Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I want to take a look at the rise of Barstool Sports as a media group in the specific lens of their Boston-based sports writers, which they have for each team. Each of their current sports bloggers (Jared Carrabis, Red Sox; Jerry Thornton, Patriots; Dan Greenberg or Greenie, Celtics and Rear Admiral, Bruins) have been able to parlay their work on Barstool into occasional gigs with the local sports radio and TV stations. I have reached out to a couple of them today to see if I could get interviews, but the main premise of the story would be the rise in prominence of these writers thanks to their platform on Barstool and how it has grown since they’ve joined.

In hoping to get access to these interviews, I think my accompanying video piece could hopefully be one of the personalities if I can meet up in person. If not, my back-up plan would be finding out how fans of the teams prefer to get their news, via new sites or via blogs/social media/etc and get their thoughts on Barstool as a source of news.

My photo story is what I am struggling with, since I am not sure what else there would be to photograph about their particular jobs as bloggers as they work from home. I am looking forward to getting some input from others for ideas about the photo story because I believe the video and written portion have an opportunity to be very good, but the photo story may be tough to relate back.

 

 

 

 

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CSNNE Revamps Nightly Programming

The Friday before break, Chad Finn reported that Comcast SportsNet New England had announced a shift in its weeknight programming. In place of their main nightly staples, SportsNet Central (a news-based sports update show), Early Edition (half-hour opinion based show hosted by Gary Tanguay) and Sports Tonight (basically Early Edition at 10 p.m. hosted by Michael Felger), CSN announced a new nightly schedule that features an two-hour expanded Early Edition and Boston Sports Tonight, a new three-hour show from 9 p.m.-midnight. The new lineup is slated to roll out April 3 and these shows will be bumped for Celtics coverage as needed.

The change was not out of the blue, however. Finn wrote in December that CSN was planning on moving toward more opinion-based programming and away from sports news shows. With a new line-up, here’s a closer look at each show and some of my questions:

Early Edition (Hosted by Tanguay, Felger and Trenni Kusnierek from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.)- This show looks to be a combination of three of Boston’s top opinion personalities and won’t be short for “hot-takes”. Trenni will be the most sane and rational out of the bunch, but I look forward to seeing how the three work together for two hours. I also hope the show continues to use Kirk Minihane, who has great chemistry with both Tanguay and Trenni, as it does during the half-hour segments. My biggest question for this show is the use of Felger. Felger will finish his daily radio show at 6 p.m. and what will the expectations be? Will he do the show completely remote from 98.5 studios, or will he do a segment and then drive to Comcast studios from Brighton to Burlington during rush-hour? I would think it would be tough for him to prep for the show as well, but who knows, he is a good enough personality to wing it. I believe it would be best to have him in person, but it may not be feasible.

Boston Sports Tonight (Hosted by Tom Giles, Tom Curran, Kayce Smith and Michael Holley)- This show looks to be similar in format, opinion based with what looks like Giles and Smith to set the table for Curran and Holley. With this show I have a couple of questions. First about Smith and how she will handle the Boston market. I am not familiar with her work, but I have seen in the past that the market has been a tough move for personalities. My next two questions are about Holley, who hosts a 2-6 p.m. show at WEEI in competition of Felger. For Holley, it seems the 35 hours a week of talking on air is a lot to handle, I would like to see how he can manage that workload. Also, he does come off as very hypocritical in this instance as he told Rich Keefe, a new member to his radio show on WEEI, that he did not want Keefe to do an extra hour of radio after their program from 2-6 because it would be too much on Keefe’s plate. Holley then goes out and gets a nightly gig for THREE HOURS on top of his four-hour show. Seems like if Keefe has a full plate, then Holley is at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A look at Boston’s November Project

One Wednesday, I took a trip to Harvard Stadium to experience the November Project, a free workout program started in Boston by two Northeastern alumni. Since starting in 2011, the project has expanded to 33 cities worldwide and has gained momentum in Boston. I talked to three people at the workout including Emily Saul, one of the Boston leaders, and asked them about what prompted them to join and what they see for the future going forward for the November Project.

How the trade deadline played out for the Celtics

With assets to burn and a potential to open up a championship window, the Boston Celtics had a chance to make a big splash at the NBA trade deadline. However, 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 23 came and went and the Celtics stood pat despite numerous tantalizing rumors. Days with potential for breaking news in sports, trade deadlines in particular, often always come with reporters breaking stories from their “sources” about something that they are hearing about a potential deal. I want to take a look at some of the big NBA insiders and how they reported on the Celtics potential deals.

Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA)-The biggest news breaker in the NBA had a couple of reports on the Celtics, focusing on deals that could possibly bring Paul George or Jimmy Butler to Boston. The thing with Woj is that you know when he is involved, there are big time talks going on. Woj is almost always the first person to break a big trade and rightfully so, Celtics fans must have been chomping at the bit to get a tweet from Woj.

Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA)- Lowe had the story about the Celtics being possibly involved with the Clippers to acquire star forward Blake Griffin, despite it being highly unlikely. The story does give an interesting look into what the Celtics could plan to do after the season, when Griffin becomes a free agent.

Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas)- Ok, this one isn’t an NBA insider, but IT was able to send Boston fans into a tizzy tweeting the “eyes” emoji on the Monday before the deadline, setting the internet ablaze. The most interesting thing about this is that in this day and age, Isaiah’s one tweet brought out multiple theories about what it meant, ranging from Carmelo Anthony coming to the Celtics because they just followed him on Instagram to the real reason being Thomas was just bored. It is crazy now that one tweet from a famous person can prompt writers to write articles analyzing what it means. What a time to be alive.

Taking a look at Red Sox Spring Training coverage

February is usually the slowest time of year for sports stories for numerous reasons. First off, the ratings machine that is the NFL is finally over and out of the news cycle. The NHL and NBA are either in or just past their All-Star breaks and don’t bring nearly as much juice or passion as the NFL. On the bright side, the MLB is starting up its season and for the Red Sox, there are a lot of high expectations coming off of a AL East title and trading for star lefty Chris Sale (leading to countless Sale/Price puns). In getting ready for the season, here are three great stories I have read from local beat writers that have stood out to me over the past week:

Andrew Benintendi takes Brian Johnson deep after calling his shot (Christopher Smith, MassLive.com): I liked this story from Smith because it was an exclusive that he got from the two players.  It also combined a couple of storylines into one, Benintendi’s development into an everyday player and Johnson’s struggles with anxiety and depression. The story was light and entertaining, but also was a great scoop from a lesser-known reporter.

Blake Swihart struggles with throws (Evan Drellich, Boston Herald): A big story coming out of Spring Training so far has been Swihart’s inability to make the throw back to the pitcher. This is something to keep an eye on as only time will tell how Swihart will respond to the added pressure of this. The yips can often sidetrack an entire career and I think Drellich does a good job in acknowledging that this could be troubling for the young backstop.

In Boston, baseball still owns our hearts (Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe): Despite how much it pains me, I actually liked this Shaughnessy column. It was a great illustration of how Boston has become a football-crazed town, but doesn’t forget its roots as the cursed Red Sox who endured 86 years of misery and overcame a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS to break a title drought. Another column for another day for Shaughnessy could be which was more improbable, the 2004 ALCS or Super Bowl LI.

USA Today Misquotes Tom Brady in Headline

Tom Brady appeared on ProFootballTalk Live for an interview with Mike Florio and naturally the conversation turned to the topic du jour, the New England Patriots upcoming visit to the White House. Brady was quoted as so:

Everybody has their own choice,” Brady said regarding whether players should go to the White House. “There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there. . . . It really is a great experience. Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”

Shortly after this interview, USA Today posted this tweet:

In an age where cries of “fake news” are waves around the nation (and our president’s Twitter account), the USA Today committed a pretty egregious error that gives fodder to the “fake news” crowd. First off, as you can see in Brady’s quote that he is talking about “putting politics aside” for himself, not his teammates. He opens his quote saying clearly that everyone has their own choice. Sadly, USA Today ignores that quote and goes with the click-baiting quote that will cause a stir, which unfortunately works.

As Florio notes on PFT, players are weary about giving quotes because they know that their words can often get misconstrued to fit a writer’s narrative for the story they want to write, not the one that is in front of them.

USA Today did update the headline, but still missed the point of Brady’s quote:

The headline is a step in the right direction, but I would update it as “Tom Brady in favor of ‘putting politics aside’ for himself when it comes to visiting the White House”. With so much scrutiny on the media now more than ever, it is important for news organizations to report the facts and not construe their narrative to give the “fake news” opposition any ammo for their cause.

Northeastern Honors Tesha Tinsley Before 61-44 Victory Over College of Charleston

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“It was so unreal, it was a very humbling experience,” Tesha Tinsley said after getting her number retired alongside Northeastern great Reggie Lewis.

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Northeastern’s Claudia Ortiz is introduced before the afternoon tilt with College of Charleston.

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College of Charleston’s Nola Henry swishes a free throw during the first quarter.

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Tesha Tinsley knocks down a three-pointer during halftime, her lone shot of the night.

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“I haven’t been to any games this year and I try to get to a few games a year,” Philip Volante said. The Lexington resident and 1997 Northeastern graduate noted he was at Northeastern at the same time as Tinsley and enjoyed seeing his Huskies cruise to a 61-44 win on her special day.

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“We shot well, but we also crashed hard,” Northeastern women’s basketball coach Kelly Cole said after her team totaled 51 rebounds.

After 2,187 points and four phenomenal years with Northeastern, Tesha Tinsley returned to the Cabot Center to see her #10 jersey retired next to the late Reggie Lewis. Tinsley’s presence boosted the Huskies to a 61-44 win over College of Charleston, snapping a five-game skid.

“That was the icing on the cake for them to get the win,” Tinsley said of the special day. Tinsley’s number was the first to be retired in program history, a high honor.

The Huskies were led by Claudia Ortiz (23 points) and Francesca Sally (13 points, 15 rebounds) as they jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The win was the Huskies’ eighth of the year as they look to close out the season on a strong note before the conference tournament.