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Morning Java: Want to be sports writer? Forget sports

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

Younger readers often write seeking either advice or outright job opportunities in this profession. Requests come in every week, actually, and from all over. And as someone who made up my mind at a very young age to do this for a living, I can appreciate that there’s no such thing as someone too young to take seriously.

I’d like to take to the blog today to put this into print once, so I’ll have it as a link for future readers who ask. If you aren’t interested, hey, the links are down there, as always.

My own story encapsulated: I carried The Pittsburgh Press as a child and grew up reading Bob Smizik, Bruce Keidan and so many other names many of you would find familiar. I loved all of the sports coverage, loved the personalities behind the bylines, loved the different approaches, loved the competing styles between the two big papers at the time. It fascinated me. I read every word.

But what interested me most — by far — was journalism. Not sports. And that’s never changed.

In ninth grade, a fine teacher at Gateway named Grace Gunderman set me on my way. In addition to the classwork I did for her, I wrote a couple articles for the high school paper, and she handwrote me a letter at the end of that school year calling me “annoying, stubborn” … and meant for this business.

I still have that letter, folded into my class yearbook.

I went to Duquesne for reasons I still don’t understand, took up a journalism major and as a freshman had a fine professor named Maggie Patterson, who once wrote for the Press. She was hugely helpful, but mostly because she recommended me after one month to the Post-Gazette. That was in 1985.

Unfortunately, humans still wore jorts in 1985 …

That’s pretty much the whole story. I got out of Duquesne way before graduation — had very little else to gain there — after which I wrote a ton of high school sports, clawed my way up from freelancer to part-timer in 1990, from part-timer to full-timer in 1992, from high schools to a backup NHL beat in 1997, from backup to main beat guy on Major League Baseball in 2004, and then, of course, crossing the river to become lead sports columnist at the Trib three years ago.

Nothing is remotely unusual or remarkable about that path. It really does take that long. If anything, I’m still probably ahead of the chronological curve.

So, for anyone seeking advice, I offer this …

1. If you’re interested because you want to write about sports, get out. Find something else to do. You will fail, and you will fail quickly and miserably.

The job is about journalism, not about being pals with your favorite teams or athletes. The passion has to be for journalism, for reporting and writing and editing and taking pics and page-designing or whatever your specialty.

There are exactly zero exceptions to this.

2. Write a ton. Small papers pay for coverage of everything from school-board meetings to town hall to, yes, high school athletics. They won’t pay much, and you won’t win awards, but you’ll build up a profile of clips.

You also can touch people even with the lowest-profile work. One of the three Pittsburgh Police officers killed in that tragic shooting a few years back, Paul Sciullo, was a hockey player at Central Catholic. After his death, I heard from many friends and family about how much that little article meant to him, as it was the only one written about while alive. In fact, you can still find it in the window of a Bloomfield barber shop. I’m glad now that I didn’t half-effort it, no matter how much I thought it might mean at the time.

Write on a blog for your own amusement if you wish, but the greatest blog stuff in the world won’t mean a whit to an editor. They want to see actual submitted news that went through an editorial process and that, to some extent, made an impact on the community.

3. Learn to write. It’s a learned craft, not an inherent one. No one is born a good or great writer. It’s up to you to read and to practice as much as possible.

4. It’s always about the news. That’s the lifeblood. People ask all the time what’s my favorite thing I’ve written about, thinking I’ll answer with some kind of big game or whatever. But all the examples I’ll cite will be news, just hard news that was reported exclusively.

The real thrill comes in breaking news or in writing a piece — of any kind — that makes a real impact, a real difference. Sure, that can be about a championship, but it also can be about heartbreak, real human tragedy. The satisfaction — if that’s the right word here — comes in a job well done, a story or opinion well conveyed.

It sure as heck doesn’t come from the team you’re covering winning a game.

5. Any amount of time you think will be productively invested in learning more about sports is not. It’s a waste of energy, at least as related to actual work time. I’ll repeat: It’s about writing, reporting and all that. If you’re applying for a sports job, chances are excellent you already know sports, and what you don’t know can come through simple osmosis or the reporting itself.

The next editor interviewing someone for a job who asks, “Hey, how much do  you know about the Penguins?” will be the very first. They couldn’t care less what you know about sports. And they really couldn’t care less what you think about sports.

They want people who can write and report. Period.

The knowledge of whatever your subject matter becomes, that happens along the way. It happens because of your skill in reporting and writing. I was “the hockey guy” to most people when I took over baseball. Didn’t matter. I made up for it by asking a ton of questions, by letting the people involved be the experts rather than me, and by applying all that I’d learned about how to break news.

No one cared if I knew a two-seam fastball from a sinker. What the readers cared about was that I got the news first. And that had nothing to do with whether I knew baseball. It had to do with knowing journalism.

I accept that the above isn’t what anyone wants to read.

Most will want to take shortcuts or fantasize about how they can go right from blogging to making money for it. Unless you’re independently financed — meaning having someone pay your bills — that won’t happen. If you want to blog into adulthood about what you know or think about sports, better make sure you’ve got a separate way to actually make money.

Contrary to perception, there are opportunities in this business. They’re out there at most every paper, including ours. We recently had an opening that we had a very hard time filling. Print is fading, but the hard fact is that never at any point in human history have more people read the work being done by newspapers. In that sense, we’re more popular, more influential than ever. It’s just a matter of getting the new business model right.

The jobs are there. But you’ve got to want one for the right reason.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls>> Jayson Megna breaks through to boost the Penguins in Raleigh. Josh Yohe is in Raleigh.

But not all the news on the night was good: Rob Scuderi has a broken ankle and needs surgery.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> The Steelers insist they won’t give up on their season, by beat man Alan Robinson.

What happened to that ground game? Ralph Paulk revisits.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Paul Chryst aims to quell Pitt’s complacency talk. Jerry DiPaola writes.

>> Duquesne hoops faces a Bluff-sized hill to climb. Chris Harlan checks in from Jim Ferry’s barbecue … well, actually, it was the Dukes’ Media Day at Palumbo.

>> The Riverhounds will bring back the USL Pro’s MVP and top assists man in Jose Angulo and Matt Dallman, respectively. Matt Grubba has the exclusive.

There will be a lot more to this as part of a news conference the team is holding this morning, but based on what’s already there, you’ve got one really good glimpse of what strong fan support will get you: Angulo, in particular, really should be playing at a higher level, in my opinion. But money talks, and he’s staying.

>> I’ll be with the Hounds in the morning, then down the road with Mike Tomlin at noon.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    Totally agree that it isn’t the sports knowledge that makes the story. When I wrote in college, some of the best stuff I wrote was about field hockey or drag racing because I naturally asked more questions. It can keep you from just asking questions to fit the story you already have written.

    Thanks as always for the hard work.

    DK: In a way, it helps keep your info as accurate and informed as possible. I remember telling Spin Williams at my first spring training that I’ll never, ever, ever pretend to know the first thing about pitching so long as he’d always be available to answer all my annoying questions about pitching.

    Same deal lives to this day with Ray Searage.

  2. Joseph says:

    As someone on the fence thinking about heading back to school for journalism, this is definitely what I needed to read at this stage of the game. Thank you so much.

    DK: I’m sure school will help some people. My case is hardly universal. And there are some editors who find it important in hiring.

  3. Ghost says:

    It’s always inspiring to observe someone knows his calling is AND does it so well.

    As for the “Suisham Stinks” column, all I can do is sigh, and agree.

  4. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks for all you do DK. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

  5. Stuart says:

    Very nice column Dejan. Good to hear non-apocryphal words about print journalism, while acknowledging the challenges. Keep up the good work.

    Stuart

    DK: Yeah, thanks, Stu. It’s funny, really, how that small fact — that newspaper CONTENT is more read than ever, nobody ever seems to mention that. That’s especially true of local papers, which were NEVER READ OUTSIDE THEIR CIRCULATION AREAS until the Internet.

