Bill Walton must be spinning in his grave at the level of earnest overreaction that seems to be sweeping the nation. And by the nation I mean the people who yammer about sports in the media, social or otherwise. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘media’
Tags: media, overreact, Shawn Fury, speculation, sports, Terry Vandrovec, TVFury, Twitter
Tags: basketball, Boston Marathon, media, NBA playoffs, Shawn Fury, Terry Vandrovec, TVFury
The NBA Playoffs start Saturday. You didn’t think Fury (or TV) would forget, did you?
They discuss the most interesting opening-round pairings and pick a couple of teams that might be capable of more than one upset.
Plus, they riff on the handling and mishandling of Boston Marathon bombing coverage. Here’s the link.
Tags: Terry Vandrovec, TVFury, Shawn Fury, sioux falls, media, Marathon, running, spring, Boston, Boston Marathon, runner, bombing, news
I had planned to write about the weather today. The stupid weather.
Oh, the Boston Marathon was on my mind from the start – one of my best and oldest friends participated, and I followed his path and times online. Had been planning that out for a couple days. He’d won North Dakota state championships in high school, qualified for NAIA nationals in college and earning a spot in this event – and performing well – seemed on par with that, one of the highlights of his running career. And, let’s be honest, running at that level for that long is a lifestyle as much as a sport. Couldn’t be happier for him.
To think that a few hours later I’d be sending him a poorly written text message to ask if he was safe? That was never part of the plan.
Tags: Fulda, media, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, newspapers, Patrick Reusse, Shawn Fury, Sid Hartman, Star Tribune, Terry Vandrovec, The Fury Files
Welcome to the latest edition of the Fury Files, currently ranked 25th in Q&A RPI. If you have time to spare or want to abuse your printer privileges at work, check out previous editions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea, David Brauer, Joe Posnanski, Pat Coleman, Kevin Van Valkenburg, Michael Kruse, Chris Jones, Chris Ballard, Roland Lazenby and Will Leitch.
This week’s guest is Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse, a Minnesota newspaper legend and one of the best columnists in the country. I grew up reading Reusse’s stories and hearing classic stories about Reusse — my parents are of similar age and are also from Fulda, the small town in southwest Minnesota made somewhat famous in countless Reusse columns over the years.
Reusse got his start in newspapers just after high school, when he landed a job as a copy boy at the old Minneapolis Morning Tribune. His boss was a middle-aged guy who’d go on to become a rival, peer, foe, foil, subject, colleague and friend — Sid Hartman. That gig started a love affair with papers that continues 50 years later, even if the business looks nothing like it once did. After stints at the newspapers in Duluth and St. Cloud, Reusse came back to the Twin Cities in 1968, spending 20 years in St. Paul before switching to the Star Tribune in 1988.
Reusse worked as a beat writer in his early years — along with a brief tenure as a morning editor that, he wrote, was a “failure, since it put me in charge of my drinking buddies” — before becoming a columnist in 1979. Reusse’s a versatile writer, but there’s no doubt he excels at those pieces that are the most-read for any big-city newspaper columnist and attract the most praise or vitriol from readers and fans, depending on whether they agree with his view: the rip job. He wasn’t impressed with Gophers football coach Tim Brewster’s intro. He pleaded with the NCAA selection committee to keep the Gophers hoops team out of the tourney. He said goodbye to the Minnesota North Stars, those losers. Today’s Twins are a lot like the miserable Twins of the ’90s. Then there are the Turkeys. Since 1978, Reusse’s picked a Turkey of the Year and the committee’s decisions always spark controversy.
But a one-note columnist would become a boring read, and what sets Reusse apart from so many is his love of the stories that are rarely in the spotlight, along with his ability to spin yarns on everything from John Gagliardi’s retirement to the legendary Edgerton basketball team from 1960 to the Fulda-Slayton Goat to an old Star Tribune copy editor named Bud Armstrong. Read his piece on Walsh Field in Gaylord and his column on Danube legend Bob Bruggers. Or his column on the Vikings’ Weeping Blondes.
