on the facts, and report based on ethical, moral standards, we have done our job. (FROM EMILY McLANAHAN)


  13. 2. Should journalists who have outside relationships with athletes or coaches — such as co-authored books, in Jenkins’ case, or charity events, in Vitale’s case — recuse themselves entirely from commenting on those athletes or coaches? What are the pros and cons of having them comment?

    If I were a journalist in either of these cases, my obligation would fall to the truth. But thats easier said than done. If Jenkins, for instance, was to come out and say that she knew about the doping, the main question would be, “Why didn’t you publish this sooner?”. Vitale has clearly seen the good side of Boeheim, but how much does he know of a different side? If journalists have outside relationships with athletes or coaches, I think it is hard for them to remain unbiased, which is a definite con. A pro would be that they know more than the average journalist. If Boeheim really was/is innocent then Vitale offered some truth to his situation. But all in all, I would refrain entirely from commenting on those athletes or coaches when in a situation like theirs. As a journalist, your job is not to offer your opinion, its to tell the story. They should stick to a well rounded, factual picture and refrain from commenting on persons in which they have close relationships with.


    • This is the other question I considered answering, and I think that part of this is relative. In Vitale’s case, part of his defense of Boeheim has to do with the type of person Vitale–fiercely loyal and passionate in what it is he believes. That is a great quality, but as the readings show, it can sometimes serve as a detriment. I agree with you that ideally you won’t comment at all–emotion is strong and can often get in the way. But on the same token, as a supposed “insider,” we also have an obligation to provide what would seem to be a unique perspective into a person or issue because we have been known to be close to it. It’s a tricky medium that I don’t think truly has a concrete right or wrong answer, but is something that obviously constantly comes up and must be considered when commenting on these types of things–in my opinion on a case-by-case basis. Generalizing something like this is trivial and if you’re commenting on something controversial, there are going to be intricacies to it that will help dictate what and how much to say on a matter that you as a journalist may be close to the heart of.


  14. 1. How much of a “blind eye” should journalists trade for access to high-profile sports figures, if any? How do the Internet and social media affect that equation?

    I think the “blind eye” idea for journalist essentially ties into the notion of what is news. I believe that some of the extracurricular activities writers see–for example, a player cheating on his wife–isn’t exactly news. If, however, it ties into something that relates to the sport he or she plays, I believe it is worth reporting. For example, if a star player missed a game because he was out all night partying, that is news. Tabloid-esque stories of unfaithfulness or bickering between teammates is not worth burning a source for.


    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I think you walk a fine line of what you should and shouldn’t report and you said it perfectly, that if it relates to the sport he or she is playing, it’s worth reporting. Writing something that isn’t news and could become controversial will mostly likely end in revoke of your access to the team. Teams are becoming more and more careful about the access they give journalists, so it is extremely important to be intentional and smart about what you write, especially if you have a lot of access. That being said, if you are too careful you ride the line on turning into a PR source.


    • Would this still apply if it were a story that was a little more hard core than just missing a game because of partying? Like the Lance Armstrong example we read? I’m playing devil’s advocate but I do agree that newsworthiness and timeliness of a story is the ultimate determine factor of what and how to cover stories but also ethically and morally reporting what is right. It would probably be the toughest part about being a journalist but I think that’s where we see a lot of them fail in that they forget who their service and responsibility lies to. Maybe if put in a situation I would feel differently but I hope I always stick to my convictions what what is right. I do agree with you, though, with everything you said!


  15. 3. I don’t think that you should publish or report everything you observe and hear, and I think that the articles we read for this exercise seemed to agree with this notion. The idea from the SuperSonics reporter that some things were reportable were not reported in order to obtain information that would be more useful is an interesting concept, and it reads almost as a form of journalistic currency, in which both parties are in full understanding of how the system works.

    Beyond that, there is a human element to all this, and while you have to have your journalism radar on at all times, there are consequences and things to consider when pursuing stories and how it well affect those involved. We are mostly likely going to develop relationships and a rapport with those we cover, and the value of this has to be taken into consideration in reporting and covering a beat. Often a burned bridge is far worse than the hat tip we’d get from reporting a story that, while potentially relevant, doesn’t equal up to the opportunity cost of not reporting it.


    • I really like your term of “journalistic currency”. It’s imperative that journalists understand the weight of reported information, so burning a source for a story that isn’t necessarily a noteworthy topic just isn’t worth it. At the same time, writers need to be aware of the fact that they don’t owe athletes or coaches anything. Their jobs are to report on the goings on around the team, not to protect the members of that team from their own indiscretions. It’s often important to weigh the possible repercussions of a potential story in order to decide whether it is or is not worth pursuing further.



    This infographic shows the most sport mentions in 2012 (the larger the athlete the more mentions) and I like it because it is visually appealing and doesn’t require much thought to process. Looking back it poses the question of “why those athletes” which makes you research and look into it. It’s not the best infographic I’ve ever seen but I thought it was cool.



    I like this infographic because it breaks down the win in simple terms and it does not require a lot of reading. It adds in statistics about that game itself and notable Bills history that is relevant as well. The action shots and head shots are a nice touch, along with the quote from Rex Ryan at the bottom. It is a nice alternative to a recap.


  18. This is an infographic that the Atlanta Falcons released when Dan Quinn was hired as head coach. What I like is it is simple, but you get a lot out of it as a fan of the team. You learn everything about Quinn’s past and also see a quote from Pete Carroll, his former boss. It is essentially a press release that is much more aesthetically pleasing than just simple type on a sheet.


    This is an infographic that immediately jumped out at me. Obviously the colors are the first thing you notice, and I like how the offense and defense are lined up as they would be in a game. Everything is orderly and detailed, and the information can be accessed ,broken down, and examined easily. This infographic is a few years old, and it it would be interesting to reexamine this a few years later.


  20. Red Flags:

    * In the first paragraph he mentioned that he didn’t ask if Te’o had met his girlfriend (because it wouldn’t make sense to ask those questions assuming the story was legitimate), but why not ask to see photos of some of their most memorable experiences or memories?