  6. DJ says:

    Nicely done and sweet photo.

    That computer / word processor thing on the desk looks like a Commodore of some type. Either that or you were playing Atari during downtime. Probably less memory / processing power than an iPod.

    DK: System was called Atex. Green on black letters. Nearly made me blind.

  7. Don Peebly says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I still miss the late Bruce Keidan, both in print and especially on the radio, where he was always informative and amusing as he used to refer to himself as the “Voice of Choice.” Too bad for us he retired relatively early to take up his passion of playing bridge in retirement. We’re all very fortunate to grow up reading many talented writers on the sports page. I am thankful that Bob Smizik and his blog are still around. Dejan, you are certainly continuing in their tradition, and it’s a pleasure to read you almost everyday even since I’ve moved away from home seven years ago.

  8. Thundercrack says:

    Nice post DK. Thanks for sharing that with us.

    I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Gunderman was here on the blog, what would her percentage be.

    . :-)

    DK: She’d be a lot rougher than you.

  9. SMC says:

    From someone who didn’t have the guts to stick it out, I applaud and envy anyone who does. It’s a long, hard haul, I wanted to grow up and be a feature writer, but you don’t just wake up one day and do that. You have to pay the price along the way, and I wasn’t willing to do it. Great article, you captured the journey well.

  10. kr70 says:

    What I really liked in your story was your reference to teachers who made a difference in your life. I think many of us have had that same kind of experience. I wonder if most teachers realize the impact that they can have. I feel bad about not letting those who influenced me on what an impact they had and sadly it is to late to do so. Thanks DK

  11. Chuck Snow says:

    Nice column DK…What you wrote about is true in every profession. What younger people see is just the surface, not the years of paying your dues. If I had a dollar for every dishwasher that told me they wanted my job as an area director I would have untold wealth. Zig Ziglar put it best,” there is no elevator to the top, you have to take the stairs”.

  12. JoeyBats says:

    As usual…very well done, DK!

  13. dcpinpgh says:

    I have a question about the journalist vs reporter vs paper salesman aspect of the job.

    How does that work? I mean, not one sports report said, “Barry’s head is getting physically bigger, I wonder why that is?” or “wow, the whole college basketball team is driving nicer cars then me, how did that happen?”

    or with Big Ben. It seems like all the stories were coming from national/out of town journalist and not the local guys, who you would think, would have already known this stuff plus would have more local contacts to figure stuff out. In that vein, all of a sudden nobody on 93.7 KDKA radio wanted to talk about Big Ben and GA, even though that was still the hot topic.

  14. JAL says:

    Song Tip Toe Through the Tulips New Christy Minstrels. A number 1 hit in 1929 by Nick Lucas in 1929 and number 17 by Tiny Tim in 1968 but this is a 1962 version done strictly for laughs.

    JAL’s Tip Toe Through the Tulips Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ_wkH4AUeM

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 MLB Important Dates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Thinking Outside the Box in Right Field

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/first-pitch-thinking-outside-the-box-in-right-field.html

    Does a Free Agent Make Sense For the Pirates in Right Field?

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/does-a-free-agent-make-sense-for-the-pirates-in-right-field.html

    AFL: Benedict and Thornton Shine In Relief

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/afl-benedict-and-thornton-shine-in-relief.html

    Alen Hanson Named to AFL Fall Stars Game

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/alen-hanson-named-to-afl-fall-stars-game.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Gerrit Cole on Baseball America’s All-Rookie Team

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/28/5038344/gerrit-cole-on-baseball-americas-all-rookie-team

    Is the Cardinals organization overrated?

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/10/28/5041046/is-the-cardinals-organization-overrated

    6 Rumbunter

    Looking Back on Another Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/10/28/looking-back-another-pittsburgh-pirates-prediction/

    7 Bleacher Report

    Updating the Latest Suitors for Top 25 MLB Free Agents

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1828110-updating-the-latest-suitors-for-top-25-mlb-free-agents

    8 The Green Weenie

    Stolmy Pimentel

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/10/stolmy-pimentel.html

    9 Baseball Nation

    World Series 2013: 10 more ridiculous ways to end a game

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/10/28/5037424/world-series-2013-obstruction-ending-pickoff

    10 Detroit News

    Will Tigers be latest team to hire first-time MLB manager?

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131028/SPORTS0104/310280072/Will-Tigers-latest-team-hire-first-time-MLB-manager-?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

  15. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Boston Globe

    Jon Lester shows again he’s one of the game’s best

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/10/29/jon-lester-and-red-sox-trumped-adam-wainwright-cardinals/uCKrfV4osHbcBZEGdMgcMP/story.html

    12 The Southern

    Peterson: Great year for Pirates, Cardinals

    http://thesouthern.com/sports/baseball/worldseries/peterson-great-year-for-pirates-cardinals/article_0940d900-4053-11e3-832d-001a4bcf887a.html

    13 New York Times

    Cardinals’ Roster Feels Two Players Short

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/sports/baseball/attempt-to-disrupt-hitter-led-to-game-ending-pickoff.html?_r=0

    14 NBC Sports

    Doomsayers be damned: Baseball is healthy and ratings are strong

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/28/doomsayers-be-damned-baseball-is-healthy-and-ratings-are-strong/

    15 Boston Herald

    David Ross, Jon Lester put Sox on brink of title

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/10/david_ross_jon_lester_put_sox_on_brink_of_title

    16 CBS Sports

    MLB plans to review obstruction rule

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24151338/mlb-plans-to-review-obstruction-rule-but-they-should-leave-it-as-is

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Strauss: Cards offense withering under Series glare

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/joe-strauss/strauss-cards-offense-withering-under-series-glare/article_51332e6a-254d-537c-bc69-f392dcc9af2c.html

    Bernie: Cards put themselves in a deep hole

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-cards-put-themselves-in-a-deep-hole/article_f95bcb19-f581-5a22-a02d-96703a9564e3.html

    18 Forbes

    Is St. Louis America’s Best Baseball Town? The Fans’ Wallets Say Boston.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2013/10/28/st-louis-americas-best-baseball-town-the-fans-wallets-say-boston/

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Sweetspot

    Quick thoughts: Lester outduels Wainwright

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/41912/quick-thoughts-lester-outduels-wainwright

    20 Fangraphs

    Jon Lester on the Edge Puts Red Sox on the Edge

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jon-lester-on-the-edge-puts-red-sox-on-the-edge/

  16. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    The margin of error was too great for the Steelers

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/28/5038376/the-margin-of-error-was-too-great-for-the-steelers

    Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was looking for a flag before timeout

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/28/5038540/steelers-timeout-oakland-week-8-nfl/in/4801619

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers T Marcus Gilbert And G David DeCastro Receive Top Offensive Grades For Play Against Raiders

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/10/steelers-marcus-gilbert-david-decastro-week-8-pff-grades/

    Soccer(football)

    23 San Jose Mercury News

    U.S. women’s soccer team beats New Zealand 4-1

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_24399883/u-s-womens-soccer-team-beats-new-zealand

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: the stories you need to read – October 28, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-october-28-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Rob Scuderi has a broken ankle

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/28/5040944/rob-scuderi-broken-ankle-injury-update-2013

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Great column as always, DK.

    Rare is the person who tells things about a career choice honestly. Please done get into this field unless you do this, are willing to pay the dues. Most people would give vague generalities, or try to sugarcoat things………….. you presented cold, hard facts (a tip of the cap to your reporting background ), and made sure you got your point across as to getting into the business for the right reasons. Kudos to you for also mentioning teachers/professors who helped you along the way.

    I for one appreciate your work……… I can see the background to your work. Doing that feature on the Olympics last year, your RiverHounds work……….. that just doesnt fall out of the sky.

