Episode 18: Sports Reporting in the Digital Era
Release Date: 4/26/2016
Guest: Terence Moore
Bob Long: Baseball fans used to sit by the radio listening to their favorite major league team, then along came television to bring us the visual image. But today we have digital technology that brings us so many rapid changes it sometimes makes your head swim. You can see any game you want now streaming live on the internet and "wa-lah", even on your phone app. The digital world also has brought us a raft of new statistics to help us analyze our favorite players and our favorite sports. I'm Bob Long, we want to welcome you to Stats and Stories it's a program where we look at the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics, and our topic today is how the digital technology has complicated the life of sports journalists. Before we talk to our special guest, Stats and Stories reporter Max McAuley talked to a couple of sports journalists about how they've been impacted by digital reporting and sports analytics.
Max McAuley: Modern athletes are jumping higher, running faster and playing better than ever. Year after year athletes break seemingly impossible records and compete at higher levels, to keep up journalists and statisticians are changing their games as well. Modern sports reporters are adapting to master the immediacy of new online digital media, and statisticians are measuring and analyzing more complex metrics to try to figure out what makes today's athletes so great. Chris Rose is a sportscaster for the MLB and NFL networks. He can attest to many of the ways that digital media has recently changed the face of sports journalism.
Chris Rose: Five years ago people who covered the beat, they didn't have to worry about Twitter because, you know what, the next day in the paper, people would read it then. But now people have a need to know the information right now.
McAuley: Rose uses digital media to keep his shows as up to date as possible.
Rose: I'm getting ready for my baseball show today, what I do is check Twitter, because all the beat writers have already talked to the manger, they've made a run through the clubhouse, so anything interesting is there in 140 characters for me to absorb and boom, it's at my fingertips, and it's a tremendous resource for me, and we find good stories for our show that way.
McAuley: Alex Butler is a contract writer for The Miami Herald in Florida. Like many other newspapers The Herald has had to expand to virtual outlets as well.
Alex Butler: There is a lot of focus now on the digital side of it, with the online media, I've come to really appreciate that where I get to incorporate my Twitter account a lot, and talk about the athletes and tag the athletes engage the fan-bases and communities.
McAuley: Butler points out those online technologies have created two-way information channels between media outlets and their audiences.
Butler: We use different websites that use algorithms to see how many people are viewing our articles and how they're interacting with the article specifically, what they're clicking on within the article, how much time they're spending on the article, it's much more interactive now and there's a lot more things to think about than just subject matter, it's how you actually write about the subject matter.
McAuley: One problem Butler has with the digital age is when the public sides with the memes over the media.
Butler: I see people blame the media for everything and I get kind of frustrated with things like that when people are starting to believe pictures with text over them over quality journalism because they think the media's pure evil.
McAuley: Chris Rose has worries about digital media as well. He says the focus on immediacy has shifted both readers and writers away from focusing on factuality.
Rose: When you have social media, people are going to read things the way they want to. The danger of it is, not everything gets checked the way it should.
McAuley: Rose also says he likes the argument arising from the new emphasis on deeper statistics.
Rose: Well we really live in an analytical world now; it's just a part of how we evolve, and I think it's been a fascinating discussion, you know, there's just more information for people and I'm a big fan of that.
McAuley: Alex Butler agrees, he says statistics have the ability to see things that our eyes might miss.
Butler: I'm kind of a statistics guy; I think it's interesting to tell a different story than the obvious one.
McAuley: Butler says it's still important for media outlets to tailor their content to their audience.
Butler: Different newspapers, I think, have different goals, when that's concerned. Like a small area like Dayton, people there might care less about every statistic in the game and more about a particular player that they find fascinating.
McAuley: Chris Rose says most sports organizations are still trying to figure out how to best to apply these new measures.
Rose: The argument is how do you build a team, and how much do you put on metrics.
McAuley: The world is starting to realize that there's a lot more to sports than just scoring points, and Rose says some teams are willing to pay millions for it.
