Friday, May 8, 2009

Whine, whine, whine

C: During wrestling season, we would like to see more articles about wrestlers/wrestling. It seems as though this sport no longer receives the coverage it once did. - T.F.

A: There was a time – 35 years ago – when wrestling was THE sport in Washington and Greene counties. Thousands packed gyms and spilled into the halls and outdoors for big matches.Today, some of those schools have trouble finding wrestlers for half the weight classes, and other schools have dropped the sport altogether. There have been dual meets at which only a couple of dozen spectators have shown up to watch match after match be forfeited for lack of an opponent. Naturally, the newspaper coverage of this sport has followed this trend.

Today, there is much more competition for readers' and spectators' attention. Scholastic girls sports, particularly basketball, soccer, volleyball and softball, have attracted attention they never had 20 or 30 years ago. Football has emerged as the No. 1 high school sport in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and newer team sports like lacrosse and hockey have elbowed their way into scholastic athletics.

Nevertheless, wrestling still receives (my own opinion here) a disproportionate share of space in our sports section. I challenge you to find another daily newspaper in this state that devotes more space to wrestling than the Observer-Reporter, or that can boast of a more experienced and respected wrestling writer than Joe Tuscano. And don't forget, Mat Matters, Joe's Internet blog, covers a great deal more about the sport here than could ever be squeezed into the newspaper.


Anonymous said...

Pick a copy of the P-G or Trib during wrestling season and see how much coverage is there. The O-R does a fantastic job of reporting all high school sports in this area. The O-R also has the best reporting team of any newspaper in the region.

Ellipses said...

FYI- THIS particular visit was via the link under the wrestling picture on the homepage. This is a BRILLIANT way to promote some of the "alternative" content you have... like blogs and such.

I also went to the "Seams to Me" story about Dom DiMaggio through the same channel.

I hope this is successful in driving traffic to your blogs and I hope that the increased traffic brings along people willing to participate, not just read.

Anonymous said...

Joe needs to focus more on positives than negatives.

Brant said...

Anonymous, that begs for more detail. Can you cite any specifics when you thought Joe was too negative. I'm interested to hear what you think, because we hear that a lot on the news side, too.

Anonymous said...

"Trinity positively got the crap beat out of them at last night's match."

How's that?

Brant said...

That sounds rather descriptive, and probably accurate. Would you rather that Joe lie and say what a brave, valiant effort Trinity put up in a 58-6 loss, or whatever it was? Sure, let's just sugar-coat it and make the kids feel good about themselves, even in a humiliating loss. That'll serve 'em well later in life. No one complains when a high school kid is lauded for making a great play on the diamond or scoring the touchdown that wins the game, but mention that the kid missed a tackle that allowed the opposition to score the winning TD, and people start whining about how "these are just high school kids and shouldn't be singled out like that." You can't have it both ways.