    I am thankful for you doing what you do for us here.
    Continued success, sir.

  18. Milo Hamilton says:

    As an add on to Chris Harlan’s piece on the Dukes. I got a call out of the blue yesterday from a little birdie with Duquesne connections. He tells me Micah Mason will be cleared by the NCAA sometime this week. Interesting because I saw Micah Friday night & he seemed a little frustrated with the pace set forth by the NCAA.

  19. Jandy says:

    dc, sometimes ya just gotta quite beatin a dead horse. Or you smell like horse doo.

  20. Jandy says:

    What Planimal said. Tip o’ the cap to ya, Dejan.

  21. Jandy says:

    it would be high…right along with the upward plane…

  22. Jandy says:

    Good morning Don. Stick around…tell us a few stories, :)

  23. radio wave says:

    I have heard the term “homer broadcaster.” Are there homer writers?

  24. Joni says:

    It’s never too late to let your influential teachers know the role they played in your life. Often times we wonder, “whatever happened to so-and-so…?” I save all of the “thank you” notes and emails that are sent by previous students and post them on the wall near my desk. They are inspiration for me to keep on keepin on. Especially after a hard day. So go for it – let those previous teachers know that you still remember and appreciate them! I am off to do the same for one of my college professors :)

  25. theplanisworking says:

    Its downward plane, silly…………….. ;)

  26. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks for sharing, Dejan. Nice.

  27. Jandy says:

    Howdy Justice :)

  28. pattonbb says:

    I finally watched a World Series game last night. Mike Matheny should be fired if David Ortiz isn’t walked every single time he comes up in games 6 and 7 (yea, I said Red Sox in 7 last week, I’ll stick with that).

    I don’t care who’s on the mound, don’t pitch to Ortiz. He’s as “locked in” right now as anyone I’ve seen this year. Make somebody else beat you.

  29. Jandy says:

    Not in this case, it isn’t ;)

  30. Dom says:

    Great blog entry, DK.

  31. The Justice Avenger says:

    Hey there, Jandy. How goes it?

  32. Jandy says:

    it goes, Justice…hope all is well with you

  33. The Justice Avenger says:

    Indeed. All is good on this side of town. Thanks for asking.

  34. Kevin Hutchison says:

    We interview many college graduates who struggle at writing. They haven’t spent the time writing, rewriting, editing, and being edited required to develop good writing skills. You mentioned above an alternative to college. That is absolutely a valid path, but requires motivation and focus to make successful. Someone, at sometime is going to take a red pen to your work. In school, if you keep making the same mistake you get a bad grade. At work, if you keep making the same mistake you get a new job.

    Thank you for getting the “it is real work” message out there.

  35. Dan1283 says:

    This should be required reading for journalism students. And for those of you who think DK is being phony with this stuff or only doing this to trash bloggers, he gave me the exact same advice in an email over ten years ago when I was an aspiring sportswriter and it was in just as much detail. That’s something I’ll always be thankful for.

    I hope more young writers listen to this. Write like crazy, write about a whole lot more than sports, and don’t do it just for sports. I cannot believe the awful quality of the writing on a lot of the local blogs around here. I also can’t believe the snark and the know-it-all attitude that they carry. If these people think that blogging with poor writing skills is going to get then steadily employed somewhere, or help themselves build a portfolio, they are dead wrong. Go out and start doing real reporting for yourself, talk to people, don’t use a quote that someone else farmed out, and you will find yourself getting better.

    Really cool blog piece, DK. Thanks for putting the time into it.

    DK: Wow, nicely put, Dan. Though I have to ask: Who could possibly take offense at the idea of independent blogs needing to be independently financed? Doesn’t make sense.

  36. George Labecki says:

    Point well taken. I live in the Harrisburg area and read the Trib and Valley News Dispatch daily. When I first moved here, I had to have papers mailed to me. I also had one spot in the side yard where I could usually get KDKA so I could listen to the Pirates.

    As an added oddity, in March 1979, I was sitting at a friend’s house, playing backgammon, and looking at TMI’s cooling towers. My parents kept telling me how bad things were getting. Turned out that they knew more than those of us who were living here.

    It’s a much better world, at least as far as information is concerned.

  37. Jandy says:

    I was very happy with the game Jayson Megna played last night in Carolina. His first goal, lots of great, FAST skating, and a good, all-around game. The kid looked like he belonged.
    Also have to mention Tanner Glass. THIS is the Tanner Glass Dejan told us we would come to love. He gets it this season. And I like it :)
    Somebody, anybody, PLEASE do something to fix the Penguin’s PP. It is abysmal.

    Dejan, the Boston game Thursday doesn’t start until 8….why the late start, do you know?

  38. Jandy says:

    Hey, it’s good to see you, George :)

  39. DJ says:

    Hilarious! They could have used Steve Jobs back then for the “user interface.”

    As to your personal story, somehow I knew that concentrating on the journalistic aspect is the key. It comes through in your work, as with other excellent newspaper columnists. And like all professions, it never hurts to have a sense of humor to see you through tougher times. You’ve got that as well.

  40. Luiz Mello says:

    Great post, DK, and doubly appreciated by me as someone with a degree in the Communications field (not Journalism, though). Many thanks.

    Item [5] in your list, particularly, got me thinking. I do not argue with the point, but I wonder whether we may need to revisit this principle in the near future.

    With the shift and multiplication of ways information is produced and obtained, and also the need to figure out new business models, is it possible that knowledge-based journalism will become more of a necessity, in order to provide better context and critical analysis?

    [Mind you, I may not be talking about reporting anymore, and certainly not about sports writing, exclusively, but there we go.]

  41. DJ says:

    Loved Keidan’s playfulness and dry sense of humor.

  42. 21sthebest says:

    Not surprising. It took Jason Duty forever to get academic clearance when he decided late to play for Duquesne. And he had over a 4.0 at Vincentian.

  43. Nancy52 says:

    It’s the NBCSports Wednesday Rival game.

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    Pens need right handed shot on PP. Need some semblance of a threat from left side of ice. Along with that they need more movement, puck and player to o

  45. DJ says:

    I hope no one is thinking that by writing on this blog they are burnishing their credentials for a full-time job. If they do, they’d better heed DK’s advice.

    I do it solely as a pastime, simply enjoying the different perspectives and the give-and-take. Without being presumptuous, I think most others here fall into the same category.

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nice post, Dejan. Three things.

    1. Always amazes me when people speak of their success in a given profession, almost invariably they will mention the influence of a teacher. There is no substitute (pun intended) for passionate teachers at every level of education.

    2. That computer looks like a prop from 2001 A Space Odyssey. And that was state of the art, probably.

    3. Jorts were, are, and never will be, a good look.

  47. BillyBaduka says:

    Woops…..

    Open up lanes and need players in front of net to bang in rebounds to take advantage of the lanes created.

  48. Nancy52 says:

    Great stuff DK. As one who took a journalism class in high school as a means
    to the yearbook staff, it taught me I did not want to write. I’m in awe of those
    who know they want to write, learn the craft and do it well.

  49. George Labecki says:

    Thanks. I don’t write often, but when I do….

    Stay inquisitive, my friends.

  50. Tom P. says:

    I remember a college professor saying in the mid 1980′s when word processors were being introduced that he expected to see improvement in writing, not between the first and second drafts, but between the 4th and 5th drafts. Re-writing something is the hardest part, and it takes lots of practice.

    DK: I hate rewriting so much that I’ll usually eschew in favor of just scrapping initial draft. Did that Sunday in Oakland. Scrapped entire column that was open-letter format to Mike Tomlin. Totally different route with final game column. Clean start always better than polishing a turd.

  51. Jandy says:

    Agreed Billy…so SOMEBODY, get it done!

  52. Jandy says:

    ahhh…silly me…thanks Nancy! 8pm start is stupid…but what do I know?

