Who’s your columnist #7

Your comment must be posted no later than 30 minutes before the Tuesday March 17 class. Although you have two weeks to post, I hope you will follow through sooner than later.

You must include the URL of the column so that your classmates can read the column, too. Let me know if you have any questions.

Pictured above: George Vecsey, venerable New York Times columnist, who no one chose to follow this semester. So, I often post Vecsey columns on our class blog feed. Why do I like Vescey so much? He often writes about the meaning of sports, much like Robert Lipsyte used to do for the Times and occasionally for USA Today on the Op-Ed page.

17 Responses to “Who’s your columnist #7”

  1.   bmurphy6 Says:

    Brendan Murphy
    Communication 371-001
    Sports Reporting/Klein

    Who is your columnist #7?

    Pat Forde

    I have read many of Pat Forde's articles, but chose this article because of the context and style. First, the article has an interesting take on the March Madness tournament. Forde breaks down the tournament into smaller segments. He focuses on smaller conferences and the Dance within the Dance. Second, there is a great deal of AP style usage. The article includes numbers, dates, locations, conference titles, etc. This link listed below is a good reference for us young writers to observe and dissect.


  2.   Evan Says:

    Bill Plaschke’s Wednesday column in The Times focused on something he doesn’t often need to write about: the L.A. Lakers’ shortcomings.

    Coming off the heels of two consecutive road losses (the first this season for the Lakers)to the Nuggets and Suns, Plaschke is concerned for the Lakers’ bench – most notably Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic and Trevor Ariza – who, along with the rest of the Lakers’ reserves, went 3-19 and 7-20 in those last two games.

    Kobe and Big Pau can’t do everthing by themselves.

    Plaschke is concerned that unless the Lakers’ bench finds the ability to score quick and score often, the Lakers’ 12 road games that are left might not go so smoothly. And if the Lakers’ are going to make it back to the Finals this season, they’ll need all their names playing up to their ability.

    ” Farmar needs to play with more focus. Vujacic needs to find his inner rock star again. Ariza seems tired.”
    (Love the rock star part)


  3.   Eric Vitoff Says:

    Who’s your columnist? 7 (1 of 2)

    In this past week’s column, Bill Simmons did a “mailbag.” A long-running Simmons tradition, he selects some good emails that he has received from readers and responds to each of them. The final product is a lengthy online column.

    I have mentioned this before, but I love the fact that Simmons’ columns go on for so long. This way, I can pace myself. I can read some now and some later. This works especially well for a mailbag piece like this, because each message is on a different topic.

    Simmons starts off mailbag columns with a graph or two, and then says, “As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.” He always ends the pieces with an unusual email, to which he responds, “Yup, these are my readers.”

    In this particular column, Simmons addresses the A-Rod situation, Facebook, and other things. As usual, I love how Simmons does not limit his thoughts to just sports.

  4.   Sara Ronken Says:

    In his latest column, Harper discusses A-Rod’s injury in the first half and transitions to right-handed pitcher Burnett’s story in the second half. It was an interesting way of combining two articles with two different trains of thought into one. Both sections of the column contained history and statistical data of each athlete in question, in addition to quotes significant to the overall theme. It was evident Harper was ready to move on from the A-Rod fiasco to other baseball-related events, and made that transition in a single column.

    Harper also opens the floor to discuss whether the Yankees are going to continue to dominate the sport or if they are going to struggle while A-Rod is out with his injury. Burnett seems to think they’ll do just fine without him, and Harper appears to agree. Once again, he has allowed for the reader to formulate his or her own opinion before sharing his own, which is why readers love him. They get a columnist and a journalist in one when they read his columns.

    Harper’s latest column can be found at: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2009/03/08/2009-03-08_new_yankees_ready_to_pitch_in_during_aro.html

  5.   Christopher Brooks Says:

    Gary Parrish is awesome. He is a fan of the Big East, as am I in college hoops. So, I figured I would wait until Selection Sunday to post what he had to say about Louisville.