    *When Thamel reached out to Stanford, he mentioned that there wasn’t much information acquired, so I think it would have been reasonable to ask Te’o for any friends of the girlfriend’s family or herself personally to speak on her and her memory.

    * I agree with Evan about the chaplain because faith is usually pretty significant to a person especially if they are open and vocal about it, so I wish this had been brought up more in the discussion.


  21. I have a few big issues with Thamel’s interview. While it is easy to pick up on them now, knowing what happened, I’m not sure I would have picked up on them during the interview if I was in Thamel’s position.

    My first red flag being her state during coma. He said she could only breath then she would cry, all while in a coma. Based on prior knowledge (when I thought I was going to be a doctor….), crying in a coma is extremely rare. While he described it as miraculous, it would not be something you would be able to hear over the phone. In a normal situation, crying in a coma would involve merely tears streaming, not the crying you and I think of.

    My second red flag is that Te’o did not know her injuries from the initial car crash. This may just be a journalism mindset, but if my boyfriend was hospitalized with life threatening injuries, you can bet that I would know what every single one was and I would monitor each injuries progress daily. Even if that was not the case for Te’o, she would have had to have so many operations that you would learn what was wrong through the operations and what the doctors and nurses were treating.

    Third red flag is not necessarily to do with Thamel, but just in general. No reporter every talked to Kekua. Ever. Even if someone was writing a feature on Te’o, she would be a logical source to talk to but nobody ever did. Furthermore, there are no pictures of the couple. After dating someone for as long as they allegedly did, I would find it odd there was not a single picture of the two of them together.

    My fourth red flag is that he avoided answering several questions. When asked her major, she gave dates she was student. When asked if she was from here, he gave her real name. Important questions like that are generally fairly easy and harmless.


    • Nicole, yes. Exactly. Every red flag here is something that would make me have second thoughts about the story. Particularly Te’o acting sketchy during interviews and mentioning the outlandish “miraculous” behaviors you mention here. And also, I thought it was strange no one spoke with any of Kekua’s family members or Kekua herself. That’s a whole lot of “miracles” and to include in your story without corroborating it first.

      I think the biggest things to learn here is to trust your instincts. If things seem fishy, it might be because someone is hiding something.


  22. There were a few noticeable problems with Thamel’s interviews.

    The biggest issue is every person he interviewed was connected to Te’o. That doesn’t seem like an issue when you have no reason to believe the situation involves a fake girlfriend, but with hindsight being what it is, Thamel made a mistake. Thamel should have reached out to Kekua’s family to get comments from them about her relationship with Te’o. Something from her twin brother would have certainly been worth the effort.

    I also thought it was weird how Te’o answered some of the questions. For example, when Thamel asked about Kekua’s major, Te’o said, “Her major was in English and something. I’ll double check.” To me, that just sounds odd. Maybe I’m overanalyzing it after the fact, but it seems like Te’o would know what his girlfriend majored in at Stanford.

    The details about Kekua’s breathing while she was in a coma were interesting to me as well. When you have something as bizarre as that, I feel like getting someone else’s thoughts on it would be important. Again, this would have taken contacting her family, in my opinion. Something as simple as grabbing a quote from a relative seems logical.


    • The first point you make is something I hadn’t considered and is extremely valid. There are no outside sources. No quotes from a grief counselor who may have heard similar, real stories of something like this. Any doubt on that person’s part could have helped this situation be avoided.
      Not talking to her family is also a glaring mistake, even with all of the sources Thamel talked to. That and what you mentioned about him not being sure about what her major was are things I didn’t really think about. Whether or not you want to believe Te’o was in on this, this is interesting to look at this story years later from a somewhat fresh perspective. I remember when it first broke and thinking it was one of the oddest things I had ever seen. In some respects, it makes sense that the reporting around and about it was the same.


  23. Red flags from the article:
    The chaplain for Notre Dame had heard nothing of it. I would have pressed Te’o about this, especially since he is painted as a man of great faith.
    At one point, Thamel says “This is incredible.” I think that that had a tinge of incredulity and doubt, but that he was so caught up in what the story was that he didn’t step away from it enough to fully verify everything.
    He could have double and triple checked on the timeline of events because different people were reporting different things
    Honestly, beyond that and because the purpose of this exercise is to exclude the explanation, I can’t think of much else. The account that Te’o gives is so detailed and his friends seem forthright to the point where doubting a story like this would be extremely cynical. It turns out that it would also be necessary. The reporting that was done was thorough. It just turned out to be false. I know that’s a contrite way of saying this, but it is kind of black in white in consideration–is the story false or not, not in the details. This was and remains a fascinating story and study in reporting.


    • I am not sure if I fully believe the reporting was 100% thorough (however, because he was unaware that the story was false… I’m sure it’s easy for us to say “Why wouldn’t you do this!?”). I mentioned that when he reached out to Stanford and it appeared to be a bust, I would have at least attempted to talk to friends or family of the girlfriend because I feel like you’d want some sort of SOMETHING from someone else related to the young lady. But, I guess we can’t prove that Thamel did or didn’t do that. I do believe it is the most fascinating story I’ve seen in a while and I think it will always have an affect on reporting. I’ve learned a lot from this read and experience.


  24. (1) the place descriptions- The opening graf is the best place description in the story, in my opinion. Not only does it grab the readers attention and continue through the next few grafs, but it also gives the reader a clear visual. I can put myself in Time Warner Arena and see the hesitation in his shot and his mom walking to the bathroom and breaking down. To me, the scene is set perfectly.

    (2) the person descriptions- Shockingly, I dont think the description of Kidd-Gilchrist is all that great. I get a sense of his stats but not of him. The best person description goes to the description of his mom. I think we were all able to imagine our moms trying to have weekly thursday dates and do more than anything for her child.