  53. Dan1283 says:

    I have no idea why anyone would take offense to that, DK. Thin skin like that doesn’t belong in the business.

    I would add one piece of advice to young writers. Don’t try to learn how to write from reading columnists. That’s the wrong way to do it. Read (and write) hard news, beat reporters, and feature writing. I read the paper every day for like ten years before I arrived in college, and I was light years ahead in writing ability of anyone who in the same classroom as me who didn’t. It’s not everything, but things like inverted pyramid, quote placement, lede structure, it all immediately made sense to me and came naturally because that’s exactly what I had been reading for years without realizing it. Column writing comes after all of that. Just go pen a whole bunch of hard news stories, about pretty much anything you can write about, learn to write personal profiles, and go from there. And don’t stop. As Satchel Paige once said, “Something might be gaining on you.”

  54. Jandy says:

    “I do it solely as a pastime, simply enjoying the different perspectives and the give-and-take.”

    precisely!

  55. Jandy says:

    *****ATTENTION*****
    I see some new names here, and hope to reach out and pull in some new Lunatics!
    Welcome newbies and lurkers!
    We want to chat with you! If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)
    (and ignore Theplanisworking ~ we really don’t!) ;)

  56. Dan1283 says:

    Agreed. I never turned in a story until my editor had to rip it out of my hand, because I was constantly re-writing up until deadline. You want your work to be perfect, and you will never feel like it is. I always would read my pieces in print and wish I could have ten more minutes with them….but I would’ve wanted just ten more after that!

  57. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oshkosh, Wisconsin

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    To quote Mike Tomlin, “Obviously”.

  59. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the change-up article today, DK. I always thought the hardest part about being a sportswriter would be the potential fallout from articles like yours from yesterday, where you stated some cold, hard facts about the Steelers. We get to do that all the time as fans. But, we don’t have to go back for information from those same people a few days later. That can’t always be easy to do – even if every word of what you wrote was fair and accurate. I would think some sports figures just don’t like reading negative things about themselves in print, regardless of whether they are true or not. Did that part of the job come naturally to you, or do you learn to handle it over time?

    DK: That’s done over time. And it really isn’t that big a deal if you genuinely focus on the fact that you answer only to your editors and readers.

  60. Dom says:

    Great stuff Dan. Are you also a journalist or did you pursue a different line of work?

  61. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Joni. I came home yesterday and my wife handed me a very encouraging note from our 12 year old son’s teacher about how well he is doing in her English class and what a joy he is to teach. It made my day, and it wasn’t even about me. I know it will make him want to do even better in school. Both of my parents were teachers, and they always taught me how important encouragement is. I incorporate it into my job as often as possible.

  62. Jandy says:

    You two peckerheads

    :D

  63. Jim S. says:

    Good for him.

  64. Dan1283 says:

    I got out after college. I didn’t have the resources to “pay dues” for ten years while climbing the ladder, especially saddled with a ton of debt. I got into a rewarding career with State Farm and still miss writing tremendously every single day.

  65. Jandy says:

    Gotta give JAL some love this morning….Tip Toe thru the Tulips, Tiny Tim version, indeed LOL! Good stuff, JAL :)

  66. Jim S. says:

    Which means we out of towners get to watch it.

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oliver Luck is a leading candidate to become the new AD at Texas. One step ahead of the posse.

  68. DJ says:

    Even though the Canes lost last night we can take a page from their PP to improve our own.

    Less individual talent (I would argue more collectively last night), moved the puck swiftly without over-stickhandling (listening Letang?), seemed to know where each other would be at all times and both high slot and net front presences simultaneously. As a result, they created several very clean, excellent chances. Fleury just happened to stone them.

    I’ve always liked someone in the high slot because it creates a natural pick for D-men trying to get around that man, particularly with the tight boxes we see these days (Avs, Isles, Leafs). We miss Neal in that role. Even still, when he returns, would like to see him or Kunitz there consistently, not sporadically.

    For whatever reason, we seem to think that assigned roles on the PP are a bad thing given our offensive “talents.”

  69. Nancy52 says:

    They just “know” you have that early alarm!

  70. Jim S. says:

    Many thanks for today’s article, DK. I have a HS-aged daughter, who says this is what she wants to do with her life. I think she is getting the right background at this point, both writing and being in front of the camera. But, I keep reminding her that it is not an easy road. I will print your article and present it to her tonight. It is nice to know, though, that hard work and determination like yours does get rewarded if you keep your focus on your dream.

  71. Will says:

    Your advice seems to be very sound for one wanting to pursue a path in print journalism, but I am not sure it holds up in the digital age. In an era of specialized content, having passion for and special knowledge in a topic is very valuable. In the past, being a generalist was more important for a broad news outlet needing to cover a variety of topics, but now, many of the distribution channels are very specific. That’s why bloggers seem to be a key recruiting ground for the mainstream. More than just amusement, blogs are a living resume that demonstrate an ability to be both thoughtful and prolific. If well written, a blog is every bit as impressive to a digital content provider as a folder full of clippings was to an ink-stained editor.

    Advice is always best given from experience, but sometimes we have to be careful about portraying it as universal. What worked for you, may not be right for others. Sharing your experience will undoubtedly be helpful to others who share your outlook, but I hope it doesn’t discourage others who are of a different mindset.

    DK: Your definitions of ‘print journalism’ and ‘the digital age’ are laughable in terms of being portrayed as mutually exclusive. The overwhelming, dominant, unchallenged sources of news/analysis on the Internet are news sites. And the figures are growing in that regard.

    Your thinking is terribly outdated and based on stereotypes rather than real data.

  72. Jim S. says:

    Isn’t it nice that Ollie gets to put his university in a world of hurt, conference-wise, that they may never recover from, and then he gets to just ride off into the sunset while they scramble to figure out if they need to grab one of the last seats in another conference before the music stops? I feel like he has totally screwed WVU for the future. They are a total mis-match in every way for their conference.

  73. Dan1283 says:

    The guy who hired Dana Holgerson is in line for a promotion? OK, Texas.

  74. Jandy says:

    lol…they prolly do! ;)

  75. Jandy says:

    well, at least that’s a good thing :)

  76. Stuart says:

    Yes, and isn’t it sad that some papers in responding to the challenges of the internet REDUCED their circulation area of the print product; like the PG.

    Stuart

  77. Jandy says:

    I was actually saying to sit the “talents” and put the third and fourth liners on the PP last night. My poor hubby just shakes his head at me.
    But seriously, with all the “talent” the Pens have, our PP sucks. So try something different!
    I will say, a guy in front wreaks havoc. But he also takes abuse. Gotta be someone who can take it. Plant him there, and just shoot!

  78. Dom says:

    I have no experience but in addition to what you mention, I’d assume Journalism would be a highly competitive field. I can think of multiple individuals on the top of my head who were journalism majors in college and none of them are still working in that field. Although we all have dreams we want to accomplish, we also have to make a living. It seems like nowadays fewer individuals are able to do both.

  79. Now that, is a bold reaming to the nth degree.

  80. Jim S. says:

    I wonder if being the father of Andrew Luck actually helps the career of Ollie Luck at this point. Andrew appears to be universally respected at a young age, and maybe that reflects a bit on his upbringing to some people. It probably doesn’t hurt you when your son is so highly regarded. Generally, it is the other way around with parents helping their children in their careers.

  81. Jim S. says:

    I missed the part where DK said his advice was universal and that his way was the only way.

    DK: Me, too.

  82. Dan1283 says:

    Blogging doesn’t teach anyone to write the way that the big sites want you to know how to write (AP Style, structure, etc), it doesn’t teach someone how to go through an editorial process or say more with less, and it doesn’t teach anyone how to do any reporting. I see blogs all the time do “Interview with…” and all they do is print the e-mail transcript. If they think that’s building a portfolio, or learning how to report, they are in for a rude awakening.

