Sports analytics don’t complain about interviews

No matter what you think of “DeflateGate,” you’ll have to admit the analytical research by Warren Sharp raises significant questions about the Patriots’ ability to legally hold onto the football. In fact, Sharp’s research has been the most significant information to emerge from the claim that New England illegally deflated its footballs during the AFC championship. As Sharp writes about his research: “The beauty of data is the results speak for themselves.” That’s a significant point. In an era where media access is limited by teams and where athletes can talk directly to fans through social media, data analysis offers sports journalists another way to reveal new perspectives about games, teams and athletes. Analyzing stats can yield far better insights than interviews with unresponsive and antagonistic athletes.

Here are a few other sports analytics websites to bookmark: Nate Silver’s Five Thirty-Eight SportsFanGraphs, Society for American Baseball Research, Fantasy Football Analytics, Advanced Football Analytics, Basketball Analytics, Hockey Analysis (soon to be Puckalytics), Behind The Net, plus the four Reference sites for baseball, basketball, football and hockey.

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Steps to writing an amazing news story

The more student stories I read, the more I realize I need to condense reporting to its basics. I’ve never been one to base my courses on a text; rather, texts have been companions to class lectures, discussions, etc. Next fall, I am going to begin the semester by evaluating professional news stories and by hitting the basics early. To emphasize the basics, I plan to review the list cited below both early and often. As I tell students, reporting is fairly easy. But reporting well takes significant effort, knowledge, and intellect. Feel free to use this, or to add your own suggestions in the comments below.

Continue reading “Steps to writing an amazing news story”