You’re covering the Super Bowl. You and a few other journalists are in Miami for the days leading up to the event.
Only problem is, you need to find something that sets your work apart.
“Find me a new angle!” screams your Hollywood cliche of an editor.
Sportswriter Dave Kindred has a great essay on the ups and downs of covering the Super Bowl as a sportswriter. He should know. He’s been a working sportswriter for 45 years. That time in the trenches leaves you with more than a few stories to tell, including a request made by then Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser to a defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos:
“I need your life story. Start at the beginning, don’t leave anything out, and make it funny.”
Kindred retells that and several other stories that offer a brief glimpse into the world of the sportswriter at the Super Bowl.
And if you’re looking for current examples of the sort of off-beat Super Bowl Week writing Kindred analyzes in his essay, here are a few.
Joe LaPointe has a story at the New York Times observing the irony of the Who, formerly the most unpredictable band in music, playing the most tightly scripted event in television: the Super Bowl halftime show.
The WSJ.com’s “Daily Fix” has sportswriters and radio DJs noting in a video how NFL players will shamelessly sell anything during Super Bowl week.
ESPN.com’s “Page 2” has the Super Bowl party angle covered.
And finally, in the pile of Super Bowl commercial hype, Kevin Huffman at the Washington Post criticizes CBS for refusing to air an ad from gay dating site ManCrunch.com. “Somehow,” he writes, “I suspect the heterosexual community will survive.”