    I do have to say that I respect the way Tim Williams has run his blog, but he had a background as a reporter and that’s why it worked. He started the site, got himself credentialed as a media member with the Pirates and their affiliates, and went to work talking to actual players and coaches and self-publishing actual stories, even if they didn’t go through an editor.

  83. Will says:

    Your response to mine above seems overly defensive, especially because you are the one portraying print and digital as mutually exclusive. Obviously, the two co-exist, but you’re kidding to yourself if you don’t think digital is now the master of print (the trend in ad dollars demands that it be). I get why those in your position cling to nostalgia, but those seeking a an entry into the profession now are better off taking a more practical approach for the changing dynamics.

    There are so many examples of people who have taken different paths to reach your destination. The same can be said about most people in most professions. It’s rather myopic to present a road map as exclusive, especially when the terrain is changing rapidly. I assume yours is a defensive position, and I understand it completely, but hopefully those seeking entry into the industry are not mislead by your universal “truths”.

    DK: There’s a difference between discussing platforms and content, or content providers. Your equating ‘digital’ with blogging. I’m saying that print IS digital. It’s where a huge chunk of our efforts are focused and where we’re already dominant, anyway.

    I’m talking — as with the entry above — about becoming a paid sports writer. And I’m describing the most realistic route to becoming that.

    If you have examples of people becoming paid sports writers by just knowing a whole lot of sports and sharing it with the world, by all means list them.

  84. Dom says:

    I was questioning that too. I was questioning that too. I saw DK said the exact opposite in reply to the second post in this thread.

  85. DJ says:

    Yes, that player subjects himself to abuse, but this is hockey and the dirty goals are what’s lacking, right?

    The funny thing on their PP was that Gerbe, in the high slot, seemed to be relatively untouched by us inside our defensive box.

    As a side note, and to your point about abuse, I happened to watch the post-game Inside Pens Hockey about a week ago. The by-play between Neal and Malkin during practice was amusing but also enlightening. Malkin kept wanting “Lazy” (Malkin’s nickname for Neal) to go to the front of the net and Neal kept resisting, saying Malkin should go there. I kept thinking that I saw a lot of apparent player reluctance last spring.

  86. JAL says:

    Thanks Jandy :)

  87. Will says:

    See this part, for example:

    “The passion has to be for journalism, for reporting and writing and editing and taking pics and page-designing or whatever your specialty.

    “There are exactly zero exceptions to this.”

  88. Patrick(RI) says:

    DK: As an old college prof, I have to challenge your claim there was nothing left to entice you to stick it out at Duquesne. Consider this: you might have developed better taste in music? Just kidding, of course . . .

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    I did some journalistic investigation and discovered that the NBA starts tonight.

    I’ll go with the Pacers and Clippers in the finals with Indiana winning it all.

    I’m a partial season ticket holder with the Milwaukee Bucks. They have 11 new players on their 15 man roster and a new coach. I’m not sure I have ever seen a non-expansion professional sports franchise start a season with over 2/3 of its roster new. They will be lucky to win 25 games. I have a feeling my daughter and I will be moving down to closer sections a lot this year.

  90. DJ says:

    Well, your response to DK’s seems overly defensive to what appears to be legitimate criticism of your own views.

  91. Jim S. says:

    Anybody have an updated thought on where this World Series will end up now? It has not always been pretty, with errors and miscues helping decide several of the games. But, for my money, I think it has been pretty compelling. The last 4 games have all been nail-biters.

    America seems to be tuned in pretty well. I read that Sunday evening’s game got higher ratings than the Pack vs. Vikings. That has not been happening of late for the World Series. Usually, America has tuned its attention to the NFL by now.

    I’m going to say Wacha beats Boston tomorrow again to force a Game 7.

  92. Bob W. says:

    People wonder how a sportswriter or sportscaster can transition to news, as sometimes happens, and be taken seriously. You’ve just explained it.

  93. Jandy says:

    indeed!

  94. Jandy says:

    DJ, agreed on the dirty goals. Taking abuse in front of the net is something we don’t have too many guys willing to do.

    I saw that same Pens show and was laughing at those two. Maybe they should BOTH take some turns in front of the net…but then…they’d both end up in the penalty box for retaliation!

  95. Dom says:

    I don’t understand, Will. How would have a passion for journalism, report, writing, editing, ect NOT be a essential trait for journalism success in the digital age?

  96. Will says:

    Blogging is such a general term. Some are well written; others are a stream consciousness. Some are affiliated with mainstream outlets; others are independent. The point I was trying to make is one can build their resume by writing for a non-traditional platform (i.e., a blog that doesn’t use the typical print process). For some reason, those who started out in print media find this offensive, as if it somehow demeans the path they’ve taken. There are so many examples of journalists who got their start as independent blogging that it’s naive to refer to the pursuit as mere “amusement” that is necessarily secondary to small assignment journalism. When I read ” the greatest blog stuff in the world won’t mean a whit to an editor”, it strikes me as someone who is either out of touch or overly defensive.

  97. Patrick(RI) says:

    It may just be greater coverage, or nostalgia based in erroneous assumptions of greatness, but it seems to me that professional athletics have declined, in terms of quality of play. Brady struggles, the Steelers stink, games are decided on foolish mistakes, like the games in this W. Series. And then, there is Ortiz, Lester and Wacha to the contrary. I agree with you, it is worth sitting through a lousy game, to watch individual excellence.

  98. Will says:

    Rob Neyer
    Grant Brisbee
    Jay Jaffe
    Cliff Corcoran
    Bill Simmons
    Dave Cameron

    Those are some prominent names off the top of my head.

    Also, where exactly did I equate digital with blogging? In my first response, I cited blogging as an example of the digital paradigm, not the definition of it. This, after all, is a blog. As destinations like this become more popular, editors at mainstream outlets are increasingly looking to people with a different kind of experience to fill them.

    Maybe you’re right? The traditional path to a writing career might still be old fashioned journalism. Then again, maybe it isn’t? Combining knowledge with an ability to write and sharing it with the world could be the best means of access. Any prospective writer should keep an open mind to both routes.

  99. Joni says:

    I forgot to mention the thank you’s from parents – they also make my day :)

  100. Karen22 says:

    What great advice on following your passion!

  101. Will says:

    Because all writing is not about “journalism”. In fact, I would argue that paid positions at all outlets on all platforms in the media industry are less and less about traditional journalism and more and more about being provocative. That’s why the “digital age” is relevant. Ad dollars are now based on clicks, not circulation, so better packaged stories are often much more valuable than the original reporting upon which they are based.

  102. Karen22 says:

    Lots of drama (some with controversy) throughout the post-season and now into the World Series. That’s all I hope for when I have no real vested interest in either team. It’s all been very entertaining, so a seventh game would be perfect!

  103. SeanAY says:

    There’s no way you can equate what Bill Simmons does with any sort of journalism.

  104. NMR says:

    You know more about journalism than I do, but I agree with your distinction of Williams site.

    Can’t say I particularly like him, and certainly not sure why he allows some of the less professional contributors drag down his product, but still give him a ton of credit. Creative, entrepeneurial, dedicated.

    As a reader, the Trib would be lucky to have him writing for them.

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    Amen.

  106. JohninOshkosh says:

    Magic Johnson agrees.

  107. theplanisworking says:

    I do believe the hospital thanks you for biting people………. ;)

  108. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, Jandy ;-)

  109. Bizrow says:

    Its good to see that all the lunatics survived a pretty nasty weekend. ;-)

    How many days till Spring Training??

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Biz, thanks for adding Tony Dorsett to your list.

    Have you had your retirement watch fitted yet ? :)

  111. theplanisworking says:

    It could be worse.
    You could be a Sixers fan.
    Some “experts” have them challenging the 72-73 team for wins. Not pretty.