    (3) the telling details- Telling details were scattered all over the place. I think the best telling details came when describing his speech therapy experiences. Every single thing that jenkins wrote, I could hear and feel. For instance, starting with “a” and turning it into ‘apple’ really shows you how much something so little and easy to the normal person can be difficult for others.

    (4) the dialogue- The dialogue exchanged by Price and Kidd-Gilchrist really adds to the story in that you are able to take a deeper look into their relationship. Listening to Price tell him he can shoot and Kidd-Gilchrist taking the steps to get there tells the reader a lot about their relationship and how much price cared for him. Especially seeing when he asked to only work with kidd-gilchrist, shows commitment and education.

    (5) the anecdotes- The best anecdote is when he is running through the hotel lobby with zimba (and all the information we got from it) greatly enhances the piece. I like it because I was able to take myself back in time to this scene, which helps the reader understand Kidd-Gilchrist carries the Lion King dvd everywhere and it also defines part of a strong relationship with family.


    • I think your point concerning the telling details was spot on. It’s one thing to say the person has a speech impediment; it’s another to explain in detail how he shapes the words with his mouth and the necessary progress that goes into words like apple. That description was such a great example of what we’ve been taught as “Show, don’t tell.” Don’t tell me he has a stutter; show me what he has to go through to improve his speech patterns. You can picture Kidd-Gilchrist going through the exercise. Also, it drives home how difficult it is for him. Speech is something that most people take for granted; here, we can see that it isn’t as simple as we often take it to be.


  25. (1) The most effective passage for place description to me was the very first graf: “Three minutes and 20 seconds into this season, Hornets small forward Michael Kidd‑Gilchrist caught a pass in the right corner at Time Warner Cable Arena and took a pronounced jab step toward the baseline …” It’s imperative that Jenkins grabs his readers early on in the story, and I felt painting the picture like he did was a great way to draw them in.

    (2) I drew a lot from “ … her kids didn’t understand why Mom kept sneaking into the bathroom after games, listening to interviews on the radio. She and Kidd-Gilchrist broke down the tapes later. “Listen to how beautiful your statement was!” Shake would exclaim, while he protested. They could typically hear a water bottle, which he clutched to occupy his hands, crunching in the background.” You get a good look at Kidd-Gilchrist’s struggle with his stutter here. His perfectionist mentality, which Shake later explained is common in people who stutter, is obvious in his denial of the progress he made here. His reliance on squeezing his water bottle to power through his interviews tells you how difficult the challenge really is as well as how badly he wants to overcome his problem.

    (3) Another important part in displaying Kidd-Gilchrist’s stuttering problem was “ … so she brought a metronome to their sessions. For Christmas, Kidd-Gilchrist’s grandmother gave him a metronome watch, the kind worn by drummers.” Again, it’s a powerful image: Kidd-Gilchrist wanted to overcome a speech impediment so badly that his therapist and his family game him a metronome to get his timing down. It drives home how serious the issue is for him and gives you a taste of how easy we overlook the ability to talk.

    (4) I thought Jenkins ended the piece well with the interaction between Price and Kidd-Gilchrist leaving the JW Marriott. “‘See you tomorrow?’ Price asks. “Yeah,” Kidd-Gilchrist replies. He is finding his voice, his shot and his cause, all at once. ‘See you tomorrow.’” The unexpected appearance of Price shows how close the two are working on fixing Kidd-Gilchrist’s shot. It also shows how this is still a work-in-progress and that the positive steps he has made to improve aren’t necessarily enough to fix everything.

    (5) Jenkins’ graf about Kidd-Gilchrist’s admiration for The Lion King was a really power anecdote, especially with the way he set it up with, “Kidd-Gilchrist is rummaging through his backpack on the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, searching for a DVD of The Lion King … .” It sets up a mystery for the reader. Why does he care so much about this DVD? How does this connect to the rest of the story? By explaining how he watched the movie as a child with his now-deceased father along with his placing a Simba doll in his father’s casket, we see some of the obstacles in his life. It also gives a possible explanation for his stuttering issue.


    • All of your points are incredibly spot on, but I especially like the point you made on number 4. Throughout the profile, it is almost as if the reader is set up to think that everything came out perfect in the end. Like once Kidd-Gilchrist overcame, he was done. But in reality, that is far from the case even though it is easy for the reader to forget that. His shot and his voice truly are a work in progress and the paragraph highlights it well.

      For your point on number two- I have to wonder if the squeezing of the water bottle really represents how bad he wants to overcome. In my initial read, I almost thought he was squeezing it as a nervous habit. Something to calm him down since he wasn’t fully confident yet. The same way a nervous public speaker may rock back and forth and say a lot of ums. I didn’t think of it from the perspective of him wanting to overcome, but that makes complete sense since he is a perfectionist. Almost as if its torturous for him knowing that it isn’t right quite yet. I would be interested to get in his mind to find the answer to that one.


  26. – place descriptions
    – person descriptions
    – anecdotes
    – telling details
    – dialogue

    1) Anecdote: Kidd-Gilchrist is rummaging through his backpack on the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, searching for a DVD of The Lion King, which he carries almost everywhere he goes. His earliest memories are of watching the movie with his father, Michael Gilchrist Sr. He was Simba. His dad was Mufasa. They bought the stuffed animals. They recited the lines. In August 1996, a month before the boy’s third birthday, Michael Sr. was shot and killed in a still-unsolved murder on the east side of Camden, N.J. Michael says he remembers the last time they were together. “We were in bed,” he says, “watching The Lion King.” At the funeral, he slid the Simba doll into the casket.
    I love this because it tells me that he still enjoys childhood and has a childlike feature to his personality — and I think as adults that is always a piece of us we should never lose. It also tells me the connection he wants to hold with his father forever and although it’s extremely sad, I think this is one of the most crucial anecdotes of the story.

    2) Telling details: “Kidd‑Gilchrist is the kind of guy who will go shopping for jeans and immediately see a pair he likes, but then go to five other stores to see if they have a pair he likes better. The shots were like the jeans: None of them were good enough. “I turned them all down,” he says. “I lost my confidence.” He attempted just 5.7 field goals per game last season, and most of those were within three feet.”
    This is all about his ambition. His desire to want to be the best. I love the analogy and I think it was well written.

