May 30, 2007 — Today was ‘Exhibit A’ in my case touting the Boston Herald’s sports section over the Globe’s.
I’ll admit the Globe’s staff is stacked with some of the best journalists around and it would be fruitless to argue they weren’t better writers than the Herald’s group. But, I don’t think they’re better reporters.
What I mean is they lack the vigorous tenacity in which the Herald staffers go about their reporting, namely with a much more in-depth perspective and with far less catering (does anyone remember Dan Shaughnessy’s completely one-sided account of the Lucchino-Epstein talks?).
Let’s take a look at each newspaper’s Sports Section May 30, 2007.
First off, this is right after the tragic death of Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill. This is obviously the biggest story out. It’s what everyone is talking about at the water coolers, on the T and in coffee shops. It’s one of those events that when you find out, you immediately phone your go-to sports-talk person (whether this is your Dad, best friend, co-worker or whoever).
The Herald, always ready to play up any humanistic angle it can, ran a front page story by John Tomase (underrated, by the way) telling the heartbreaking love story of Hill and his fiancée.
There was also a sidebar detailing Hill’s activities back in high school, thanks to a telling interview with Hill’s former principal, not to mention a column by the respected Joe Fitzgerald.
But wait, there’s more. In the sports section, Karen Guregian has a story talking to a tearful and “grief-stricken” Jarvis Green, Hill’s teammate on the Patriots and LSU and a fellow Louisiana native.
All the stories were moving. I didn’t know much about Marquise Hill before, except that he was a little used DE and one of many LSU alums on the Pats, but after today I felt like I knew him. I know it certainly made me miss him.
The Globe? Try a numb piece by Mike Reiss that told us Hill’s accident was deemed accidental (something anyone who browses ESPN.com or watches SportsCenter or the nightly news knew about 18 hours prior) and pulled mostly AP info and quotes.
The last straw for me came when I noticed Reiss had no dateline – he was writing the story at the Globe – and Tomase was down in New Orleans with photographer Nancy Lane, talking to Hill’s friends and family in person and sending accompanying photos along with the stories.
Now, this isn’t a dig on Reiss. He just does what he’s told. But the editorial staff shouldn’t have just brushed this aside. Hill was a member of one of the most popular teams around and, judging by what I’ve read in the Herald, a caring and joyful individual whose death robbed this world of one of its few good people.
The Hill story was only the tip of the iceberg, too.
The day before, in game stories for the Sox 5-3 victory over the Tigers, multiple publications noted that Curt Schilling’s masterful performance (7 innings, one run, 10 strikeouts) came as a result of some mechanical adjustments made by Schilling and pitching coach John Farrell, adjustments necessary after Big Schill was hammered in his last two starts.
Now, for one reason or another, no one said what these adjustments entailed. It was a mystery. Just like Dice-K’s strange bout with nausea in his start against
But who solved these mysteries? You guessed it. The Herald had a story recounting the changes made by Schilling and Farrell, a 3-inch slide of his hand when he grips his splitter that ultimately led to his best split in years.
You’re telling me this isn’t important??? Really?? How could the Globe not find this out. I mean, is Schilling going to be lights out the rest of the way, with a devastating splitter to compliment the 94-mph heat he was locating Monday? It was just a change in the positioning of his hand? I need to know these things.
As for the Dice Man, he had this whacked-out theory that because he sleeps on a portable air mattress on the floor (apparently American luxury hotel beds bother his back) he might have inhaled some sort of virus or dust that may have messed him up. Ummm..whatever. But still, a fan like me needs to know this. I was wondering since Friday what was up. Was he hungover? Did he have a case of Chronic Diarrhea? Did he eat some bad sushi? These are the things that bounce back in forth in my twisted mind.
The Herald also had a beat writer down in Orlando covering the NBA pre-draft workouts. There was a story with Danny Ainge saying he would explore trade options and another that told us former BC idiot Sean Williams skipped his workout.
A diehard sports fan needs to know these things. What am I supposed to talk about with my Dad, my friends? Want me to just watch SportsCenter? And just talk about Bonds, Lebron, where A-Rod and Jeter sit in the dugout and how Arena Football is the next big thing? C’maannnnnnn.