    And, as an added bonus, if New Orleans gets the 6th pick or better, Philly’s trade, and tank job will blow up in their faces. They have to pray New Orleans gets the 7th pick or worse.

  112. Dan1283 says:

    What do you think generated more clicks for the Harrisburg Patriot-News – every provocative column the paper published combined in the last two years, or the traditional journalism that went into Sara Ganim’s stories on the Sandusky scandal?

    “Real Journalism” is still the source of the most-read, most-clicked stories.

  113. Bizrow says:

    Did Roger post that its national cat day??

    http://now.msn.com/national-cat-day-is-here-so-celebrate-with-this-photo-gallery

    Personally, I’m a dog person

  114. theplanisworking says:

    153.

  115. Bizrow says:

    Thanks John,

    I don’t think you need watches when you retire ;-)

    Two more days, then I turn into a pumpkin

  116. 21sthebest says:

    Totally agree that it has been compelling even though the games have had a sloppy component.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why does this jabrone have that kind of stroke that he can get Magic Johnson fired ? Don’t get, never will get the Bill Simmons push.

  118. Biz, I wish you all the best in your retirement.

    Maybe some day, I’ll join you and I’ll be able to go back into full-time ministry.

    :D

  119. JohninOshkosh says:

    Train wreck in Philly for both tenants of the Wells Fargo Center.

    Always kinda liked the Sixers. I liked Dr J ever since he starred in
    “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh.”

  120. Dom says:

    You seem to be talking about a different profession than what DK is. You’re talking about becoming a professional writer in the 21st century and DK is talking about a professional sports writer for a major newspaper. I don’t work in that field but it seems hard to imagine someone could obtain such a position without having the characteristics that you quote from DK’s blog entry.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Please DON’T add Joe Montana.

  122. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

    Its also National Oatmeal day.
    And National Hermit day.

    :)

  123. Bizrow says:

    No worry with that.

  124. Bizrow says:

    Thank you Lucky

    I’m betting some day you will ;-)

  125. Patrick(RI) says:

    Join the crowd. It is not so bad. There is always the possibility of becoming a “Great Pumpkin!”

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-D

  127. Jim S. says:

    How about the Bulls, Osh? I am not a big NBA fan, but optimism is high here. Rose seems to be better than before the injury.

  128. I’ll take 100 fake units on that.

    ;)

  129. Jim S. says:

    :-) Well said, Patrick.

  130. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Karen and 21.

  131. Jim S. says:

    Enjoy the next chapters, Biz!

  132. Jim S. says:

    Ok, the hermits have a day now? Even if they have to share it with oatmeal, it’s just too much. :-)

  133. Jim S. says:

    So, you’re the guy that denied my claim, Dan. I’m telling you that roof has hail damage! :-)

  134. JohninOshkosh says:

    No, I think the Bulls will be right there, Jim. Rose is a phenomenal talent. And, not to stroke Groat’s ego too much, I think Deng is the key. I like Hinrich a lot. He grew up in the same small Iowa town that my aunt is from. Still impressed he, and Kansas, pushed that great Anthony led Syracuse team in the ’03 finals. If they stay healthy, they are a good shot. I think Miami is aging and has some depth problems. I think the Pacers play better as a team overall, though.

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Rose had someone else do his physical therapy? :)

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    And how are hermits supposed to know this? Defeats the purpose of being a hermit, I would think.

  136. CWalton_67 says:

    +1

  137. theplanisworking says:

    Well, when YOU deliver a hermit his oatmeal, you can tell him. ;)

  138. theplanisworking says:

    And their cat too. ;)

  139. CWalton_67 says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Dejan. I read your pieces because of your ability to capture and hold my attention with your prose, not for your sports expertise, and as a lifelong voluminous reader, that is the highest praise I have to offer. I understand that you think of yourself as a journalist–I think of you as a writer, and hope that someday, you will reconsider your current stance and write a book.

    On another subject, Jayson Megna looked pretty Dan good on the ice last night.

  140. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey, there’s Dejan right over Stan’s shoulder. Playing with that stupid phone. :)

  141. Dom says:

    Journalism seems to be one of many fields in today’s world that seems very difficult to obtain a career in. As I touched on earlier, I know of multiple individuals who choose this as a major and none of them are working in this field. The same is true in the law fields, as well as teaching, numerous positions in the medical field, etc. I wonder if this is due to the high amount of kids who went to college. Was this an issue 20 years ago?

  142. Jandy says:

    LOL! Brat!

  143. Jandy says:

    You got it, Biz…2 days and counting!!!!!!

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    From what I read Tim say sometime last year, his experience really supports one of the main things DK has said, which is don’t get into it because you like sports or writing about sports. Tim basically said he is not a fan of professional baseball (I think largely because of the economic disparities), and his dislike predated him starting his online blog.

    And I’m surprised no one has brought up Kristy yet. :-)

  145. Jandy says:

    I’ll see your 100 fake units and raise you another 100!

  146. Jandy says:

    Don’t just enjoy them, take part in “writing” them.
    :D

  147. Jandy says:

    hey now! >:<

  148. Jandy says:

    As long as his cat doesn’t attack you ;)

  149. Jandy says:

    +many on both subjects!

  150. Jim S. says:

    High five!

  151. Jim S. says:

    Haha! Could be.

  152. Jim S. says:

    Good advice, Jandy!

  153. Jim S. says:

    These hermits have a good PR machine going.

  154. likeabugonarug says:

    Sounds familiar. Now where have I heard that before? Oh yea, last season’s playoffs during the sweep by the Bruins…..

    Some day maybe…….

    Kevin

  155. tpbco says:

    JMO, but:

    It appears to me that a issue today is that low information readers (some of which actually are trying to find information) are having trouble telling the difference between bloggers, reporters and columnists. Too many reporters are losing their objectivity to try make a hit or compete and way too many bloggers have delusions of self importance, have no objectivity at all and try to pass it off as if they do. All of this, from my perspective makes it even more difficult for the true columnists.

    And the main reason I am hanging here more and more.

    DK: I find that readers mostly don’t know the distinction between beat writer and columnist. I almost never hear people confusing non-paid and paid media. That’s rare.

  156. NMR says:

    Apparently “less professional contributors” was too kind of me. :)

  157. Jim S. says:

    This dovetails, somewhat, with what you are saying, Dom. I read recently that we have now entered a period in our country where we may actually have too many young people aspiring to have a college education, and it is not good for our future. Kids have been taught for so long that labor-intensive, technical jobs are “beneath” them and that the only path to future financial security is with a college education.

    With not enough young people aspiring to be technicians, repairmen, skilled craftsmen, machine operators, etc. those who do choose those fields, develop their skills and work hard often find lucrative pay in certain industries.

    Not trying to make a societal value statement, one way or the other. Just pointing out something I read that I found interesting.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    I missed that. ;-) You’re right.

    But she’s so much fun!

  159. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  160. 21sthebest says:

    Respectfully tp, I don’t agree with this at all and maybe I don’t understand your point, except that although I would imagine there are reporters that lack objectivity, I’m not sure how we’re supposed to know who they are unless we catch them being hypocritical. And I wouldn’t limit delusions of self importance to just bloggers.

    I believe that whatever your profession is, specifically being a columnist in this case, just do a good job. The cream rises to the top, IMO. If you’re a “true” columnist, you’ll be fine regardless of the outside factors you can’t control.

  161. Jandy says:

    I was wondering how long it would take…

    :)

  162. 21sthebest says:

    For?

  163. NatsLady says:

    Almost every sports blog entry I read–from “professionals”–needs serious proofreading. As a reader, it slows you down when you have to go back and figure out what “Farell let Farell bat for himself” means, or “not” instead of “now,” etc. Until bloggers submit their work to editors and proofreaders, it’s not journalism.

