Good move: Writers invited to join sports editors association

This is long overdue. The Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) is going to invite writers to join their group.

Since launching this blog in 2012, I have been following the APSE site and even attended their convention when it was in Chicago. It struck me that the sports editors were discussing topics and exchanging ideas that would be of high interest to writers like myself.

Why not include us?

Apparently, Kent Babb of the Washington Post and Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune agreed.  APSE president Tim Stephens, deputy managing editor for, writes in his newsletter:

As a multiple-time APSE award winner, Washington Post reporter Kent Babb  had reason to take an interest in the organization that was recognizing his best work. Babb began attending APSE events on his own, taking the opportunity to introduce himself and get

Continue Reading

College perspective: DePaul journalism students weigh in on changing landscape of sports media

I had the pleasure to teach a graduate level sports journalism class at DePaul University during the winter quarter. I know, the students should ask for a refund.

The course focused on all the different platforms for sports media and how stories get covered. It was a very lively class. If an outlet is looking to hire some good young journalists, please get in touch.

For the final, I had the students write on this topic: What do you see as the biggest change in sports media and how do you think it will impact the industry in the future?

One of my students contacted Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs for her report. Even though Craggs isn’t exactly a big fan of Sherman Report, I appreciate him talking to her.

They came up with some interesting observations and quotes. I thought … Continue Reading

Basketball writers president: ‘We need SIDs to stand up and fight for us’ during NCAA tournament

Last year, I wrote about how the NCAA has pushed college basketball writers into the rafters for press seating during the tournament. U.S. Basketball Writers Association  president Kirk Wessler of the Peoria Journal Star notes this picture was the media view at one site last year.

Up close to the back of someone’s head.

In a column on the USBWA site, Wessler calls upon college SIDs to push the NCAA to provide better arena accommodations to the media. He writes:

So this is a challenge to our members who are SIDs. The basketball writers of the USBWA need you to stand up and fight for us. The primary goal of the USBWA has been simply stated since its founding in 1956: “To serve the interests of journalists who cover college basketball.” The flat truth is these ridiculous seating arrangements don’t

Continue Reading

Rick Reilly: An appreciation for Hall of Fame writing career

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on Rick Reilly, one helluva writer.


Last week, Rick Reilly announced that he is giving up his column at the end of June. He is going to be exclusively a TV guy now, filing reports for the network’s coverage of Monday Night Football and SportsCenter.

It truly is the end of an era if he is indeed closing out his writing career. Let’s just look at what is on the back of his so-called baseball card.

–11-time National Sportswriter of the Year.

–2009 Damon Runyon Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. Previous winners have included Jimmy Breslin, Tim Russert, Bob Costas, Mike Royko, George Will, Ted Turner and Tom Brokaw, among others. Not bad company there.

–23-year career at Sports Illustrated, including 10 years as the … Continue Reading

Who will play jerk Dave Kingman? Movie to be made about early struggles for woman sportswriter

According to Variety, Susan Fornoff’s book, Lady in the Locker Room, is going to be made into a movie.

I knew Fornoff way back when she was covering the Oakland A’s for the Sacramento Bee. Unfortunately, she found herself in the news when Dave Kingman, one of the all-time idiots, sent her a rat for reasons only he can explain.

I’m sure that episode will find the way into the film. Hopefully, the filmmakers will find a good actor who knows how to play a boorish oaf.

Also, they will make a good movie in keeping with last year’s Let Them Wear Towels documentary about women sportswriters on ESPN.

Tatiana Siegel reports in Variety:

CBS Films and Last Vegas helmer Jon Turteltaub are reteaming for a period film about one of the first female sports reporters to break

Continue Reading

Red Smith Award finalists include Wendell Smith, Ryan, Montville, Vecsey; APSE contest winners

It is award season for APSE. Judging for this year’s contest is taking place at the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana in Indianapolis.

The finalists for APSE’s biggest honor, the Red Smith Award, have been announced. They include some big writing names and some editors who have contributed to APSE, including my former boss at the Chicago Tribune, Dan McGrath.

It is interesting to note Wendell Smith is on this list. Given the history he made in pushing for the first African-American player in the baseball; covering Jackie Robinson’s historical first year; and becoming the first African-American to join the Baseball Writer’s Association of America, it seems like a special award should be named in his honor.

In fact, I’m sure Red Smith wouldn’t mind if the APSE renamed it the Red Smith-Wendell Smith Award. Just a thought.… Continue Reading

Mariotti writes about first-hand experience with Darren Sharper lawyer; Calls him ‘A liar’

Jay Mariotti says he has moved on with his life. He writes that he is happy doing a daily web radio show at Naturally, he also pumps out columns for the site.

Yet Mariotti confronted his past today in a column about Darren Sharper. It turns out he has first-hand experience with Sharper’s attorney.

Mariotti writes:

I will not pretend to know if Darren Sharper raped as many as nine women in five states, as charged. But I do know that his Los Angeles-based attorney says the former NFL star is innocent.

And I do know, from personal experience, that his attorney is a ruthless liar.

Keep my narrative in mind as a jurisprudence-weary sports world examines the latest legal entanglement involving a high-profile football name. Sharper, a five-time All-Pro who is accused of drugging women in most

Continue Reading

AWSM: Numbers need to improve for women in sports media

It hardly comes as a shock that the numbers are bleak for women representation in sports media.

However, when you see the actual numbers, it is a stark wake-up call that more needs to be done.

The Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) responded to the third Annual Status of Women in U.S. Media report.

The depressing numbers in the Women’s Media Center report are further supported by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports’ most recent report card, which surveyed more than 150 newspapers and websites for gender and ethic diversity and ultimately issued an “F” grade for gender diversity.

Sports departments and their management teams around the country remain more than 90 percent male, and this lack of gender diversity at the top of sports departments means key decisions – from hiring to coverage, are

Continue Reading

William Nack reflects on career: Yes, I did cheer in the press box–for Secretariat

William Nack is the subject of Chapter 2 of the Still No Cheering in the Press Box series by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at Maryland.

Alex Silverman and Drew Rauso did a long interview with Nack, a terrific writer who reflected back on his career at Newsday and Sports Illustrated. Proud to say that Nack is a fellow Daily Illini alum at the University of Illinois. He is working on a book another DI alum, his good friend Roger Ebert.

The interview is well worth your time. However, what struck me was this terrific passage at the end when Nack talks about cheering in the press box.

Frankly, I have to confess that in 1973, when Secretariat started pulling away from the field in the Belmont around the far turn, I cheered in the press box.

Continue Reading

Montville: BBWAA needs to rescind Bill Conlin’s Hall of Fame baseball writer honor

In light of the accusations that he molested young children, Leigh Montville writes at Sports on Earth that the Baseball Writers Association of America should rescind Bill Conlin’s 2011 J.G. Spink Award.

Not a bad idea.

Montville writes:

The picture of the late Bill Conlin that is used most often in stories about him these days (including this one) is a shot from the ceremonies in Cooperstown. He is wearing a pair of those old man glasses with yellow lenses and he has the white hair and the little white beard and he is at a podium that reads “National Baseball Hall of Fame” on the front. His right hand is in the air and he is reading from a prepared script and no doubt he is being loud and strong and opinionated, the way he was during his 45

Continue Reading