Sports Writing & Reporting

George Mason University
Communication Department
Spring Semester 2009
Instructor: Steve Klein

Class blog: Tickle Me Gunston

This class meets in Room 319 Innovation Hall

Prerequisites     Overview     Books     Grading     Schedule     


This class meets every Tuesday and Thursday (with the exception of the week of Spring Break March 7-15) over a total of 16 weeks and 28 sessions beginning Tuesday Jan. 20 and concluding Tuesday May 5 from 1:30-2:45 p.m. in 319 Innovation Hall. There is no final exam; the emphasis of the course is on your game coverage and writing assignments.

OUR CONTRACT: This syllabus represents an agreement (or contract) between the student and the instructor. By remaining enrolled in this course, each student is accepting the policies and guidelines covered in this syllabus.


  •  Feb. 3: Last day to drop a course (with no tuition liability)
  •  Feb. 20: Last day to drop a course (with full tuition liability)
  •  March 7-15: Spring Break
  •  May 5: Class ends (Tuesday)

    See the full Spring Semester schedule.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Students who do not confirm their registration by attendance at the first class meeting are subject to being dropped at the discretion of the department and instructor. Students must not assume that the department will automatically initiate a drop for not attending class. Students who register for courses they do not attend are themselves responsible for dropping the class. If you miss the first class, you must contact me with your intention to remain registered or you could be dropped for a waitlisted student. .


  •  Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., 219-B Thompson Hall; Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in my 219-B Thompson Hall office (or 311 Johnson Center if noted on my office door).
  •  By e-mail:
  •  By phone: 703-993-2199 (but I recommend e-mail)
  •  My webpage:
  • Class blog:


  •  Comm303/Writing Across Media (this is NOT a co-requisite); can only be waived by the instructor
  •  Familiarity with the Internet and general sports knowledge
  •  Basic keyboard skills; all coursework MUST be typed and double-spaced on a computer
  •  Ability to write in Associated Press style (which is why Comm303 is required!)

    Being a sports journalist is the most fun you can have and still get paid for working. But that doesn't mean it's easy. The days of sports as the"toy department" of the newspaper are long gone, as former long-time Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell might say. To be a sports reporter, editor, columnist, broadcaster, blogger or online journalist, you also must master the skills of a business reporter, a legal reporter, a medical reporter and a metro reporter -- as well as be comfortable using the Internet as a resource tool and breaking-news medium. Print, broadcast and online journalism are converging today in ways we never imagined barely a decade ago. As sports journalists like Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and Mitch Albom have demonstrated, journalists must be able to work across a variety of media. On the day the Joe Gibbs story broke about his return to the Washington Redskins (the story broke just after the paper had gone to press), Mark Stencel, then senior editor for continuous news at the Washington Post told me: "We had an alert on our homepage by 9 a.m. and a full story by 9:10 (a re-write on our final edition story). Mark Maske has been phoning in updates to us on his mobile phone all morning -- and also did a nice audio interview for the site about what it means for the team and the fans." And on the day Gibbs resigned, the best updates were available on beat writer Jason La Canfora's "Redskins Insider" blog.
    So be ready to rethink your concept of what a sports journalist is and what she or he is expected to do.
    In this course, you will learn how to write a sports story. We will address these basics while examining issues from race and gender to hero worship and sportsmanship. We will examine the ethics of what sports journalists do and why they do it. For these reasons, this course, like sports itself, is equal parts journalism, history and sociology.

    Some expectations:

