The art of sportswriting

Sunset on Herself's birthday

Here's another Hawaii shot — of the sunset on Herself's birthday as seen from the lanai of our rental house.

Matt Goss won a pretty damn’ exciting edition of Milan-San Remo today, pipping Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert in an eight-man dash to the line.

I watched the last couple hours of the race via streaming video, courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, and once again was left wondering just how much longer print-and-pix websites are going to be able to keep hold of their readers. I mean, how are you gonna keep ’em down on the old Velo-farm when a guy can watch the entire race online — attacks, counters, crashes and all?

An unimpressive bit of popular fiction I was reading during vacation contained an interesting aside about sportswriters. The author, a former journo’, had a cop-shop reporter say that the sports guys had to be pretty good writers because their readers had already seen the televised events they were describing a day late and a dollar short. It took that little something extra to hold the fans’ interest, and the sportswriters had it.

Looks like our gang is gonna have to ramp it up a notch or two. Or three. I’m too old, cantankerous and unskilled to go looking for work, especially since I don’t particularly want to find it.

• Late update: I just noticed that there were all of two Americans in today’s race — George Hincapie (22nd) and Tyler Farrar (46th). Where the hell is everybody else, racing industrial-park crits in Boulder?

• Later update: Oh, goody, another war. A day without war is like a day without sunshine. The 3rd Brigade grunts who just got back to Fort Cartoon must be delighted. A fresh desert to fight in, don’t you know.

7 Responses to “The art of sportswriting”

  1. James Says:

    All the other Yanks are waiting for some small race in the dead of summer. Racing the classics (or what used to be Classics) is left for third stringers, old farts who don’t care anymore, or the noobs to get their cross wheel riding style in check. And sadly for ‘mericans we pretty much account for all three categories at once.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    I’m hoping Taylor Phinney might get up there and rekindle some ‘Murican interest in something (anything!) other than that race in July in France where the leader wears a yellow costume. Of course I’m biased as hell towards the Eye-talian races like MSR and the Giro but wouldn’t it be great to see someone from our shores with a real chance at a win at Roubaix or Flanders? Hincapie is probably past his sell-by date and by making that claim I’m hoping to be quite wrong in April.
    As to wars, it’s a damn shame that since we’re busy fighting two totally needless military efforts, when a genuine situation worthy of getting the guns out comes along, we’re already tired of (and bankrupt from) armed conflicts.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      True dat, Larry. The Tour gives me a pain where I sit, but I love watching the one-day nut-crushers, the Giro and the Vuelta.

      As to wars, well, yeah. Spend your nights gratuitously punching people at the local pub just ’cause, your knuckles are liable to be a tad tender when you really need to kick ass.

      I think the prez was smart to qualify the mortal shit out of our involvement, and to take his time about pulling the trigger until the Euros stepped up. What makes me want to pull my eyeballs out is the GOP’s eagerness for warfare over welfare. Suddenly the deficit doesn’t make a difference.

      Imagine my surprise.

  3. Khal Spencer Says:

    Patrick, do you plan on shelling out greenbacks to the new pay NY Times site? We are trying to decide. Frankly, I spend a lot of time at so don’t mind sharing some dead presidents to the guys and gals to do the heavy lifting.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      K, I’m probably going to pay the freight. Like you, I’m a heavy user of The New York Times, and since I like to be paid for my work I have few qualms about paying them for theirs.

      That said, I consider the NYT to be an exceptional newspaper. I wouldn’t pay to read The Washington Post or The Los Angeles Times, and things go quickly downhill from there. For example, the Gazette here in Bibleburg should pay me to read them.

  4. Khal Spencer Says:

    Yeah. Thinking seriously about sending the check that usually goes to the LA Monitor to the NYT instead.

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