Rose: Jason Heyward, who has been in one All-Star Game, who hasn't hit more than I think sixteen homers in a year, who hasn't driven in, I think, more than like seventy-five runs got almost two hundred million dollars. Well, he's a twenty-six year old outfielder, the best defensive outfielder, according to the metrics, who runs the bases very well, according to the metrics. So, how much do you put into valuing that, as opposed to what your eyes just tell you on a baseball diamond, or what a guy brings into a clubhouse. Heart, the ability to bring guys together, all that has a dollar value, we just don't know what it is.
McAuley: For Stats and Stories this is Max McAuley.
Long: Thanks Max and joining me now on Stats and Stories are our regular panelists, Miami University's Media, Journalism and Film Chair Richard Campbell and our Statistics Department Chair, John Bailer. And our special guest today is National Sports columnist and commentator, Terence Moore, he's a regular contributor to ESPN's Outside the Lines CNN, MSNBC, and the NFL network, he also writes for earth.com, mlb.com, and in his spare time he also teaches a journalism course, here at Miami University, his alma mater. Terence, welcome to the show.
Terence Moore: Thank you.
Long: I want to go back in time, because you know when I'm older, you know, older folks, we always go back in time and look at the way used to be, but you know, you spent what, about 25 years at the Atlanta Journal Constitution and back in the old days, hey if you were a sports writer, you were a sports writer and you wrote your article or column and that was it, today there are so many other things that you have to think about.
Moore: Yeah, there really are. It was mentioned earlier about Twitter, for instance, any kind of social media outlet, you've got to be very good at shooting video. It's more than just the writing aspect of it that you've got to be involved in. And that's why, if you look at it… when I first came out of Miami back in May of 1978, you basically had sports writers, the average age was deceased. Now the average age of a sports writer is like right out of the baby crib, because you got to be able to do all these things, you go to be able to keep up with modern technology, and it's a whole different world.
Long: Sadly, I know so many journalists that I knew, that have left the business because they just got frustrated with things that they felt detracted from the quality of the work that they did, because now they got to, as you said, shoot video, do all these other things, that they didn't use to have to do.
Moore: Oh sure. You know, and the other aspect is too, is that it's different with the players. Back when I was first starting out, you could really get a chance to know players, and know coaches, but because of so many different reasons now you really don't get a chance to know the guys. And a lot of that goes back to what we were talking about with the social media. To give an example, I had a long talk to the other day with a guy named Claude Felton. Claude Felton is the Sports Information Director at University of Georgia, and Claude is the last of a dying breed of SID's, as we call them, and I've often told Claude that I want to come and take his temperature every ten minutes to make sure he can be around a little bit longer. One of the things Claude and I were talking about is that in the old days you knew who all the sports writers were; you knew what they were all about. Now you've got all these entities, all these internet sites, all these different sports outlets, you don't know whose who, and at any given time they can tweet something out there, and if you're like a Sports Information Director or a Public Relations guy in the National Football league or what have you, you don't know where it came from, whereas before you can see the writer over there from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, or the Cincinnati Enquirer and call them in say hey that's wrong could you correct this? Now you've got all these anonymous sources out there, and people… it's very difficult to track down.
Long: Richard Campbell, go to you for the next question.
Campbell: Terrence, good to have you here. With all of the transition you've made from the print world to the digital age, I know one thing that I hear you talk about is the importance of storytelling, as a way to sort of cut through, and get an audience, attract readers. What has changed for you in terms of how you think about, and figure out what the story is that you're going to tell.
Moore: Storytelling is huge, and always has been huge from a newspaper standpoint, magazine standpoint, TV standpoint. But with the society that we have today, where everything is quick and easy, the storytelling has gotten quicker and easier because of the attention span, and it's because of…and let's go back to the Twitter phase. You know, you've only got so many characters, what is it 140, 150 characters in order to write something, and that has transcended down into everything in journalism. Quick and easy. I write for…one of the entities I write for is MLB.com and I just had a discussion with one of the bosses the other day and he was telling me, that they love what I do, but can you give us more of these top 10 things, like the top 10 reasons Willie Mays was the greatest center fielder of all time, the top 15 reasons why Candlestick Park was the worst ballpark in major league baseball history, and that sort of thing. Quick and easy. Just get to the point and move on, because that's the attention span again, or lack thereof of the reader, and the listener and the viewer.