  •  Please don't miss class. We meet together only 28 times. Or think of it this way: If you're an in-state student (and my math is correct), missing a class is like throwing away $34 ($100 per class for an out-of-state student). Classwork cannot be made up unless previously excused by the instructor. If you need to miss class, clear it with the instructor in advance, preferably by e-mail. If the absense is unexpected, I expect a note of explanation and I include the notes as part of class participation. Class attendance and participation make up a portion of your final grade.
  •  Students must type and double-space all writing assignments, sometimes utilzing e-mail to file a story on deadline. Hand-written assignments will not be accepted.
  •  Because I communicate with many students by e-mail, it is important that you include the course number (371-001) and the name of the course (Sports Writing & Reporting) in the SUBJECT LINE, along with the topic of the specific e-mail. Failure to do so could result in the e-mail getting eaten by my SPAM filter! Don't just hit the reply button without adjusting the SUBJECT LINE; that's poor e-mail ettiquete.
  • If you need to have your cellphone on during class, you must clear it with me.
  • It is tempting to multitask during class with computers at every desk -- do e-mail, IM, surf the Internet. It is rude to do so when I'm lecturing or our guests are talking. If you can't resist, please leave the room. Don't make me ask you to leave.
  •  Want to succeed in this class? Write clearly, simply and accurately. Use basic grammar and punctuation rules and simple sentence structure: craft every sentence. It worked for Hemingway, who was a pretty good sports writer in his day. It can work for you!
  •  Turn in your work on deadline. Late work will not be accepted unless previously cleared by the instructor. You will be penalized one full grade for every day your work is late.
  •  We will review and practice basic editing skills, reporting and interviewing techniques, quoting and paraphrasing. You will learn how to write a game story in this course.
  •  Keep your Associated Press Stylebook with you for every class and use it for every assignment. Good journalists also carry a dictionary with them. I also carry Webster's New World Speller with me and recommend it to you (how else do you think I know there is one "c" and two "m's" in recommend?). Another great reference: The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation.


Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (any edition), Norm Goldstein (editor), et al, ISBN: 046500489X

The Best American Sports Writing 2008 (paperback, $14), by Michael Lewis (editor), Glenn Stout (serieseditor), ISBN: 0618751157

Both books are available at the GMU Bookstore, at most bookstores (like Borders and Barnes & Noble), in used bookstores, or online at or

There will be selected readings throughout the semester available in print, on the Internet, in Blackboard, or by e-mail attachment.


You must bring some kind of portable media (like a flash/jump drive) with you to every class without exception to save in-class work. You cannot store work on the hard drive of classroom computers.


The final grade for this course will be based on the quality of your work and your classroom participation.
You'll be evaluated on each assignment, which will be given the following weights:

  •  Writing assignments (3 points each) ……..... 45% (450 points)
  •  Game coverage/feature (10 points each) .. ... 30% (300 points)
  •  Book review/movie review (5 points each)..... 10% (100 points)
  •  Columnist analysis …………....…………….... 10% (100 points)
  •  Class participation .............................…….…... 5% (50 points)

    Writing assignments: There will be about 15 graded writing assignments (3 points each), described in the Course Schedule below. The low grade will be dropped.
    You must bring three questions (typewritten, double-spaced) to every class for which a speaker is scheduled. Remember: Questions end in a question mark. Don't make statements or pontificate; get to the point of your question!

    Game coverage: You will cover three GMU sports events (or an alternative event like a high school sports event if cleared by me) in person as credentialed media during the semester. If you participate on a team, you should not write about that team (the conflict of interest should be clear to you). Each story is worth 10 percent of your final grade. See the GMU sports website for a complete Patriots schedule. You must complete one coverage before Spring Break (due no later than March 5). The second story is due no later than April 2; the third by April 23. Keep the vagaries (I had to check my Webster's Speller for that!) of Northern Virginia weather in mind. Weather is not an acceptable excuse for missing a deadline.
    Some good advice:
    Schedule your games/events early, not on deadline! All game coverage requests must be submitted in writing (e-mail) and be enough in advance for me to forward them to the GMU sports information office a minimum of 24 hours before the game/event so that they may accommodate you.

    Book and movie reviews: You will review a sports-related book and movie of your choice, choosing from Sports Illustrated lists of the top 100 sports books and the top 20 sports movies of all time. The two-page reviews (about 500-700 words) are due April 2 (book) and April 23 (movie).

    Name Movie Book
    Diana Friedman "Major League" "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" (Jane Leavy)
    Mike Foss "Bull Durham" "Creating an Empire: ESPN" (Stuart Evey)
    Brendan Murphy "61" "Into Thin Air" (Jon Krakauer)
    Chris Brooks "Hoosiers" "A Season on the Brink" (John Feinstein)
    Eric Vitoff "Friday Night Lights"

