Now I think I understand the glassy-eyed look I get from non-sports fans when I talk about My Beloved Redskins or the Capitals. I ran across an article in the UK’s Times Online which, I swear to you, is utterly incomprehensible to me. I know it’s recapping a cricket match (game? contest? googly?) and that it turned out badly for England. Beyond that, I’m flummoxed.Heh. Twenty years ago, when I was sports editor at the Calhoun (Ga.) Times, I imposed a rule on myself: The first paragraph of every game story must include the final score.
This would seem a simple and obvious idea, but by the 1980s, lots of sports writers had picked up the magazine-style method where you begin with an an anecdotal lede -- "Rocky Thompson called his mother before Saturday's game against State Tech . . . " -- then string the reader along to the fifth paragraph before mentioning the final score.
All fine and good for Rick Reilly in Sports Illustrated, where you're doing weekly in-depth coverage for stone-cold sports junkies who already know the result of the game played four days before they pick up the magazine. But in a newspaper? No, I'm sorry. The most important fact -- the final score -- needs to be somewhere in the lede.
Is cricket really as mystifying as the Times of London coverage suggests? Or are the reporters just guilty of the same lazy journalistic habits that affect, inter alia, so much financial reporting? As I've learned from editing financial news at Not Tucker Carlson, if you don't already understand bond markets, you're never going to figure it out from an Associated Press story about the bond markets.