Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who's your columnist #2

Your comment must be posted by 30 minutes before the Tuesday class.
You must include the URL so that others can read the column, too.
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you in class.

Maureen Nasser: 3 things

Maureen Nasser is in her fourth year as Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
Here's an interview with Maureen.
Also see this site for information about covering sports at George Mason.

If you plan to cover a George Mason sports event, you must notify the instructor by e-mail a minimum of 24 hours before the game or event so that I can forward your e-mail to the sports information office.
Your SUBJECT line MUST include Comm371-001/Sports Writing & Reporting, the game or event you want to cover, and the date.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ed Passino: 3 things

Ed Passino is Northeast Region Manager for USA Football.
Ed will talk to us in class on Tuesday Jan. 29 about deadline writing and AM/PM leads.
He is part of the Mason 371 network, having taken this course a few years ago. And he's one of our real success stories. Ed freelances for the Associated Press, covering George Mason men's and George Washington women's basketball.
Ed will be leaving the Metro D.C. area in mid-February to move to Charlotte, N.C.. We're going to miss him.

GRADED EXERCISE: In the comments section below, add the three things you learned from Ed's presentation. Deadline is 30 minutes before class on Thursday Jan. 31. No exceptions!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Your read it here first (but I could be wrong!)

This is not the place for Redskins (doesn't that sound offensive by itself?) news, but given the circus that the 'Skins' (better) head coaching search has become, I thought I'd check in with some thoughts.

First of all, it's pretty obvious that Joe Gibbs isn't around to reign in Danny Boy (Snyder) anymore.
DB is dismantling Gibbs' staff, firing both the defensive (Gregg Williams) and offensive coordinators Saturday and replacing at least one, offensive coordinator Al Saunders, with Jim Zorn.

Now, how do you hire an offensive coordinator when you haven't hired a head coach?
That's the rub. You don't.
Snyder has picked his man, and I doubt it's Jim Fassel. Danny Boy used Fassel for cover four years ago when he hired Gibbs. I think Fassel is being used for cover again because Snyder plans to hire Giants' defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Why else would Snyder name Greg Blache (who I knew years ago when he was a grad assistant under Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame), who has never been a coordinator unless the owner plans to name a head coach with defensive coordinator experience?
And, given that Spagnuolo is busy preparing the New York Giants for the Super Bowl Feb. 3 against the New England Patriots, the last thing he wants or needs is a public distraction. So it makes sense for Danny Boy to protect him by running cover with Fassel.

Of course, as Dennis Miller likes to say, I could be wrong!

By the way, if you're not reading the Washington Post's Jason La Canfora's "Redskins Insider" blog, you're not keeping up with the news.

EXERCISE: What's the difference between this opinion piece I've written; George Solomon's lead column item, "Snyder's Search Is Becoming More and More Baffling," in Sunday's Washington Post; Mike Wise's column, "The Coldest Shoulder," in Sunday's Washington Post; and Jason La Canfora's lead story, "Williams, Redskins Part Ways," on the Redskins' coaching situation in Sunday's Post?
You can make your comment below.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Internship with Real Clear Sports

I'm not sure if anyone is interested or where exactly the headquarters for Real Clear Sports is, but I think its worth a contact for those of you still in the industry. This is a relatively new sports website that is looking for interns. Just click this story's slug for details. Good luck.

Who's your columnist #1

So, got a columnist for the semester?
Your choices will be posted on the class syllabus.
Tom Boswell of the WashPost is still out there.
Joe Posnanski of the KCStar, too.
And Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press.
Lots of good folks to choose from.
Your COMMENT for the first week MUST be posted here.
You must comment on a column by your columnist each week. That means your columnist needs to be writing each week. So, no Tony Kornheiser. He's a television/radio guy now. He rarely writes. That would be too much work!
Your comment must be posted by 30 minutes before the Tuesday class.
You must include the URL so that others can read the column, too.
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you in class.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Roger Clemens: The '60 Minute' Interview

In case you missed it, here's Mike Wallace's "60 Minutes" interview with Roger Clemens from Jan. 6. You can watch it in one clean take by going to the program website, or you can watch it in two parts here (click on video, then scroll down to find the 14-minute interview; c'mon, CBS, how about a direct link or an embed code?).

Also, here's a fun take on Clemens's denials that he ever used steroids.

-- Alan Schwarz of the NYTimes:
Clemens Faces Dangers of Spin in Steroid Case

Friday, January 4, 2008

What do doctors put in B-12 shots these days?

Former MLB first baseman Rafael Palmeiro did everything he could to absolve himself of responsibility for his actions. He tested positive for anabolic steroids only two months after appearing in front of Congress and declaring he had never done steroids. He changed his story a bit after the test, saying he had never "knowingly" done steroids and that a B-12 injection given to him by teammate Miguel Tejada caused a positive test.

Roger Clemens has now told essentially the same story to Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes." What did he say he used?
Lidocaine and [vitamin] B-12. It's for my joints, and B-12 I still take today, Clemens told Wallace in the interview.

So, who do we believe? Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, had his story corroborated by Andy Pettitte, who admitted to using HGH.

As journalists, how do we cover people who could be caught in a lie without getting caught up in the situation ourselves?

Few situations have existed like the steroid story where journalists could have outed players for years, but never had the facts straight or the guts to do it. Buster Olney of, for one, has partially blamed himself and his colleagues for the lack of fortitude to cover the steroid issue better, earlier.

How do we cover the issue better so this doesn't happen again? Did journalists get caught being fans first and professionals second with their coverage of the situation?