    "Friday Night Lights" H.G. Bissinger

    Sara Ronken "The Pride of the Yankees" "The Universal Baseball Association, Inc." (Robert Coover)
    Fox Parker "North Dallas Forty" "Cosell" (Howard Cosell)
    Andrew Schaffer "Rocky" "The Boys of Summer" (Roger Kahn)
    Ben Libby "Rudy" "Patriot Reign" ( Michael Holley)
    Grant Paulsen "The Natural" "The Natural" (Bernard Malamud)
    Kevin Healy "Slap Shot" "The Breaks of the Game" (David Halberstam)
    Colin Fitzgerald "The Rocket" "Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL" (Jeff Benedict and Don Yaeger)
    Joe Grimberg "Miracle" "The Only Way I Know"
    (Cal Ripken Jr.)
    Evan Benton "Cinderella Man" "Fever Pitch" (Nick Hornby)
    Colby Prout "Field of Dreams"

    "The Sweet Science" (A.J. Liebling and Robert Anasi) or "American Buffalo" (Robert Rinella)


    Columnist analysis: You will choose a national sports columnist (cleared by me) no later than the end of the first week of the semester and keep a running (web)log of the columnist's work on the class blog. A list of columnists is available online, or just Google "sports columnists" (or talk to me). And no, you can't all have Wilbon and Wise!

    Name Sports Columnist
    Eric Vitoff Bill Simmons, ESPN
    Mike Foss Rick Reilly, ESPN
    Diana Friedman Tom Boswell, Washington Post
    Chris Brooks Gary Parrish, CBS Sportsline
    Sara Ronken John Harper, NY Daily News
    Fox Parker Mike Wise, Washington Post
    Grant Paulsen Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
    Ben Libby Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
    Kevin Healy Woody Paige, Denver Post
    Brendan Murphy Michael Wilbon, Washington Post
    Colin Fitzgerald Leonard Shapiro, Washington Post
    Joe Grimberg Rick Maese, Baltimore Sun
    Andrew Schaffer

    Nick Cotsonika, Detroit Free Press

    Evan Benton Bill Plaschke, LA Times
    Colby Prout Michael Rosenthal, Ring Magazine

    Your classroom ethic: Regular attendance, timeliness, participation and attentiveness are expected. Progress is important. Classes will begin and end on time. It is rude to your classmates, our guest speakers and me to come to class late. Active participation in class is worth 5 percent of your final grade and should not be assumed as automatic.

    Writing style: The Associated Press Stylebook applies for spelling, accuracy, style, attribution, etc. Don't lose sight of solid, accurate, fair reporting.

    Deadlines: Adherence to deadlines plays an important role in this course. Journalists meet deadlines; their job is on the line if they don't. Deadlines set for stories in this course are final; assignments turned in late without an excused absence will not be accepted.
    You must e-mail or call the instructor if you miss class because of illness or emergency. I consider this communication class participation.
    In-class assignments cannot be made up unless cleared by me.
    If you think class may be cancelled because of inclement weather, check the GMU website, watch TV, listen to the radio, or call 703-993-1000.

    GMU utilizes a nine-point +/- grading scale. The Communication Department has adopted the following scale for core and basic courses, which will be used to assign final grades in COMM 371-001:

  • A+: 97 to 100  (why aren't you writing for the Washington Post?)
  • A: 93 to 100 (outstanding work of publishable quality)
  •  A-: 90 to 92
  •  B+: 87 to 89
  •  B: 83 to 86 (publishable with editing and minor changes)
  •  B-: 80 to 82
  •  C+: 77 to 79
  •  C: 73 to 76 (publishable only with major changes: you're making your editor do your work)
  • C-: 70-72
  •  D: 60 to 69 (unpublishable because of fundamental problems: even your editor can't fix it)
  •  F: 59 or less (lacks basic skills or work not submitted)


    Honesty is a given for those who engage in journalism. When you violate the trust of your readers or audience, you lose your most important commodity: your credibility. Please review George Mason University's Honor System and Code in the 2008-09 University Catalog.
    With regard to this course, acts of dishonesty include, but are not necessarily limited to, cheating on examinations, plagiarizing material from other sources, making up material or sources of information, and/or submitting work for this course originally completed for other courses without instructors permission. The penalty for academic dishonesty is failure of the course -- and you will be reported to the Honor Committee.
    Plagiarism means using the exact words, opinions or factual information from another person without giving that person credit. Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic or journalistic setting.


    In all discussions and assignments, this course emphasizes the importance of avoiding identifications and descriptions that serve to perpetuate stereotypes about gender, age, dialect, disability, national origin, race, religious affiliation and sexual preference. It is expected that discussions will be open and honest, but abusive language or behavior will not be tolerated.