Long: John Bailer, go to you for the next question.
John Bailer: So, you're talking about the stories becoming quick and easy, but that runs completely in contrast to the amount of information that's available to tell these stories. You know, you start to see information like, all the pitch locations, the speed, the summaries of every single pitch of every single game, we're hearing about now, chips being sewn into uniforms so you have GPS locations, you have true measurements of speed, or the distance traveled during the course of play. So, that seems like a real pressure, the pressure to simplify is running counter to this pressure, of more information that might have an interesting embedded in it. So, how do you address that?
Moore: Yeah, and that's another good question there, and I'll give you a bigger picture there. One of the eternal problems, and I call it a problem, that you have in journalism, particularly sports journalism, and to get even more finite, baseball, sports has always involved a bunch of numbers, baseball in particular, but as you just pointed out, the numbers have gotten more advanced, more plentiful than ever before. So, one of the biggest problems you have in journalism, I was going to say young journalists, but it's us old timers to, is getting too much information out there, because your brain will explode. Ok? It's always that constant battle as to what can you do to get the point across, but not too much. And my philosophy is always, get that one big thing and hammer it home. For instance, you take somebody like, say Chapman, the reliever for the Reds is now with the Yankees, and you know this guy is throwing like one hundred plus miles per hour and there's all kind of other metrics and statistics you can use to describe how great he is or what he does. But you know what? What people know is that he throws really hard, and the only thing they care about is the fact that he throws over a hundred miles per hour. So you can just concentrate on that. You know, how many times does he top a hundred miles per hour? Just hammer that home and forget everything else, at least in one piece, you'll be just fine.
Long: I think that brings up an interesting point too. One of the other things I see, and we talked about this the other day in a news context, but in sports too. We've always had some really great investigative journalism that's been done, and it seems like, as we're talking about this time crunch, that's kind of gone by the wayside, which is kind of a scary thing to me as a journalist, that we don't take time to really dig deeply…you do some work for Outside the Lines, which kind of does that kind of journalism, are you kind of concerned because of that emphasis on the here and now, get it done fast and get it out there on social media or on the internet that we're missing some of that.
Moore: I want to give you a classic example because perfect timing for asking that question. I just taught a course for Professor Campbell here, earlier today. And one of the questions involved what was the thing that I was most proud for having done in my journalistic career. One of which was back in 1982 back at the San Francisco Examiner I mentioned to the sports editor the decline in numbers of African-Americans in baseball. This is 1982, this is way before this became fashionable, ok? And I had such enlightened leadership back then that the sports editor said 'why don't you take a month off, and just get into the numbers and figure out what's going on here.' Ok, and at the time-let's jump ahead, right now slightly less than 8% of major league baseball is African-American. Back in'82, when I did the research, it was slightly less than 20%. So I started getting into the numbers, I started getting reports from different scouts, and one of the scouts gave me a scouting report that had a slot for race on it, which…you shouldn't do that. The NBA didn't do it, the NFL didn't do it, the NHL didn't do it, and baseball did. And all heck broke loose when I pointed this out. And this piece won a lot of awards, national, state, and that sort of thing. But I needed that month to do the research on the numbers, to find out exactly what was happening, not only in major league baseball with various teams, and through the years. I would dare say that in 2016, that's not going to happen. Because you're not going to be given the time, they're not going to tell you, 'take a month off' I was covering the San Francisco Giants at the time, you're not going to have a beat writer take a month off to do that, and to give it the time that it's worth, outside of perhaps at Outside the Lines which is why I like for ESPN Outside the Lines.