    In his column, “Louisville goes from shaky start to national title contender,” he opened with:

    “Earl Clark sat in the locker room at Madison Square Garden late Saturday, a Big East championship hat on his head, unfinished business on his mind.”

    Well on Sunday, the Cardinals received the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    This Louisville team, which started on shaky ground early in the season with losses to non-BCS teams, won the regular season championship and the Big East title at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.

    Parrish talked about how Louisville was playing and what they were not doing.

    Then he wrote what I was thinking after they won the conference tournament.

    “That’s one reason to count the Cards as a national title contender. Another is because history suggests at least three future NBA players are almost always necessary to win on the first Monday in April, and Louisville has three in Terrence Williams, Samardo Samuels and Clark.”

    This 8-3 team at New Year’s is now a team that will be a force in the coming weeks and may have the tools to win a national title for Louisville!

    Here is a link to the column: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11505520

  6.   Fox Parker Says:


    In Mike Wise’s most recent column he compared and contrasted the paths two local teams, Maryland and Morgan State, took to the NCAA tournament.

    Wise opened the column with quotes from each teams’ respective coach about the other. The quotes were from selection Sunday, a day that held a large degree of tension for both teams.

    Wise explored the story of Morgan State coach, Todd Bozeman, after his initial four or five paragraphs. Wise told the reader about Bozeman’s NCAA violations when at Cal and juxtaposed that with the squeaky clean reputation of Maryland coach Gary Williams.

    Wise then described Williams by explaining an insident where Williams shot back at a reporter for an incorrect line of questioning. Wise again juxtaposed this example with a profile, of sorts, on Bozeman.

    Wise went in to depth about what a tournament berth meant for Bozeman, who had to endure an eight suspension from NCAA coaching for recruiting violations. Wise explain the emotions that Bozeman felt when he won the MEAC championship and received an automatic bid to the tournament.

    Wise used quotes from Bozeman’s brother about their late father. Wise really found an interesting story with Todd Bozeman. A story that I would have never read if it were not for Mike Wise. My only question is– why did Wise have to lump it in with a story containing Gary Williams?

  7.   Ben Libby Says:

    Ben Libby
    Communication 371-001
    Sports Reporting/Klein

    Columnist #7

    Bob Ryan
    Boston Globe

    While scanning through Bob Ryan’s work, I came across a great blog on Maryland Men’s Basketball team.

    Ryan begins the article with the phrase “Gary! Gary! Gary!”, as a way to let readers know that Terp fan’s will stand behind their main-man.

    He explains how the Terp’s have probably done enough to get themselves in the big dance following a big Terp win over Wake Forest. However this year has been one of the weirder one’s with wins over Michigan State coupled with loses to Morgan St. and a 40-pointer to Duke.

    Nonetheless, Ryan notes how Gary has persevered through criticism to his recruiting performance, to bring a team led by a “wonderful, all-around 6-foot-5 guard from Caracas named Greivis Vasquez.”


    *It’s important to note that the above message is simply an analysis of Bob Ryan’s opinion. In no way do I share the same opinion as Bob Ryan. Rather, I HATE THE MARYLAND TERRIPANS, and was blown away that Bob would write about them in a Boston sports world that has BOSTON COLLEGE, who beat them in College Park. Just thought someone might be a Terp’s fan and lash back at me for my comments.

  8.   Grant Paulsen Says:

    Tom Verducci wrote about the World Baseball Classic in his most recent piece for Sports Illustrated.

    Verducci’s angle was that the WBC is an accident waiting to happen. He began his story by saying that the U.S. let it’s game with Puerto Rico become a blowout by not pulling Jake Peavy so that the ace of the Padres could get his work in. He cited that as a reason why this tournament will never become what people want it to be.

    In the enusing paragraphs Verducci went on to illustrate additional examples of why the ‘WBC’ is — as he called it — an accident waiting to happen. Here’s an excerpt from his story:

    “Team USA was so battered by injuries that manager Davey Johnson alerted Ted Lilly, a $40 million pitcher for the Cubs, to be ready to play leftfield. Leftfield! Instead, he filled the outfield spot with Brian McCann, the All-Star catcher for the Braves, who never had played an inning in his professional life at any other position but catcher.”