    3) Person Descriptions: — I think its important to note that Kidd-Gilchrist has been surrounded by some A-list people his entire life from the way it looks — It looks like he was very connected, which speaks to me because it means that he clearly recognized that his connections were not going to be enough for him and that he had to put a lot of work in. I love this paragraph:

    AAU programs recruited Kidd-Gilchrist when he was seven. Jay Z befriended him when he was 12. His middle school team was sponsored by Reebok. His high school team was the subject of a documentary on HBO. He was considered by many the best prep prospect in the country — when he was still a junior. He played in high school with Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 draft pick in 2011, and in college with Anthony Davis, the No. 1 selection in ’12, and Kidd-Gilchrist was more acclaimed than either. Charlotte chose him with the second pick in ’12 after he won a national championship in his lone season at Kentucky. Getting buckets and addressing reporters was as much a part of his routine as his morning Bible study.

    But it doesn’t tell me a lot about these people but it does tell me his connections — that and the descriptions of the people his mom knows.

    This paragraph below tells me a little more about Mark Price and their relationship:
    — They spent the summer together — at the practice facility in Charlotte, the lab in Suwanee, summer league in Las Vegas. They started with the feet, pointing them at the basket, in order to square the body. At first, Kidd‑Gilchrist wasn’t allowed to shoot. He just jumped in place. Then he was allowed to shoot, but without his left hand, which forced him to straighten his right wrist and right elbow. An entire month was devoted to form shooting from 10 feet and in. Slowly they inched back. The release rose. The hitches vanished. Sometimes they only worked 30 minutes a day, and sometimes three hours. “I wanted him to leave the gym with confidence,” Price says. Kidd-Gilchrist was banned from playing pickup, or shooting on his own, for fear that old habits would resurface. Price kept him close. He invited him over for family dinners. Price’s youngest son, Josh, did the rebounding.

    4) Place Descriptions — I didn’t really see that many place descriptions in this story but if I had to pick this would be the best one.
    They lived in Somerdale, N.J., and spent afternoons at the Camden County Library, reading books and sipping cocoa. They went on “date nights” every Thursday, eating at fancy restaurants and discussing the difference between dessert forks and regular forks.

    Not much dialogue to discuss but I think the anecdotes and stories about coach Price and the “connection” between speech and shooting sort of gives us a feel of dialogue without it actually happening.
    This is what was said: Price believes there is a connection between the stroke and the speech. Shake isn’t sure. Speaking and shooting are both finely coordinated movements, and a person who falls out of coordination in one area could theoretically do the same in another.
    And Kidd-Gilchrist responded that the two are similar and correlate in a sense.

    I love this story because the why do we care is strong (we care because of the human appeal and that stuttering and speech is a real insecurity for many people) and the focus on the two is so evenly balanced that the picture is painted vividly for us that MGK had a world of opportunity ahead of him and always was driven to perfect his flaws and insecurities. It’s a beautiful read.


    • I think that it’s interesting that we took away very similar things from the piece, as reading is very subjective. What it tells about storytelling based on this is that Jenkins had a singular purpose, and was able to be so focused because of the powerful human angle that he had with his profile subject. Jenkins also proves, as I pointed out in my comments, that in this case where something happens is less consequential than what happens at that place. There aren’t a lot of place descriptions in general.

      Reading your thoughts on characters made me think more about the people. Jenkins introduces a lot of people as a way of showing the people who have been Kidd-Gilchrist’s support system, and why he has needed each of them. No one in the story is extraneous when it comes to the purpose or “Why should I care.” The story is the perfect length, and each detail has its own reason for being in the piece. That is great storytelling, and I think that we both picked up on this.


  27. Of the five things we are to examine, I think that the last two are the most prominent and important parts of the piece. First of all, Lee Jenkins is known for this kind of thing, and having not read this before, he does another great job writing intelligently but in a way that is an “easy” read. I’m always fascinated by the deliberate choices of writers; in this case Jenkins starts the profile off with a description of a game and subsequent seemingly inconsequential play in a regular season NBA game and expands from that point. The rest of the profile makes that anecdote necessary. I think that the explanations about speech patterns and proper jump shots are also closely related to the anecdotes, and are written in a way that is oddly entertaining for such technical subjects.

    What really stood out to me were the quotes, and two in particular. I’ve pasted them below.

    “Kidd‑Gilchrist is the kind of guy who will go shopping for jeans and immediately see a pair he likes, but then go to five other stores to see if they have a pair he likes better. The shots were like the jeans: None of them were good enough. “I turned them all down,” he says. “I lost my confidence.” He attempted just 5.7 field goals per game last season, and most of those were within three feet.”

    “When he turns down open looks, teammates remind him, “You can shoot now.” Kidd-Gilchrist admittedly forgets. “Oh, that’s right,” he responds. “I can shoot now.”

    These quotes are in direct contrast of each other, and come at different points of the piece. When put together, it is a pointed look at how Kidd-Gilchrist has evolved. These are very good quotes, and I’m sure Jenkins would think the same way about the almost symbiotic nature of the two quotes. One shows Kidd-Gilchrist lost and indecisive; because we know he plays basketball, we can assume that this probably translates to his on-court play. The other shows him reformed and adapting to the confidence that others believe he should have. It is a long way to come for him as a player, and Jenkins captures this without getting sappy.

    As far as the places, the places themselves are less important than what is happening in them. They are a backdrop, and the description of what goes on in them elevates their relevance. (Kidd-Gilchrist is rummaging through his backpack on the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles). It doesn’t matter that he is at the Marriott, but it matters that he takes out a DVD of The Lion King and the significance behind that.

    The Lion King story and the quote about jeans are telling in the type of person Kidd-Gilchrist is. We learn about his father and how it has shaped him, his indecisiveness, and how this has affected him as a player and a man. This is all in a few paragraphs, and is exactly how a profile is supposed to be done.