Long: You're listening to Stats and Stories where we always talk about the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics, and our topic today is the digital technology and how it's impacting the life of sports journalists. I'm Bob Long; our regular panelists are Miami University Statistics Department Chair, John Bailer and Media Journalism and Film Chair, Richard Campbell. And our special guest, National Sports columnist and commentator, Terence Moore, he just mentioned Outside the Lines but also does a lot of work with CNN, MSNBC and the NFL network, and I'll go to Richard Campbell for our next question for Terence.
Campbell: Terence, you've made a transition from being a reporter, documenting, verifying, you know, going out and finding out what happened to more analysis, opinion writing. Talk about how documentation, verifying, and the kind of skills you had as a reporter contributes to your role today where you're doing much more analysis and opinion writing.
Moore: You know one of the things I always tell young writers, is that the reporting never stops, and that's one of my biggest pet peeves of modern journalism, is the lack of reporting, and you've got to have reporting. Back when I was a sports writer, just a regular sports writer, I was noted for being a very good reporter, having a lot of sources, and the same now as a columnist, I break a lot of stories, it has not stopped. One of the things I'm proudest of… people ask me, you know in thirty plus years in the business, nearly forty years, that's why I've got the grey hair, you can't see it over the radio but I've got a lot of grey hair… is that nearly forty years of doing this I've never had an extended problem with any player, any coach, or any front office person. They'll blow up for a little while, and that's because they know that I've researched and I have my facts correct and they can't argue with my point of view, and again that goes back to numbers a lot of times, as far as proving things to be correct, and that holds true whether you're talking about opinion writing…or at least it should hold true…whether you're talking about opinion writing or regular writing, you still have to have the reporting aspect. So, for me I believe that it's all the same thing the difference is that from a columnist standpoint you're just giving your opinion, but it's still backed up with facts.
Long: John Bailer, we'll go to you.
Bailer: So, as you look back on the sports that you've covered, I'm curious, if you'd consider, what sports do you think…other than baseball which has the longest history with the analytics part of the applications, what sports have most benefited from the additional data that have collected, and what have least benefited from the additional data that are being collected, and when you think about this, you know, think about it in light of the stories that emerged from it.
Moore: Well, you know, I think that contrary to what people think, all these sports have benefited from analytics, and I'm going to give you an example. One of the biggest things that's happening in the NBA right now, and it's a secret story, as a matter of fact I've just talked myself into a column, I'm going to write this next week, is that you've got this old-school NBA that goes the eyeball test, I think somebody mentioned that earlier on one of the tapes you had, about how a guy looks and what a guy's doing, but now you've got this new system of analytics, and this is basically, the Houston Rockets, probably are the first team that kind of really brought this to light, about how important the three point shot is for instance. And they have all but said 'we don't care about the medium range shot, no, we want three point shooters, we want either three point shooters or layups, that's it. And if you can't do those two things, we don't want you.' And this was kind of a radical aspect, as a matter of fact they started getting rid of, the Houston Rockets, their main stream type of coaches and started bringing in these number guys that can start analyzing guys in college who are able to shoot shots from a certain distance, and if they couldn't do it 'we don't care how good you are, we don't want you.' That has spread across the NBA; it's become an epidemic now, teams that were fighting that now are part of that revolution. So that's just the NBA. The National Football League certainly the numbers have always been there. You look at what goes on in the NFL scouting combines every year in February, ok, and I think one of the nicknames that they call it is the world's biggest underwear show. Where they're looking at these guys and they're testing them all kind of thing, but numbers are huge. How high can you jump, how high you can run, how…whatever it's going to be? So whatever sport you name is there, how fast can you serve in tennis? It's all a matter of how you want to use the numbers.
Campbell: Do you think we've tipped too far, I mean the old eyeball test or the kinds of qualities that a player might have that aren't necessarily measurable in those ways, are we losing sight of that, or will the pendulum swing back or do you think things have changed forever?