    It’s a quality story because Verducci backs up all of his opinions with occurences from the past week of the tournament. You can read it at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/tom_verducci/03/16/fivecuts.usa.dutch/index.html.

  9.   joe Says:

    In Rick Maese’s recent article titled “Moment for the Terps to remember”, he writes about the excitement over Maryland Terps Men’s Basketball team being invited to play in the NCAA basketball tournament.

    He likened the excitement to a breeze that touched everyone including fans, coaches and players.

    Maese got a good quote from Gary Williams who said that he was happy that the players got rewarded for their hard work and perseverance.

    Maese got a couple of quotes from Grevis Vasquez and senior Dave Neil.

    Vasquez: “It was one of the best moments of my life”

    Neil: Once I saw Maryland get up there, I threw my clipboard down, jumped up and screamed as loud as I could.”

    Maese also quoted athletic director Debbie Yow who said she was proud of the team for persevering despite suffering a couple of tough losses during the regular season.

    Maese writes that the program is by no means at the top of the ladder but at least they have found the ladder again.

    Maese writes that Maryland’s absence from the tournament has been particularly difficult on coach Gary Williams, who has gotten a lot of heat for not getting his team to the Big Dance. This makes 2009 a rewarding year for Williams.

    Maese uses metaphors to the Terps absence from the NCAA tournament:

    “Has a way of bringing out the vultures.”

    “Well, they were swatted away with vigor last night, perhaps scared by the noise as much as anything.”

    Maese uses a metaphor in describing the release of tension that took place after the Terps were picked:

    Maese says that the teams’ nerves began to uncoil when they heard the news. Maese writes that the terps nerves’ uncoiling was similar to a “jack-n-the-box” or a “terp-n-the-bracket”.

    Maese walks through memory lane by writing about the last time Maryland was a No 10 seed in the tournament.

    The Terps up-ended No.7 St Louis and then pulled off a massive upset by beating No. 2 Massachusetts, to reach the sweet sixteen.

    Maese asks if Maryland can make a similar run this year? Maese writes that coach Gary Williams will not even entertain the idea.

    “Seriously, right now, I don’t even know who’s in that opposite game, who we’d play if we beat California,” Gary Williams said. “It doesn’t matter. If we don’t beat California, we’re not going to play again, obviously

  10.   joe Says:


  11.   Eric Vitoff Says:

    Who’s your columnist? 7 (2 of 2 for these weeks)

    From time to time, Simmons writes a story that is not directly about sports. Like I have mentioned here before, he is not just a critic of the sports world but of pop culture as well. The topic of this column is Meryl Streep’s acting career and movies in general. He makes comparisons between the movie world and the sports world.

    He makes the point that we do not look at sports and movies in the same way. In sports, you win or you lose, and there are definitive statistics that we can refer to in order to determine the success of a certain player or team. Hollywood does not work that way.

    He works out a points system for actors based on wins and nominations. It is really quite interesting, and i recommend that everyone check it out.

    I love Bill Simmons and his writing. I have never before come across another writer who I understand and enjoy to such a high degree. I am not a huge reader of books or newspapers for the most part, but I am glad that I like Simmons well enough to never, ever miss a column.


  12.   Kevin Healy Says:

    Woody Paige’s most recent column (http://www.denverpost.com/paige) for the Denver Post centers around the calamity that has become the Denver Broncos vs. Jay Cutler. The ordeal climaxed Sunday, when after a face to face meeting with new head coach Josh McDaniels, Cutler asked to be traded.

    Paige then spreads equal amounts of blame on the four major characters in this now national debacle. Cutler, McDaniels, owner Pat Bowlen, and Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook are the culprits. After breaking down the ramifications the recent events for each party, Woody concludes that there were no winners here.

    “They should have blinked together this morning. Instead, they can go blank in the night. Denver deserves better.”