    Because he is painted as a soft-spoken, good kid who has simply lost his way, the people around Kidd-Gilchrist–his teammates, his mother, his speech coach–are described as agents for his improvement. Not much is given about their own lives other than the important details about them that help us see why they are or have been a help to Kidd-Gilchrist. The best of these is his shooting coach Mark Price: “Price accepted the job on one condition: “Nobody tells Michael Kidd‑Gilchrist anything about his shot but me.” Price suggested subtle alterations throughout last season, but the stroke required massive reconstruction, and that demanded months of dedicated training.”
    Price is the perfect for what Kidd-Gilchrist needed, someone who would take him under his wing but also provide him with the firmness, discipline and advice to help him get his shot back.

    I really enjoyed reading this, and can definitely see why the stories were chosen for us to read. We learn a lot about Kidd-Gilchrist in a profile that, for a lack of a better phrase, doesn’t overstay its welcome or feel invasive. I know that this is really hard to do, and that’s why I love reading pieces like this.


    • Hey Evan!
      I picked a lot of the same quotes as you, so I thought we could discuss this for sure. I see your perspective and I really like your way of analyzing and thinking and looking at stories and hopefully you can share with me your secrets on how you do so! The jeans analogy, I agree, says a lot about his attitude of always working to get better and never being satisfied. The only thing about this is that I feel that is honestly something that is always said when it comes to athletes — obviously no athlete just wants to remain the same — and I wish there could have been more elaboration here in the story!

      I like what you also said about how the places don’t matter. You’re right. They don’t. They only provide mere settings and this differs from the Wright Thompson story we read because I feel like the places matter a lot in that story. The Lion King DVD was what was important in the Marriott like you said and I think that this is also a telling detail because it demonstrates a humbleness and makes MGK seem like a person that would just be content and happy anywhere, as long as he has the things he loves with him.


  28. If you were Babb, how would have you approached an interview with Jenkins once you found her? Where would you have asked to meet her? What types of questions would have you asked? What would have been some key questions?

    If I was Babb, I would have approached Jenkins very carefully. It is clear that she is still on good terms with Kelly, so you can not approach it as any kind of revenge piece. I would approach her with a respectful stance, saying that I think Kelly has a story that begs to be told- with her at the forefront. Meeting place would definitely have to be somewhere she is comfortable. I would offer her to pick a location, just requesting that it is a quiet and private place. If she did not have any place she could suggest, I would probably take her out for coffee or a meal then go do the interview in a comfortable space dependent on the city. However, her house would be my first choice and I would hope she would offer that up. Questions would revolve around how she met Kelly and what kind of relationship they add, as Babb did. Once she was comfortable, I would ask about Kelly’s life and details that only she may know. Like is he able to turn off coaching at home? Does he have any kind of routine before games? Does he take performance to heart? In light of accusations against him, I would ask if he ever showed bias against a certain type of player. I would also asked if he ever talked about coworkers at home, since he never talks about family to coworkers. My KEY question for her however would be, why football? Clearly Kelly loves the game but do we really know if there was a defining moment in his life or career that solidified football for him.


    • Hey Nicole, I agree with you completely on this and I believe honestly if it was me (starting out as a reporter) I don’t know if I would have had the courage to even approach her at all! Jenkins clearly knows how private of a person he is and I agree that a respectful approach and making sure the story with her at the forefront is a good call. The questions you asked are good — the routine, performance to heart, all of these are answers I feel she would have a unique perspective on. However I’m not sure they reflect her at the forefront, so we need to maybe change our angle to “our perspective of Kelly through Jennifer Jenkins”, or something more subtle than that. Other than that I would 100% ask the same questions as you, and I too would want to know why football. Depending on the conversation I might even try to ask, why so private? I think that is what we all want to ultimately know (maybe she sheds some light, maybe she doesn’t). Good post!


  29. If you were a reporter on the Philadelphia Eagles beat, what would be your approach to establishing a working relationship with Kelly? Explain the reasoning for your strategy.

    Establishing a working relationship with Kelly would be difficult, but my strategy would be simple: Be there. If the Eagles had any event that allowed media to attend, I would be among the first ones there. I would make sure to be at every Chip Kelly press conference and ask questions when given the opportunity. Kelly is known as a devoted football coach who spends hours on end studying and preparing for his job. It seems like the only shot any writer has is to replicate Kelly’s work ethic in your own profession. Outwork the other writers and do your best to stand out among your peers. It won’t guarantee you access to Kelly that he otherwise would not have allowed, but it would give you as good a shot as anyone else to make it happen.


    • This is a good strategy. Kelly is one of a long line of coaches who are nothing if not enigmatic. In his particular case, he has devoted his life to football. In general, we often relate to those who are like-minded to us, and a show of faith to Kelly that you as a writer are committed to providing the best coverage possible of his team (and it is his team), If Kelly sees this, he will be more open and consider you cut off the same tree, for lack of a better phrase. Sometimes the smallest things that indicate that you care can be the difference between access and scrounging for quotes.With Kelly in particular, what he decides to disclose and reveal is a part of his personality and often is just how he is. Doing whatever you can to combat is the smartest and really the only strategy.


  30. Should reporters respect the wishes of high-profile sports figures who want to keep all details of their private life secret? Why or why not?

    I think that this is all a question or matter of circumstance. I think that Babb was justified in pursuing the story, because it added to the narrative, or lackthereof, that has been crafted around Kelly. It is relevant because it helps us understand who he is as a person and how this relates to how he is as a coach.

    What I liked in the backstory explanation was how the paper wanted to avoid a “TMZ moment,” and were constantly checking themselves and their objective during the reporting of the story. I think that ultimately this is what it comes down to when considering high-profile figures. If the details you are trying to uncover are relevant and do not overstep any overt boundaries, then I think it is perfectly fair to pursue a story.