These days, Reusse spends more time on the radio than he does at the paper, as he’s a daily co-host on 1500 ESPN with Phil Mackey. Reusse’s an early sports-radio pioneer — he started in 1980 with longtime friend and fellow columnist Joe Soucheray, a combo that’s still on the air today. Anyone who’s heard Reusse tell a tale on the radio — which is often punctuated with his distinctive cackle — knows his on-air style is as unique as his written one.
Here, Reusse talks about his writing style, Turkeys, Sid, controversial columns, town team baseball, life in newspapers and radio, saying goodbye to Minnesota legends, what motivates him today, and much more. Thanks a lot for your time, Patrick.
Tags: agate, media, newspapers, Shawn Fury, Terry Vandrovec
Considering how many big things newspapers have cut back on the past decade — paper width, publication dates…people — plans to eliminate the tiniest type in the paper doesn’t seem like a major thing. But you’d be surprised how sentimental people can be about sports agate — and how much readers miss it when it’s gone.
LA Observed reported that the LA Times will eliminate about eight pages a week from the sports section, and that agate will be a major part of those cuts. NBA boxscores will be reduced, as will boxes for baseball, hockey and college hoops. A memo promises “other significant agate cuts.”
Tags: books, journalism, media, Michael Kruse, newspapers, Reading, Shawn Fury, Terry Vandrovec, TVFury, writing
The latest edition of the Fury Files – the most popular Q and A in the history of the InterTubes – debuted Monday. This week’s guest: newspaperman Michael Kruse. It was a fascinating read, one that forced me to dwell on my craft even in a week crammed with the fervor of national signing day and a bunch of basketball games.
A couple of reflections. Oh, and you non-writers might want to turn away; we’re about to talk shop. Unless you’d like a glimpse inside our warped, ink-stained minds …
* Kruse’s writing process is somewhere between mind-blowing and just plain admirable. It’s unfortunate there aren’t more jobs like that out there – the enterprise beat. Sure, I do research, I write rough outlines and I think about my job when I’m not on the clock (which isn’t all that often). But as someone with a daily beat and in an era that’s all about immediacy, I don’t have time to fully digest anything let alone everything. And I dislike that.
Actually, I had a mini-opportunity to try the enterprise thing over the summer, filing a series of stories on sports psychology. It was daunting, despite being chopped into newspaper-sized bites. But it went reasonably well. (more…)
Tags: media, Minnesota, newspapers, Shawn Fury, Terry Vandrovec, writing
Many people hate looking at old photographs of themselves. Maybe it’s a picture from elementary school, a prom portrait or a family photograph filled with five frozen faces and an infinite number of unspoken resentments.
No one wants to see ridiculous mullets or bizarre crew cuts. If it’s not the hair it’s the clothes – red and black parachute pants, gray moon boots and short-shorts on the basketball court that leave no doubt you played for the boys’ team. And if it’s not the hair or the clothes or the acne or the braces or the stupid grin it’s the company. Who did I hug in that picture? And why? Which prison is that person incarcerated in again?
I actually don’t mind pictures.
But I do have some negative reactions when looking back at my early stories as a sports journalist, when I possessed big dreams and a love of tortured metaphors and similes. I had a lot of questions back then, but also thought I owned most of the answers.
Tags: Catholic University, college sports, D3football.com, John Gagliardi, Keith McMillan, media, Mount Union, Pat Coleman, St. John's, St. Thomas, The Fury Files, writing
Welcome to the latest edition of the world-famous Fury Files, where we chat with writers, athletes, former newspaper reporters, current media critics and others who respond positively to my requests for their time. The entire collection will be available in book form just in time for Christmas (not really). Check out previous versions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea, David Brauer and Joe Posnanski.
This week’s guest is quite unique: He doesn’t sleep. At least that’s what I suspect, and it’s really the only explanation for how he does what he does.
Pat Coleman is the Executive Editor of D3sports.com, but that title doesn’t do him justice. He’s a passionate champion of Division III athletics, an outstanding writer who shines some light on a corner of the sports world usually ignored by major media outlets, a go-to analyst for playoff questions or hard-news items about schools that are dropping programs, and the leader of a team that now includes d3football.com, d3hoops.com, d3soccer.com, d3baseball.com and, most recently, d3hockey.com.
Coleman and the D3football.com crew also produce the annual Kickoff, an online publication that previews every D3 team in the country – all 239 of them. It analyzes the conferences, ranks the teams and profiles the players.