  164. Tom P. says:

    Good luck, Biz. May you have the time and good health to do some things that you haven’t been able to do yet.

  165. Dom says:

    Exactly! A number of those professions you note in the second paragraph are now very well high paying jobs. No shame whatsoever in working in those fields.

    However, they never appealed to me and I wonder if the reason why was because I was conditioned that they were not worth striving for.

  166. Jandy says:

    For you to be agreeably disagreeable ;)

  167. Dan1283 says:

    Those hammer dents say otherwise!

  168. Dan1283 says:

    Which player is she going on a date with tonight?

  169. Jandy says:

    he should run…away…really fast!

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    It seems even in traditional news stories there are more “typo’s” than in the past. Some of that, at least, is the use of computerized spellcheckers. The word may be properly spelled in one context, but not in the context it is used.

    One question, though, is, with the need for beat writers to submit a story right after the game, is that run through an editor before posted? I kind of doubt it, but not sure.

    DK: Every syllable that’s in print goes past at least one editor. Stories like that get moved quickly.

  171. Jandy says:

    Our local television had some points on the screen, with each line spelled out.
    Done was spelled don.
    They must have jandy typo disease there too…

  172. buggee says:

    Thanks for that DK.

    I’m a paid scribbler (with a couple titles some would recognize), and have been plying my craft for over 30 years now–hard to believe that I’m still alive doing this. DK’s skill at reporting is immediately evident, yet from my perspective–miniscule as it may be–it’s the skill he applies in the actual wordsmithing and crafting that caused me to take notice of the work.

    And it IS work. DK, if you’re anything like the rest of us hacks, virtually every piece that is released comes with a sense of ownership, pride. The cost has been countless backspaces, deletions, changes, editor battles, and the mere pouring out of the heart and soul into the work.

    If you’re paid to write it and people read it and it evokes controversy, you have my respect because I truly know how difficult this craft really is.

    Etch it (and don’t forget proper spelling of Scud’s name)!

  173. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Will….clicks or no clicks, we will always know crap when we are reading it….you may get one click for being provocative…but you will never get another click if you suck.

  174. Jandy says:

    buggeeeeeee!!!!!!

  175. buggee says:

    hiya Jandylicious! What’s shakin’?

  176. Jandy says:

    Well, buggee, that’s a loaded question…
    Plan would say his rear end…
    but I’m seated at my desk so I won’t say that ;)
    It’s a good day, tho, so no complaints :)

  177. Kevin Quartz says:

    Great article DK. I work in marketing and I can say without a doubt local newspapers are being read by more people than ever before…they are just being consumed in different formats.

    I haven’t lived in Western Pa since 1997, but reading the Trib online always keeps me connected to my hometown. I believe many displaced Pittsburghers use Triblive to feel that connection on a daily basis.

  178. Bizrow says:

    A lot of us write for a living, or partially, not just in the newspapers though.

    For part of my life, one of my jobs has been investigating why bad events have happened at the plant.

    There are different levels of “investigations’, but the most thorough ones I’ve had to do can be 20-30 pages long.

    The good thing is though, unlike the media, I have 2-3 weeks to come up with an answer, the bad part is, once its done, its reviewed by a management team and then also most likely reviewed afterwards by industry people who’s main job is to criticize. You gotta give enough info to tell the story, but not too much or the reviewers will go off on some tangent.

    Sometimes, I wish I could just say in the report, “I have no idea what the fellow was thinking or why he did something he should have known not to do”, but that would not fly so well ;-)

    Writing is not an easy job to do, no matter what the topic is. This is relevant to me today as I am finishing up my last one ;-)

    Years ago, the first time I read Dejan, I knew he had that magic in him. Actually, I was worried that some bigger city would scoop him up. He told me that would never happen.

    Just sayin.

  179. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I never had a teacher that actually inspired me. Probably the student, more than the teachers’ fault.

    My dad is a retired elementary school principal. He always said he liked the kids, couldn’t stand the parents.

    You plant cabbage, you get cabbage type of thing.

  180. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Absolutely right. I thought the same thing when I read this.

    Funny how when you’re younger, you think you’re going to make the most money at those ages, but realize, most people with any form of success, doesn’t happen until later on in their working years, depending on their occupation.

    I keep trying to instill that philosphy into my oldest son. He’s in 9th grade, has no clue what he wants to do yet. Which is OK of course, but he needs to realize that he’s not going to graduate high school and start making decent money. He won’t even do that when he graduates college.

    Perspective

  181. Jandy says:

    ahhh Biz, you are just rubbing it in that you only have 2 days left ;)

    I have to write too. Just had an engineer ask me how I came up with a price tag for an add for additional labor-intense flooring. Like you said, have to say enough, but not too much…don’t want to open that proverbial “can of worms” now do we?

  182. Bizrow says:

    And there is nothing worse than sitting in the meeting where your work is getting reviewed and having them ask you some question that you never thought looking at.

    Or you are thinking, what the heck does that question have to do with this event???

    The only thing I can imagine worse than that is getting skewered like Dejan does sometime here ;-)

  183. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I cut and paste all my points on this blog to add to my resume’.

    One day……….on day, this will be all mine

    (This post excluded from the cutting and pasting)

  184. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nice…..

  185. Jandy says:

    he handles it so well, though.

  186. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    BOOM!!!

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks, DK. Interesting stuff!

  188. Bizrow says:

    Humbly recommend as post du jour +++++++++

  189. Jim S. says:

    ++.

    For me, I think it was because I didn’t have the aptitude for them. I’m not very mechanically inclined.

  190. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Sacramento Kings!!!!

    Just kidding, they’re still lucky to be in Sac, if one wants to call that luck.

  191. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’m still thinking Boston in 7.

    Papi gets the MVP.

    Wacha gets to them tomorrow though in game 6.

  192. Jim S. says:

    Or Jim.

  193. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Whhhaaaaattt??

    Why not?

  194. Jandy says:

    Yeah! That’s what I wanna know >:<

  195. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    But the flip side to that Biz, is sitting in a room with people that think they are smarter than you and THEY get asked the questions, don’t know the answers, and look to you for them.

    Ahhh, life as a LT in the AF.

  196. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    So, I’m thinking about cancelling the NFL Sunday Ticket.

    Why would I want to pay extra money to watch the Steelers play? Seriously, they aren’t worth it.

  197. Jandy says:

    I should argue that you should be a true fan and suck it up, but I’m not watching them either, so I won’t.

  198. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Yea I get that, especially considering I stuck with the Pirates for so long with the Extra Innings package, but I dont think the product matches the price for the Ticket.

    Maybe I’ll change it to Center Ice and watch the Penguins.

  199. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And to the true fan reference, I was the one wearing my Steeler stuff around Northern California after they lost to the Raiders….

  200. Jandy says:

    Sounds like a plan….

  201. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    There’s a road or a bridge or something like that named after him over near Jefferson Hills..

  202. Jandy says:

    ha! I was the one wearing my Penguins gear when our “best” player was Rico Fata ;)

  203. Jim S. says:

    Funny that you mention that, Nor Cal. I ordered MLB Extra Innings last year to capitalize on what I thought was going to be a great year for the Bucs. Perfect timing.

    I simultaneously canceled NFL Sunday Ticket, for the opposite reason as it relates to the Steelers. Or, at least I thought I did. My wife pays the bills, so I didn’t notice we were being charged for it until last week. I watched the game vs. Oakland, then called Monday. Fortunately, they had it in my file that I had called previously to cancel it, so I am getting a refund for this year. From what I understand, though, DirecTV doesn’t allow cancellations in the middle of the season.

  204. Dom says:

    I read that the steelers are trying out different punters today.

  205. Arriba Wilver says:

    Couldn’t be true, Dom. Why would they do that?

  206. Jim S. says:

    I thought that was you. Or, maybe Dejan’s cousin. :-)

  207. Jim S. says:

    Maybe we’ll find another one who got cut from the varsity.