Moore: That's a very good question and the first part is yes. We've gone way way too far. And I'm going to give you two examples. One, "O time" I covered the Oakland Raiders, back 35 years ago, back when they were the real Oakland Raiders, I don't know who these people are now, but the real Oakland Raiders with Al Davis, some of the football fans probably have heard of Al Davis, and Al Davis was very much about the eyeball test, you know he could tell whether a guy was good or not, and those Raiders did very well. Now I'm going to give you a baseball example, there's a guy named Dusty Baker. Dusty Baker has just recently been hired by the Washington Nationals; he should have been hired by somebody a long time ago. He's been out of baseball for two years. This is a guy who was a three time National League Manager of the year and a guy who has turned teams around instantly, but he couldn't find a job for two years after he was fired by the Cincinnati Reds because, he was known as an eyeball test guy and not a numbers guy, so that was being held against him. As a matter of fact there are a lot of people who think, including Dusty Baker, that, because I know Dusty very well, that he was fired by the Reds was because the Reds didn't think he could get up to the times and become a numbers guy. Well, they fired Dusty Baker and look what they got in return, I think they probably want Dusty Baker back right now, so to answer your question, yes, we've gone too far, because we're seeing a guy like a Dusty Baker and the Dusty Bakers of the world are perfectly fine managers or other fine coaches, are being shoved out.
Long: John Bailer we'll go back to you.
Bailer: I think you're right; either extreme is probably not desirable. This is complementary information, as I look at it. There's a human element that you're gauging in some dimensions that you can't quantify, but there's complementary information, or maybe supplementary information that you can get from some of this quantification of performance. I mean now the question is, are you measuring the right things?
Bailer: I mean, so, this kind of mindless number thinking isn't going to do anything if you're not looking at something that's meaningful and relevant for performance and outcome.
Moore: Well yeah, and to piggyback on that, let's go to another sport: College Football. The most dominate team in the history of college football is present to…right now. And it really hurts me to say that because I was born and raised in South Bend Indiana, University of Notre Dame, but I have to say right now, you can make a case that University of Alabama has the most dominate college football program of all time, given that this is an era of parity have they still been able to dominate. Nick Saben being the head coach there, Nick Saben is a combination of both, as you say. He's a guy who's very much into the eyeball test but he's also into a lot of numbers. One of the things that I saw the other day is, Alabama, and I wish I could know the number off my head, has got the largest support staff of any team in college football. You know, people think in terms of a college football program or a college basketball program in terms of just coaching, there's all these other people that they're bring aboard now. Numbers people, even besides people in training staff or what have. And Nick Saben has started an arms race. I live in Atlanta Georgia right now, and one of the things… I'm always ripping the University of Georgia because they're getting all this talent, and they're getting as much talent as anyone in college football, but they have not won a National Championship since 1980, they have not won an SEC title since 2005, but they keep getting all this talent. So, they fire their previous coach Mark Richt hired a new coach now in Kirby Smart. One of the first things that Kirby Smart did was to get all these other people, numbers people and what have you. They've increased their support staff something like 75% since he's been hired in a matter of months. Guess where Kirby Smart was before he came to University of Georgia? Alabama, as defensive coordinator.
Long: You're listening to Stats and Stories and we're focusing on our, how digital technology and analytics in sports, how all of that has changed the life of sports journalists. Our special guest today is Terence Moore who's a National Sports columnist and commentator. I'm Bob Long, our regular panelists on our show are Miami University Media Journalism and Film chair Richard Campbell and Statistics Department chair John Bailer. We kind of touched on this, Terence, a little bit ago. Twitter of course, and the whole social media realm has really changed things, not always for the better. There are a lot of things that get tweeted out there that some people would love to retract but they can't. But let's talk about how the involvement of athletes in getting their message out, rather than letting people like you tell the story, how that's impacting sports journalism today as well.