    • I think that’s a good point. I think you can’t set a definitive mark on whether or not stars’ private lives should be shared, because it’s not exactly a black-and-white issue with everybody. Like it was explained in the piece we read, aiming for a “TMZ moment” is certainly the wrong way to do things. They had a purpose in the article to shine some light on Kelly, an individual who is a secretive person. They did everything fairly, and no one was hurt in the situation. You can respect someone’s unwillingness to divulge information, but that doesn’t kill your story in the crib. As journalists, we have the ability to go out there and still do our jobs at an adequate level.


  31. Chip Kelley Assignment:

    Question 1 –
    I don’t think high-profile sports figures should be required to do one-on-one interviews. This was a tough decision to make, but it all comes down to our First Amendment rights and freedom of expression for me. We have the power to really do and say almost anything we want. So why would we punish someone or make rules against someone for simply not exercising that right? Yes, it makes it really difficult for us as reporters, it is unprofessional in a sense, and it just isn’t a good representation of the sports brand, but at the end of the day, he has the right to exercise his right of silence and keeping his personal life to himself. We love those one-on-ones and I think it builds a foundation that is more than just sports, but if this guy isn’t into that, then we can’t make him and thats my opinion.


    • I agree completely. High profile people have incredibly busy and ongoing lives and in addition to the points you mentioned, they probably do not have the time to sit down with every member of the media who wants to interview them. In general, leagues, colleges, and various teams have set time for media to talk to personnel and as long as they are within their agreement, they need not be required to go above and beyond. If a general manager or owner requests that a specific coach or player does a one on one interview for the betterment of the team, I think that is terms enough for them to do one but I do not believe it should be required. Additionally, so much of these ‘high profile sports peoples’ lives are out on the table, I think it is fair for them to be able to keep private on what they wish. There has to be a sense of boundary for them to be able to function as regular human beings and every individual has their own line, so if some want to disclose more than others and spend more time with media than others, then so be it.


  32. • Profile – “Precious Memories” by Tommy Tomlinson ( Tomlinson profiled former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith, who was battling dementia when the story was written. Tomlinson detailed the final years in the life of one of the greatest basketball coaches of all-time. I like this because it wasn’t a typical profile where we see someone during their heyday; instead, it’s more of a remembrance of the man for what he used to be.
    • That was then, this is now – “Throwback weekend a hit as Edwards takes Darlington” by ESPN’s Ryan McGee ( This article has relevance and timeliness since it came from Labor Day weekend. McGee did a good job of starting with past stars of NASCAR and tying it into what happened on Sunday with Carl Edwards winning the race. It helped McGee that NASCAR turned the race into a throwback to the ‘70s and ‘80s, but he did his part to share the stories of the past and current stars of the sport.
    • Where are they now – “Real Life or Fantasy?” by NBC Sports’ Joe Posnanski ( I really enjoyed this article because it does what really good updates do: find a person who most people knew but has quietly faded into a private life and tell us about what they are doing now. Posnanski does a great job of detailing Holmes’ struggles with his body after his playing career. It stands as one of my favorite articles I’ve read.
    • Trend Story – “Bucs turn to virtual reality to speed Winston’s development at QB” by Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez ( This tells about a technological advance that may change the way NFL teams train rookie quarterbacks. I like the story because it is very unique and talks about something you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be a topic of discussion in pro sports.


  33. Profile- This profile by USA Triathlon on Sarah (Groff) True hits all the points a reader wants. True has an interesting perspective on triathlon after finishing 4th at the London Olympics and the profile gets into her head as to how she coped with being the first off the podium. I like the profile as a whole because it gives you a clear image of where True came from, where she is now and her goals for the future and how she intends to get there. The length is perfect to keep the reader hooked without boring them, as well.

    That was then, this is now- This story compares Georgia running back Herschel Walker (80’s) to current running back sensation Nick Chubb.What is interesting is that not much has changed. They are both superstars of their time and post very similar numbers. Up until this point in UGA football history, Herschel Walker has been the comparison standard, but will Nick Chubb break that standard?

    Trend story-–photos-130505492.html- One of the latest trends in sports in bringing out ‘throwback’ uniforms. Teams in all leagues are trying this out to rally fan supports and have a little fun. I like this article because it gives a brief description and then focuses mainly on pictures and what the uniforms will look like.

    Where are they now- I’m a big fan of this article because it does not focus on one athlete specifically. It takes a significant event and breaks down the people important to us and tells us an outcome we wouldnt otherwise probably know.


  34. Profile:
    This profile is the first that came to mind when I was racking my brain for stories that I’ve read. What I like about it is that the headline immediately establishes the uniqueness of the situation that its subject Scherzer was in. He turned down a contract the previous offseason, a big risk for a pitcher who had earned what was coming to him. I thought using that action as the crux to examine Scherzer and who he is. This is an interesting way to frame a profile, and that’s why I enjoyed reading it.

    Trend Story:
    This story uses graphs and past statistics to make the point that many have been talking about the past few years: the decline of the running back in offenses, and the decline of running backs themselves after age 27. It also points out the money some teams are paying running backs, and examines whether or not this is a smart investment based on the direction that the NFL is headed.

    Where are they now?
    This is from SI’s annual Where Are They Now issue, and I chose this one because of its subject. Favre is someone who has not been out of football for terribly long, but has been pretty quiet since his permanent retirement. This is an interesting look into what he’s been up to, and his thoughts as he travels back to Lambeau to bury any potential hatchet between player and team as the Packers welcome him back to honor him.

    That was then, this is now:
    This article from Grantland talks about baseball’s two young stars, and examines their stature now based on the expectations that they had coming in. It also explores the angle of baseball at a bit of a crossroads with generational stars retiring or fading into the sunset, and how the league needed new faces to usher in the new decade. Usually, players are not as efficient as Trout and Harper have been in their time in the majors, and that is the basis for the article. They have both been historically great, and the article uses advanced statistics to back this up. An article like this is especially relevant with both of them playing at such a high level at the same time and garnering MVP discussion–exactly what many expected to happen when both players got called up just four years ago.