During the fall, the D3Sports sites get more than a million visits a month. Many of the people who come to the site also interact on the sites’ message boards. Remarkably – and thanks to the efforts of Coleman (who has a mere 28,000-plus posts on the boards) and the others who work for the sites – the message boards are unlike most Internet forums. The well-moderated boards remain free of mindless insults, racist comments and cruelty. People gather to talk Division III sports, beer and tailgating, and in doing so often end up meeting people who become great friends, even if they’re from hated rivals. A certain poster with a name similar to mine spends some time there chatting about St. John’s and its inevitable victory in the 2012 Stagg Bowl.
Coleman started on this odyssey when he took over the site that became D3hoops.com in 1997 and created D3football.com in 1999. Fans of Division III sports have plenty of memories of being unable to ever find scores on their favorite teams, forced to scour the Sunday newspaper’s agate section results. Division III is filled with small schools. But Coleman’s work means the teams and players receive big-time coverage.
And he basically does all this as a volunteer - while working media jobs in the real world. Again: Does he sleep? Coleman grew up in Minnesota but graduated from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1994. He has worked at USA Today, USA Today Baseball Weekly, USA Today Sports Weekly, nbcsports.com and Verizon Headlines. After spending years on the East Coast, Coleman is back in Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Cate, and three kids.
With the D3 football pairings being announced this weekend, it’s a perfect time to chat with Coleman. Here, Pat talks about the Mount Union-Whitewater rivalry, how he ended up at Catholic, how to improve the D3 playoffs, the 1936 Orange Bowl, the best game he’s ever seen and a lot more. Thanks a lot for your time, Pat.
Tags: earthquake, flooding, Manhattan, media, Midwest, Minot, natural disasters, New York City, over reaction, Shawn Fury, Terry Vandrovec, TVFury, Twitter
A few hours ago I sat at our table on the top floor of our six-floor building in northern Manhattan. I was eating lunch with my wife. Suddenly, the paintings on the walls moved. The table shook. A six-foot-tall medicine cabinet rattled. Weird.
I looked at Louise, she looked at me.
“What?” I asked.
“What did you do?”
She refused to believe me. “You look guilty.” Apparently she was convinced I’d managed to move our furniture and caused our apartment to shake through some type of psychic ability, or I’d been violently pushing the table with my hands under the table cloth. A few minutes later she went online and saw the news of the East Coast earthquake and she was finally convinced of my innocence.
It hasn’t even been two hours since the quake hit. And already it’s sort of cycled through the new media world. It’s pretty much the same cycle of any breaking news event these days: Confusion; instant news; confirmation; jokes; people sick of it; people sick of others being sick of it; accusations of hysteria; the who cares? brigade; the stop-talking-about-it-already segment; East Coast people are wimps for being worried or even talking about it; have we already forgotten about Libya?; are the power plants safe?; yes they are, shut up already; do you realize people are starving?; if this happened in Fargo no one would care, especially those New York City elite snobs and on and on and on.
And all that in 90 minutes, or the typical running time of a disaster movie about a 10.0 earthquake hitting New York City.
It’s all predictable. Some points.
* “STOP FREAKING OUT! GOD! IT’S AN EARTHQUAKE! THEY HAPPEN MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY!” True. But are people really freaking out? Some are, sure. People who were trapped in large buildings in downtown Manhattan perhaps panicked a bit as their building swayed and security told them to evacuate down the steps. In about two weeks there will be a pretty big anniversary of a pretty big event in the nation’s history. You can maybe understand why someone in downtown NYC, in a tall building, might be a little concerned when they feel their office shaking.
But again, what does “freaking out” mean? People went outside from Baltimore to Long Island to see if there was any damage. They called their family to tell them, more with awe and surprise than concern, “Did you hear about the earthquake?” Is that freaking out? The TV networks, yes, covered it. Is that freaking out? People on the East Coast tweeted that they felt something, something they don’t feel every day or any day. Is that freaking out? People were reacting, people were living. That’s what happens. It doesn’t mean anyone thought the world was ending, except those who think that all the time.