    Actually, there is a winner. Whoever lands Jay Cutler gets to hand the keys to their offense to one of the rising stars in the NFL.

    (I can’t help but adding my own commentary on the situation as I am a bit of an NFL QB junkie. Pardon the rant.)

    After the performance of Ben Rothlisberger in the playoffs, the formula for Super Bowl winning quarterback has been altered. No longer do teams have to model themselves after a Colts or Patriots offense. But why wouldn’t you? Because, for Manning and Brady to be effective they have to be upright and the wide outs have to be on the EXACT same page.

    The quarterback is always going to be the highest paid player, but with aforementioned prototypical passers, (6’5, makes all the throws, gets to the 5th read every play, immobile) that cost has to spill over to the offensive line and receivers. Money spent on the O-line is money not spent on your defensive line, or linebackers, ect. Having a Brady or Manning is great, but to maximize their performance requires a GM to surround them with equally cerebral (Marvin Harrison) and talented (Randy Moss) receivers and a stone wall of an offensive line. The dollar signs start to pile up.

    The new mold, the Big Ben mold of Qbs, is that of the play maker. Play making for the NFL quarterback does not involve scrambling for 1,000 yards rushing in a season (a la Vick). It involves making the first defender miss, buying time in or outside the pocket, keeping your eyes down field (something Vick NEVER could do) and delivering the ball on the move. Champ Baily is the best cover corner in football, but he can’t cover a 10th grade JV receiver if the QB has bought himself 5,6,or 7 seconds. Time is pressure. The defense is stretched to its breaking point at 4 seconds after the snap. Getting to 5 seconds means you are giving a lot of defensive coordinators night terrors.

    Jay Cutler gives defensive coordinators night terrors. This is why the events that have unfolded have been so baffling. Cutler is one of three (Tony Romo and Big Ben are the other 2) NFL quarterbacks who can consistently get to 5 seconds. For not recognizing this, and instructing his new coach accordingly, Pat Bowlen get most the blame in my book.

  13.   kevin healy Says:

    O, and Ben, I’ll be the Terps fan to lash back. Unless BC can coax Doug Flutie into some basketball shorts your glory days will be a long time coming. It’s Terp time again in the DC area. And we all know that involves setting furniture ablaze on Rt. 1 in College park. Win, lose, or draw.

  14.   Andrew Says:

    Nicholas J. Cotsonika #7

    I like the way Cotsonika starts out this article. He is talking about the way the Detroit Lions might be preparing to enter the NFL Draft.

    He writes, “You should go into the NFL draft the way you go into a grocery store. You should come prepared with a list, and you should make sure you aren’t hungry. If you’re feeling desperate, you’re more likely to stray from your plan and pick up something you’ll regret later.”

    With this, he sets up the reader in an interesting way right at the beginning of the article. Also, because everyone has to go to the grocery store, it has a very wide appeal. It has a lot of opportunity to be a pleasurable read to a great number of people.


  15.   Diana Friedman Says:

    Diana Friedman

    What I enjoyed about Tom Boswell’s March 11 column is that he brought us into his home.

    He is very frank about his feelings in regards to baseball in the Olympics, but gives us his personal emotions and experiences with the situation.

    This is very effective at humanizing Boswell, giving fans and readers the chance to identify with him.


  16.   Colin Fitzgerald Says:

    Colin Fitzgerald
    Comm 371-001
    Sports Reporting

    Who is your columnist #7?

    Len Shapiro
    Washington Post

    This column was about one of Len’s favorite subjects, golf. The article focused on Charles Barkley’s golf swing, or lack thereof. In a show called “The Haney Project”, Tiger Woods swing coach Hank Haney tries to coach Barkley into a semi-respectable handicapper. Woods was even featured on the first episode, impersonating Barkley’s rediculous swing. If Haney puts Barkley through the same practice routine as Woods, then will the improvement be visible by the show’s end? The column was an interesting lead-in to the show, and Shapiro’s writing really draws you into the story.


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