Moore: Well, you know, it's killing our craft, and I'm an old timer. I believe in old time journalism, give me the old time religion, give me the old time journalism. Good reporting, good solid basics, and I hate to say it is going, going, almost gone, and Twitter is a big cause of that. One of the old time edicts of journalism is get at least two sources before you write something, that's gone. Because somebody could go out there and tweet anything, and even in mainstream journalism you're forced to follow behind that because it's out there. People don't care about you getting two sources anymore, and it's caused all kinds of problems with that. The other problem that Twitter has caused in my profession is that, it's made it very difficult now for mainstream media to break anything, because if you're an athlete and I think of Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, great wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, when he announced his retirement, or rumors thereof, Twitter. So this isn't the Detroit Free Press or the Detroit News he can just go to his Twitter thing 'I'm thinking about retiring' about whatever. So, how do you react to that? Tiger Woods ok. When Tiger Woods wants to announce anything, first of all, he announces it on his website, so he's not calling a press conference, given his life lately, I'm sure he's not going to call a press conference, but he's putting it on Twitter, he's putting it on his website, so it really has hurt us in a bad way.
Long: I was going to say it just seems to me that a lot of times that's a way to escape the scrutiny, that you pointed out would come with a press conference where I could ask you about some other stuff that you might not want to talk about, you're pretty much channeling it, here this is my announcement…
Bailer: You control the message
Long: You control the message, you don't.
Moore: Let's take it out of the sports realm; let's look at what's happening in presidential politics. Who is the number one tweeter in America now? Donald Trump. Donald Trump has figured out a way to get his message across is just to wake up in the morning…even though it's misspelled all the way through it…tweet whatever he wants to tweet, and it's out there. Whereas certainly twenty years ago, forget twenty years ago, the last presidential election cycle, you still had to go through the mainstream media. So, this has changed us forever.
Long: John Bailer, go to you.
Bailer: Ok, in your practice, how much interaction have you had with the analytics staff of different professional teams or collegiate teams? Have you ever… as part of the story as you've dug in have you ever had any interactions with these new offices.
Moore: You know that's another good question here, and to answer your question, very very little, and I want to tell you, there's two reasons for that. Number one, and by the way I mentioned the Houston Rockets, the Atlantic Hawks, have become another one of those teams, and I'm based in Atlanta, and there's a big controversy about the Atlantic Hawks about how much weight they're giving these people. But to answer your question, first of all they make it very difficult to talk to these people.
Bailer: It's proprietary development.
Moore: Yeah, they don't want you to talk to them, and they're very much, and to tell you, I know the names, and as a good of a reporter as I am and I take pride in being a good reporter, I can't tell you the faces of who these guys are for the Atlantic Hawks, I know the other guys but they're off in the distance. So that's number one, number two and sort of from a columnist standpoint, I don't know if I really want to talk to them that much, because again it gets too weighted down to try to explain that to your reader, it's just too bulky to be able to do that. I would think maybe a beat writer more so, somewhat, but even they would have a little problem just trying to get…it's too involved.
Bailer: Sure, thank you.
Long: Richard Campbell.
Campbell: Talk a little bit about…I mean part of this was discouraging right, for young reporters who want to be sports reporters, and what… they're facing a world in which stories are broken not by reporters but by the athletes themselves, so what kind of advice do you give somebody aspiring, because you are kind of an inspirational figure and a lot of people I think admire your career, and want that kind of career, so what do you tell them.
Moore: Well I've got three pieces of advice. One is drop back seven yards and punt. Number two, do something else. Seriously, seriously folks. I would say, just keep fighting the good fight. This is my constant message; I think that if you do things the right way, whatever they are, in the long run, for you, it's going to work out. Keep practicing solid journalism that's the only answer, because if you give in to this other stuff, then there's no chance. There's no chance for you, there's no chance for the profession. So, keep doing…keep going to great school's like Miami University and taking great classes that we teach here at Miami University, where you're learning the right way, do things the right way and just go from there, because anything else, I think is fool's gold.
Long: I think, one of the other questions we really haven't touched on today, another problem that I see, in general that's crept into sports as much as it has to news, is just the problem of, I think sometimes with different media outlets their own bias that they bring to the table can be, I think, a real problem to getting the factual information out there that we want in the way that a good journalist would want to do… how much of a battle is that today, where different media have their own idea of how the news or how sports should be told.