* “Earthquake? Cha, who cares? Back in my day – and back in our home state – we deal with 7.0 quakes on a daily basis. You can’t even walk to the grocery store here without being knocked to the ground by a tremor. You get up, dust yourself off, and continue on your way. Deal with it, people.” Have seen tweets and message board posts from West Coasters that are, basically, taunts, as if they’re Lakers fans making fun of Knicks fans for the Isiah Thomas reign. “God, you people can’t take a 6.0 quake? Hilarious.”
Every section of the country has something they take strange pride in when it comes to weather or natural disasters.The South can take heat. Californians, earthquakes. New Yorkers – anything and everything.
For Midwesterners, it’s snow and cold. And I admit to doing this myself in NYC. Lifetime New Yorkers look at me with a combination of pity and awe when they read stories during the winter about 20 inches of snow, -25 degree temperatures and -50 windshield readings. They’re amazed that someone made it out alive. I play it up. Yeah, it’s wicked weather. Terrible things. The implication is that Minnesotans are somehow tougher than the East Coast effete who can, perhaps, handle a snowstorm, but not snow and cold.
And Minnestoans laugh – their hearty Midwestern laughs – when a storm hits the south or the West Coast. That’s when they get to make fun of others.
They watch TV reports of 50-care pileups or people slipping on the sidewalks. An inch of snow and they don’t know how to drive in it? Meanwhile, whenever I’m home during the winter, all I hear is people complaining about the weather. They hate it just as much as those who only get it once a decade. Sure, they ice fish and snowmobile and drive and live their lives but that’s because they have to. Humans adapt. If the south received weekly snowstorms, guess what? They’d eventually adapt too. They’d learn to live with it. Just because people in one particular region of the country are more familiar with certain weather patterns or disaster patterns does not make them better, tougher, smarter or stronger. It just means you’re used to it.
And if the East Coast received earthquakes on a daily basis, they’d deal with them with more nonchalance too.
Californians and snow? There’s the exception. They wouldn’t adapt. Those people are wimps.
* “If this happened in the Midwest, these TV cameras would be nowhere to be found! I’m sick of Washington and New York getting all the attention!” This is sort of the natural disaster equivalent of a swimming parent calling in to the sports desk to say that the newspaper is “costing my son a scholarship. Do you realize he finished fourth in the butterfly and third in the relay but your fishwrap doesn’t even write stories and only puts the top two finishers in the scoreboard section? If this was a basketball game, you’d write four stories on it.”
I agree that the media often blows things completely out of proportion. Everyone knows this, even the producers and executives and editors responsible for blowing things out of proportion. That said, the simple fact is there is a lot of media out here. When a quake hits and buildings start to sway and the White House, Pentagon and NYC City Hall are evacuated, there will be more cameras there to document it than there would be in, say, Mankato, Minnesota.
But this idea that somehow something like this would be ignored if it happened elsewhere is, well, ludicrous. Take, for instance, the horrific Minot flooding. The New York Times wrote numerous stories on the terrible events in that city. And they should have. The damage was much greater than whatever will eventually happen with this quake. it was a flood that completely altered the city’s present and will negatively affect its future. And the Times – and other East Coast media – wrote about those floods and others here and here and here and here. TV networks had their cameras ready. When Joplin, Missouri, suffered a devastating tornado, the TV anchors and their pretty hair descended on the town to cover the aftermath and tell the stories.
In today’s media world, everything will eventually get covered, whether it happens in New York or 2,000 miles away from Yankee Stadium. If an earthquake hit my hometown of Janesville, the Waseca County News would be there to cover it. But eventually, if a building fell or it became known that it was the first time in 150 years the town had an earthquake, someone from the evil East Coast media would write about it or blog about it or put a picture of it up on the TV screen. Of course, if the media would start talking about, they’d eventually be accused of blowing it out of proportion.
Bottom line: The media’s not set on ignoring your region’s disaster. There’s no grand conspiracy against small town folks in the middle part of the country.
But your local paper? Totally messing up your kid’s chance at a swimming scholarship.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Back to the overreactions, complaints about the coverage, taunts of regional superiority and expressions of boredom about an event that is – truth be told – unlike anything that’s happened in this part of the world in, oh, 130 years. And if you’re already sick of it? Don’t worry, by tomorrow everyone will have moved on to something new – only the reactions will be the same.