  208. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely! People still read the local paper. Just not as many of them pick it up at the end of their driveways these days.

  209. theplanisworking says:

    You rang? ;)

  210. Milo Hamilton says:

    Joe Montana Stadium at Ringgold High School.

  211. toochca says:

    I cancelled mine LAST YEAR!!

  212. Jandy says:

    hey, hey, it’s Hipposter in the purple reality :)

  213. Jandy says:

    *****ATTENTION*****
    I see some new names here, and hope to reach out and pull in some new Lunatics!
    Welcome newbies and lurkers!
    We want to chat with you! If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)
    (and ignore Theplanisworking ~ we really don’t!) ;)

  214. Jim S. says:

    By “hail” I really meant it was raining hammers that night.

  215. theplanisworking says:

    I was the one sitting in the Arena with 3,000 people before Mario arrived. When you could walk up to the ticket window right at game time, and still get the best seats in the house. Or, do the balcony seats for $3, then move down after the first period.

  216. Jim S. says:

    You truly nipped it in the bud, toocha.

  217. Dom says:

    Beats me. I thought he was playing well. Why else have the Buccos been making the Zoltan “Z” with their hands if it wasn’t to pay homage to him?

  218. Kris says:

    I think you make a good point – whichever route you take, learning to take criticism (in the form of a red pen in this case) is a skill you absolutely must develop. It is often not at all fun, but if you can’t handle critique you’re not going to get very far.

    My question for journalists is more of a moral dilemma – how do you balance writing a good story with the business aspect of needing something that sells? It feels like there’s a tendency (in general) towards making stuff as sensational as possible at the expense of accuracy, and that’s always tended to put me off journalism even though generally I quite enjoy writing. I feel like having to sacrifice accuracy all the time would just bug me on a personal level to the point where I couldn’t be happy doing the job.

    DK: There’s no dilemma. Good stories sell.

  219. theplanisworking says:

    ???

  220. theplanisworking says:

    My 10 year old cousin got a call from Colbert today. Has to be a coincidence………

  221. Jim S. says:

    That’s almost like the stories my older brother told me about the old Pittsburgh Condors, plan. He said just being on the 9th grade JV team in HS got you a season pass.

    Then, he’d tell me about John Brisker and Connie Hawkins.

  222. Jim S. says:

    Has to be.

  223. theplanisworking says:

    I brought friends from the NYC area in town years ago. We went to a Pens game, because they liked the Devils, who just happened to be the opponent that night. They thought we had to pre-order tickets. When I took them down to the Arena box office, and got their choice of seats at game time, they were floored. Crowd that night……… 5,800……. the 3rd largest of the season.

    Think about that. Thats why when anyone asks me the greatest person in Pittsburgh history, I alsways answer LeMieux……… saved the Penguins 3 times from leaving town.

  224. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. Boston in 7.

  225. Jim S. says:

    So true. No doubt. He is richly deserving of that statue.

    By the way, I bet tickets for the Devils might not be so tough to get these days … except for when teams like the Pens are in town.

  226. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, because the Devils went to the only place in Jersey worse then the Meadowlands…….. beautiful downtown Newark…….

  227. Jandy says:

    LOL Hipposter. My girlfriend and a group of local people would get a bus to go. Cost us $25 – $35 a person, included seats and the trip. We did the same, took our seats in C Section, then moved down. No one ever questioned you.
    Fun part was getting loopy on jello shots on the way out…still remember one time, I was so loopy I have no recollection of walking into the Arena. They told me I tripped “up” the steps inside lol.
    Those were the days ;)

  228. Jandy says:

    I was referring to your video, silly Hippo :P

  229. theplanisworking says:

    OH!!!
    Gotcha.

    As usual, you had me confused.
    Oh, and thanks for the shououts earlier, especially the one where you referenced my shakin’ rear end.

    ;)

  230. Jandy says:

    LOL, well, I was only repeating something you had said earlier…silly Hippo!

  231. theplanisworking says:

    Obviously these were the days before you entered the convent, eh? ;)

  232. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  233. Jandy says:

    LOL! Sowing my wild oats I guess ;)

  234. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Kevin! I’ll make sure Biz has it listed, Welcome to the Asylum :)

  235. Jandy says:

    Biz, you out there?

  236. Jim S. says:

    It’s a good day for that. I heard it was National Oatmeal Day.

  237. theplanisworking says:

    ^^^^ Post of the day! :)

  238. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just got an alert for Steelers roster moves coming after 4:00. Is this the end of Zoltan ?

  239. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  240. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mesko cut. Mat McBriar signed. We should all pitch in and buy him another “t”.

  241. Dom says:

    He is from Australia.

  242. Jim S. says:

    Remember when we used to be one of those teams that was able to fill positions like punter for a whole season with the same guy? Ahh … those were the days.

  243. Jim S. says:

    I think he started taking the afternoon naps already. :-)

    Maybe he’s on “Biz time” now.

  244. Jim S. says:

    Looks like your cousin got beaten out by some Aussie, plan. Outsourcing.

  245. Milo Hamilton says:

    The trading deadline passes quietly in the western sky & the Steelers change punters. Leaving no stone unturned.

  246. Milo Hamilton says:

    Memories, light the corners of my mind. Misty water colored memories, of the way we were.

  247. Milo Hamilton says:

    Obviously.

  248. Dom says:

    Some thought that the Pats would make an offer for Sanders.

  249. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking more Edith and Archie, but either works. :-)

  250. Arriba Wilver says:

    They must have been watching him play and decided otherwise.

  251. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  252. Bizrow says:

    I completely understand

    Now, and here’s a novel concept, we could all get together and fix things??

    Just sayin

  253. toochca says:

    It mostly had to do with me being out of the country from mid-October to mid-December.

  254. Bizrow says:

    One could see that happening

    But hey, that fixes everything

  255. Bizrow says:

    Another post du jour recommendation.

    Hey, we could have two?

  256. tpbco says:

    Kinda between a rock and a hard place due to the salary cap…so re-arranging the deck chairs is about all that could happen.

    Still trying to figure out who is going to win the injury battle between the Pens and Steelers. Just flipping incredible.

    I guess the good news is the early injuries put the Steelers out of their misery early and assuming they stop, don’t impact the Pens season that much. Likely won’t see Scuds until New Years – at least he won’t be worn down by April.

  257. Wild Bill says:

    After last weekends games my wife took all the sharp objects out of the house. The Pens were a godsend last night.

    Think they might be a little jazzed up to play the Bruins???

  258. tpbco says:

    They likely will be….but given the roster they will be putting on the ice….

  259. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was actually kinda hoping they’d start dumping people.

  260. theplanisworking says:

    I tried to DVR Tomlin’s Presses today.
    I got the world Poker Tour instead on Root.

    Did anyone see it?
    And did Coach Cliche pass the buck or give any give any memorable quotes?
    Or ignore any media members?

  261. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pirates shut out on Gold Glove Awards. Carlos Gonzalez – LF. Carlos Gomez – CF. Yadier Molina – C.

  262. Bob says:

    What an excellent piece! I am originally from Connellsville and circumstances brought me to Maryland just before high school. Caught on with the local paper doing weekly rec roundups and worked my way to high school sports editor. Only took 18 years! But, pleased to finally be doing it full time. Been fortunate to also cover some college and professional events, but still get a kick out of a local high school team winning a state title. I always try to remember that I am not the important one and people are reading my stories, not because I wrote them, but because of those involved.

    Still connected to Pittsburgh, and I always enjoy reading your work.

  263. Jason Noling says:

    It truly is all about passion. No one will stick around the for the second sentence if they don’t believe what it is you’re saying. One thing that I took away from this will most likely stick with me forever. It’s not about knowing sports, its about the reporting on them, the content.

 
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