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Wertheim on 'Scorecasting'

How many sports reporters check the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court for potential stories? How many have a law degree from Penn? As far as we know, L. Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated belongs to a club of one. A recent Wertheim story, “Wrongly Accused”, about an Omaha man wrongly convicted of murder puts both his legal acumen and writing skill on display.

Wertheim has trotted the globe as a tennis writer.  His work  has been cited in The Best American Sports Writing anthology four times, as well as Best American Crime Writing.  He is the author of six books, including the new Scorecasting, which combines a bit of Freakonomics with a bit of Malcolm Gladwell.

He explained why his story opened and closed at Omaha Central High School, our alma mater, and offered some thoughts about punting on fourth down, in this interview.

Visualizing Depression

Television tells stories with words and pictures, but sometimes there are too many words and not enough pictures.  That’s where re-enactment and specialty ‘B’ roll come in –  techniques to create images to cover the story.  E:60 Production Notes: Part 1 tells how images were created for the story of Jordan Burnham, an 18-year-old athlete who suffered from depression, and survived a horrific suicide attempt.

Part 2 addresses the ‘fine line’ between enough and too much at E:60.

Martin K Goes Deep

Check out the trailer below for an upcoming documentary on free diver William Trubridge,  produced by Martin Khodabakhshian.  Martin is one of ESPN’s most restless and creative producers, however, this work is an indie.

Encore for a Storyteller

Leigh Montville, in his biography of Manute Bol, wrote in the foreword:

The figure stands on a hill and looks across the African landscape. The sun is round and bright and red behind him. The figure is tall, tall, very tall. He could be a Giacometti sculpture. He could be Gumby.

The figure walks a great distance, past the giraffes and hippos of his native village, straight ahead, from one world to another.

He stands again, in the center of a polished wooden floor inside a large arena. A spotlight focused on his black face. A purple mascot with HOOPS written across his chest comes up to the figure, putting his right hand high. The figure answers, slapping the mascot’s purple fur hand.

This is a fable.

This is the truth.

What Consumers Want

What Consumers Want

A commenter wrote this on Boston Sports Media Watch:

Does anyone still read the Globe sports? I check Mike Reiss every day, and get the rest of my sports from national web sites. Why would anyone want to read these entertainment reporters who think they are Woodward and Bernstein investigating Watergate? Breer wasn’t contrarian – he was negative. There’s a difference. When did lowly sports reporters decide that they were muckraking journalists? They write about a game. They’re no different from the people who cover Paris Hilton and Mel Gibson, yet you’d think they were covering the Viet Nam war or the BP oil spill.

Makes me wonder – what do consumers of sports media want?

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