Moore: Well, it sounds like you could have been part of my lecture here last month, because I talked about this.
Long: I wish I'd have been there
Moore: I always tell… in my class I have a whole session on this, and I always tell the students that the first thing you should do, and this isn't only journalism, this is life in general, is find out where the sacred cows are, because the sacred cows are there, and it's because all these news entities nowadays are owned by somebody or run by somebody. First let's take ESPN, and I hope nobody from ESPN is listening here because they send me a paycheck, but, I mean ESPN is basically owned by Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, Disney World, the happiest place on earth. So do you think they want a lot of negative things? No. You may think that ESPN is being critical but they're not being as critical as you think, one of the things I point out to students all the time is that we only write about 30% of what we know, 70% we don't write about for various reasons, but a lot of it, is what you're alluding to, is because of who you're working for, you got to be very careful of who they are in bed with, and what's going on. It's not journalistically ethical but that's just the way it is.
Long: John Bailer, we've got time for a couple more questions from you and Richard.
Bailer: So, if someone is thinking about a career in sports journalism, what are some of the skills that you might recommend that they dig into, what courses they might take to increase their skills, not only in writing, but maybe in terms of doing some… understanding some of the analytics that might be relevant for the sports.
Moore: One of my constant things that I tell students, and I just did this earlier today, you should…we were talking about the importance of reading, writing and reading… and I said that what you should read is, everything. To become a good journalist, not just sports journalist, but become a good journalist, you have to be proficient at everything, so that includes analytics, everything. Certainly now, you got to, you have to become very very knowledgeable, and one reason you have to become very knowledgeable is because of the obvious that the more knowledgeable you become the better you become, but we are in a world that is changing very quickly and the numbers are a big part of that, so if you are not keeping up with the times, and knowledge of what's going on, and in this case, the numbers aspect when it comes to sports, you're going to be left behind. So I would say, it's basically that, it's that besides the writing, and the reading of course, just be knowledgeable of everything and keep your head on the swivel.
Long: Richard Campbell
Campbell: So, should journalism majors take statistics?
Moore: Oh, no question about it, I know they don't want to hear that, but yes. Yeah, anything that involves numbers, anything that involves anything for that matter, because, think about it, every aspect of society, when you talk about sports writing, takes place in sports writing, you know, the good the bad and the ugly, and certainly the numbers have gotten to be a huge part of it.
Campbell: And I ask it because sometimes we have journalism students who fear numbers, I mean but they end up having to write stories that have numbers in them and we want them to do the best job they can.
Moore: Well, here's one aspect of it, let's look at the numbers. Look at the salaries, we're talking about huge salaries in sports, you've got Kobe Bryant who's making 25million dollars, and then you've got to ask yourself, well first you've got to know about the numbers that are involved in that, you've got to know about the salary cap, you've got to understand about how that works nowadays, and the ramifications of that. You have to understand why Kobe Bryant is getting 25 million dollars, according to this last year. You got to know, here's a guy who once scored 81 points in a game, the second highest point total in the history of the NBA. Clayton Kershaw the pitcher of the LA Dodgers, ok, the numbers involved with him. ERA is so huge in baseball, here's a guy that's ERA was under 2, two straight years and last year he blew up to like 2.11, blowing up, I'm being facetious, so yeah, those are all numbers that you've got to know because when you're a sports writer, and again going back to the big picture, salaries. Salaries have gotten so huge you have to know the reasons behind why they're getting these increased salaries, and that's where the statistics come into play
Long: National Sports columnist and commentator Terence Moore has been our special guest on Stats and Stories today. Terence, thank you very much for your insights, we greatly appreciate it.
Moore: Thank you.
Long: And if you'd like to share your thoughts on our program, you can send an email to us at Stats and Stories at miamioh.edu. Be sure to listen for future editions of Stats and Stories where we explore the statistics behind the statistics and the stories behind the statistics.
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