  35. Profile:
    Russell Wilson is one of the forefront quarterbacks in the media right now and this is a good lengthy profile that chronicles his road to the life and career he has now.

    Trend Story:
    One of the trends in sports right now is the post grad transfers in NCAA basketball.

    Where are they now:
    This story of Brett Favre, one of the best quarterbacks in history, speaks on his career and retirement. It’s not quite a profile because of the link but it’s a good story that shows what his next move is. This could potentially be a ‘that was then this is now story’ as well.

    That was then, this is now:
    This story is relevant right now in the world of football and although I’m not sure if it really fits in this category, I think it’s a good example of this type of story because it could chronicle concussion trauma from the past compared to what it is now.


  36. Behind the numbers-–what-to-do-when-you-can-t-get-gronk-233336181.html- Yahoo Sports has done a weekly series of “By the Numbers,” which is something that I am a huge friend. I am particularly interested in sports statistics and numbers (I just added a statistics minor), so a series like this is something I enjoy. Michael Salfino breaks down the best tight ends in the NFL and what makes them the best. There is also a video aspect incorporated which I like because I am able to hear different opinions as I read and crunch numbers in my head.

    Behind the Scenes- Team USA is great about taking their fans behind the scenes and bringing them content that nobody else can. This article not only just shows fans what top level rowers are eating but also why its good for them and how it impacts their daily lives. While not 100% tied to competition, this gives all fans a taste of what goes into sport besides sport itself.

    Insider explanatory/analysis- Although not 100% an insider, Logan Booker is about as close as a UGA fan can get. NCAA institutions are becoming increasingly more and more private, closing off what any kind of inside source would be. So your next inside source becomes those who are beat writers and are there everyday asking the right questions. I like how Logan was able to use observation to draw a conclusion rather than waiting for something he probably won’t hear from a true ‘inside source’ that the QB battle is down to 2.

    Life off the playing field- The first thing that popped into my head on this subject was Floyd Mayweather. Even though he is an athlete, he is gaining more and more attention for his life outside of the ring. He just purchased a car that is one of four and the world and reportedly made $420 million last year. Even though this may be a ‘numbers’ article, it gives us a great insight into what life as a professional boxer is like and the luxury they get to live in.


  37. Behind the numbers:

    Bill Barnwell is considered one of the smartest voices in NFL coverage, and this article is no different. Barnwell uses statistics from last season to predict what may happen this year. What he does really well is used advanced statistics and breaks them down in a way that is easy to understand. People love to read these types of stories because they love to speculate and hear it from a voice who knows what they are taking about and has the research to back it up, and that is what Barnwell does here.

    Behind the scenes:
    This is a story that has stuck with me since I read it, because it has a lot of elements that I enjoy reading about–that worst to first, as the Astros have done this season, and the building of something that comes to fruition. The article talks about the shakeups in the Astros front office, how they came to be, and the methods that they are using to build a franchise that is now currently flourishing. It was very well written and was and is a fascinating look behind the scenes of a major league front office.

    Insider explanatory/analysis:

    The Players Tribune is slowly becoming one of my favorite websites, as it allows athletes to provide first-person accounts from their perspective. This article is masterfully done by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick uses video footage to break down some of the game’s best players, and does so in a way that allows someone who might not know all the jargon of hockey to understand what it is he is explaining. I found this to be a really cool perspective from someone who is uniquely qualified to provide this type of analysis.

    Life off the Playing Field:

    Speaking of the Players Tribune, this article on Derek Jeter in retirement is really well done. You wouldn’t expect this type of sports-related article to appear in The Hollywood Reporter, and that is what makes it different. Jeter is always a fascinating person to read about because of who he is and all that he has accomplished, and it was interesting to read about his mindset pre and post-retirement. Jeter is very forthcoming, and the details into how he got the idea for the website and how he has been and remains active in its day-to-day operations was revealing and full of great details. Even though it came from an unexpected source, the article is a great look into one of the best athletes of this generation and how he is handling himself now that he no longer plays baseball.


  38. Behind the Numbers:
    This article lays out where the Broncos were predicted to stand during NFL rankings season in 2014 and how they actually ended up performing. I don’t like this article because it doesn’t detail the “numbers” like I wish it would but what I do like about it is the story and point it is trying to get across. When the 2014 list of “who performed the best relative to his position” was released, seven Broncos made the list. Two of the players on that list Chris Harris (No. 4 on the list) and Von Miller (No. 10) had just returned from ACL surgeries and were ranked at the bottom just the previous year. I think this would have been a better comeback story while including their numbers and comparing the two from season to season (which was done minimally here).

    This story was written by Stephen Holder at Indystar. He is definitely an Indiana based writer which makes the analysis more personal and gives a special perspective on the subject. The subject in particular for this story is the draft haul for the Colts. The format of this piece is effective and to the point. I’m not really sure what else I’m looking for in terms of an analysis, but I think this is a solid start.

    Behind the scenes:
    Ok so this story written by Gary Smith, formerly of sports illustrated, might be more of a profile. However I believe writing is all about the reader’s interpretation and I interpretaded this as a behind the scenes piece on Michelle Marciniak and even Pat Summitt and how she conducted business. This story gives you the behind the scenes on a particular player’s recruitment but it also tells a very detailed story that gives me background information on a story that my generation probably has never head because this was in Summitt’s earlier coaching days.

    Life off the field:
    This isn’t the best story by any means but quite frankly I had difficulty finding one a good quality one. This story is basically an ad for AARP and insurance – but it does put “life” in perspective for people who made a career as a professional athlete.


  39. Behind the numbers: “Breaking Down What Makes Tom Brady the Ultimate NFL Postseason QB” by Bleacher Report’s Ty Schalter ( Tom Brady is the greatest playoff quarterback since Joe Montana, but what makes him so special? Schalter does a good job of including key numbers as well as providing reasons for his success, such as his pocket presence and calm demeanor. It’s one thing to make the claim that an athlete is great; it’s another to adequately explain how or why.

    Behind the scenes: “A special look into the life of a Duke graduate assistant” by Fox Sports Carolinas’ Lauren Brownlow ( The football coaching profession is portrayed as rough and relentless, and it’s no secret the lives of lowly graduate assistants is incredibly busy. Getting a look at one of the Blue Devils’ GAs and his progression from a player at Davidson to coaching with David Cutcliffe was interesting. It’s always entertaining to me to see the stories of people like GAs, who don’t exactly get much love from the media.

    Insider explanatory/analysis: “Option 101: The Nebraska Triple Option” by Inside the Pylon’s Mark Schofield ( The triple option offense is one of my great football obsessions, and I thought Schofield did an excellent job in this article. Not only did he do a good job of writing about certain plays and how they are executed by the quarterback, but he used GIFs in the story to illustrate each and every point he was trying to make. This was one of my favorite articles that I have looked at so far.

    Life off the playing field: “Vikings coach Mike Zimmer unplugged at his northern Kentucky getaway” by the Pioneer Press’ Brian Murphy ( Mike Zimmer has never been a coach to hold his tongue; just go look at what he said about former boss Bobby Petrino. However, the focus of this story was his sanctuary of a home in Kentucky. Murphy did a good job of showing Zimmer away from football and discussing some difficult topics, including the death of Zimmer’s wife. It was a well-written article that showed that even NFL coaches have a chance–albeit a small one–to unwind.


  40. Localized Enterprise:
    This was an interesting article on one of my favorite burger joints, Shake Shack, and how its presence has become a fixture at Citi Field, the stadium for the New York Mets. Shake Shack is as big a draw for fans as the Mets themselves, and while the article’s headline is about beating the lines, it talks about the impact it has had on concessions and its growing popularity.

    Looking back at a significant event:
    Oral histories are my favorite things to read, and this one is no different. Some stories are stranger than fiction, and the saga of Lane Kiffin leaving Tennessee and how bizarre it was makes for a fascinating read. Mark Nagi talks to everyone who was willing to, and it provides a mutlitude of opinions and perspectives to provide a well-rounded account of one of the most puzzling stories in recent SEC if not college football history.

    Off the beaten path:
    Dan Wolken is a great writer and storyteller. This story on BYU standout Taysom Hill details his off the field activities as an internship at a venture capital firm. Hill understands better than most that a career in football is not guaranteed and that injuries happen–he suffered one himself last season. The article talks about his other interests and that if football doesn’t work out, he is more than prepared for a potential career on Wall Street. This was a very enjoyable read.

    Preview of a big event:
    Peter King is one of the premier football writers, and his preview of this last year’s Super Bowl shows why. He talks about how Rob Gronkowski is the key to the Patriots’ offense, and how he opens things up for them when he is healthy and on the field. This is a long preview, and King’s analysis is thorough and well thought out. He was proven right, as the Patriots defeated the Seahawks in large part to Gronkowski’s play.


  41. Localized Enterprise- Nick Chubb ready to punish someone else- While Gradysports student Logan Booker did write this, I think he did a great job involving the multimedia piece to the story. Nick Chubb is a player that UGA fans not only want to hear from but also want to see and he gave them that. The video also demonstrates how Chubb will impact UGA this year, even more appealing to fans.

    Looking back at a significant event- The deflate gate judge seems to take the air out of the NFL argument- Defaltegate happened nearly seven months ago and since then has continued to be talked about like it just happened yesterday. But it was that significant. I chose this article because the writer gives recent news to an old story and incorporates what happened months ago and what is happening now. I like how the writer breaks down the case for the reader so they are able to follow along with deflategate happenings without knowing the full background.

    Off the beaten path- 49ers 300-Pound Nose Tackle Mike Purcell Intercepts Ball, Returns It for TD- I like this story because it is not what you expect to happen in sports or sports reporting. Bleacher Report made comment that there is ‘nothing like a preseason fat guy touch down.’ The story is relevant enough for readers to click on it and watch the video. However, for the most part, the video is purely entertainment and the reader is clear that Mike Purcell will not be stepping into a new role for the 49ers this year because of this touchdown.

    Preview of a big event- Ohio State is first unanimous No. 1 in preseason A.P. poll- What is a bigger preview than a preview of all of college football season? While this may not be one specific event, college football season is looked forward to by just as many as the super bowl and there are always millions trying to guess who is going to come out on top. I like this piece because it breaks down why Ohio State is at number one and also informs the reader of how other teams look, which gives a rounded perspective going into the season.


  42. Localized enterprise: “How a College Football Program is Built from the Ground Up” by Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee ( Sallee’s piece on Kennesaw State joining the list of colleges to add football gives the reader key details in the process. He did a good job of showing each step of the way and allowed head coach Brian Bohannon to display his personality. It looked like a personable peak at the major project taken on by the Owls and was an intriguing read.

    Looking back at a significant event: “The night TCU-Baylor rivalry met tragedy” by Fox Sports Southwest’s David Ubben ( The article talks about the death of TCU head football coach Jim Pittman during a game against Baylor in 1971. I really liked this story because it shined light on a dark time in a rivalry that may be one of the most important in 2015. The writer also did a good job of getting in touch with people who were part of the TCU program back then as well as important people in Pittman’s life.

    Off the beaten path: “Walkin’ to work with Washington State’s Mike Leach” by PAC 12 Network’s Ashley Adamson ( I chose this story because, well, it was about Leach literally walking off the beaten path. Besides that, it’s an interesting look at one of the most unique coaches in college football. I thought it was a fun way to give the viewer a look at how he lives.

    Preview of a big event: “Super Bowl 2015: Seahawks vs Patriots Preview” by the New York Times’ Benjamin Hoffman ( This preview does a good job of setting up for the biggest game of the NFL season. What I liked particularly was the use of quotes from players, adding an element that isn’t always included in game previews.


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