    No food will be allowed in the classroom, nor will smoking be tolerated.

    Common courtesy should always prevail.

    Your regular attendance in this class will have a great impact on your final grade. Your in-class participation is critical (in other words, you want me to know your name as early in the semester as possible!). I will create a seating chart since there's a learning curve (for me) to remember your names.

    The only acceptable excuse for missing class is illness, serious family emergency, or a major religious holiday.
    For an excused absence, you must bring a note from a doctor (or medical professional) or parent (in the case of a family emergency).
    Any application for an excused absence must be submitted in writing with a copy for my records.

    Missing class without an approved written excuse will mean a failing grade for any in-class work and participation for that class.
    If the number of missed classes add up, you will discover that you are failing that portion of the class. Equally important, it will strongly affect your final grade in other ways: missing important information that impacts your ability to successfully complete assignments.

    If you are sick or can't attend class for whatever reason (and I have heard them all by now), I expect an e-mail explaining the absense (just as you would do for an employer). I consider this part of your class participation. This policy remains in force from the first class to the last.

    Classes will start on time; it is rude to your fellow students, guest speakers and instructor to be late and costs them classtime if I need to repeat material for your benefit.

    Be aware of traffic and parking patterns in and around campus, especially the first week of the semester.

    It is the policy of George Mason University and this instructor to make every reasonable effort to allow members of our diverse university community to observe their religious holidays without academic penalty. However, it your responsibility to provide me with advance written notice of the dates of any major religious holidays on which you will be absent (the earlier notice the better please).

    I have office hours and encourage you to use them -- as well as making mutually convenient appointments as necessary.
    Students who proactively visit with their professors before a situation becomes a problem tend to avoid problems and do better in class.
    Conversations about grades or individual problems are best dealt with in my office during office hours.

    Note to student athletes participating in intercollegiate events: You MUST inform me in writing (an e-mail is fine) prior to missing a class. So check your schedules now; if you must miss more than two classes because of scheduled events, you should reconsider taking this class (or talk to me during office hours).

    This university and this instructor are committed to providing an equitable learning environment for every student. I will readily adjust for those students with special needs. If you have special needs in the classroom, please provide a letter from Disability Support Services confirming and describing your special needs at the start of the semester. You may have Disability Support Services contact me directly. This information will be kept in confidence.

    Finally, you will find that I'm extremely responsive to e-mail. However, it is important that you include Comm371-001 and an applicable title or headline in the SUBJECT line or your note may go unanswered (or end up in my SPAM folder).


    NOTE: This schedule is subject to change depending on speaker availability during the semester and class progress. You will receive notice of any schedule changes by e-mail and/or in class. Confirmed speakers include Washington Post columnist Mike Wise, writers Len Shapiro and Alan Goldenbach , and online sports editor Jon Denunzio; reporter Jeff Zillgitt and former assignment editor Don Collins, all of USA TODAY; Greg Toland of WJLA-TV; and members of the GMU Sports Information office (among others as their schedules permit). Because some of these people may need to cancel or reschedule, it is important that you remain on top of your reading assignments in case I need to shift lesson plans.

    WEEK #1, JAN. 20& 22:

    Lecture/discussion: Introductions; course description; review of syllabus; discussion of of using the Tickle Me Gunston blog for speaker feedback and the sports columnist forum.

    Also: What you should already know; the importance of editing; and the craft of writing; avoiding common errors.

    Readings: "Game of good cheer; but not in the press box," Mitch Albom; "A Fan Again, After All These Years," Mike Littwin; "The Rise of the Sports Page," John Stevens; "The Top 100 Sports Books of All Times," Sports Illustrated; "The 50 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time," Sports Illustrated.
    Sports columnist: Choose your sports columnist.

    Assignment #1 (homework due on Thursday):
    "My sports autobiography, or Why I Want to Be a Sports_______."
    One page, double-spaced.
    Quiz (non-credit): What's your 2008 sports news IQ?

    Assignment #2 (homework): Write a 2-page essay utilizing AP style on "Was 2008 the Best Sports Year Ever?" (due Tuesday Jan. 27).

    Readings for #2 homework assignment: 2008 sports-year-in-review stories.

    "Best American Sports Writing 2008": Foreward by series editor Glenn Stout (p. x) and Introduction by editor David Maraniss (p. xvii).

    WEEK #2, Jan. 27 & 29:

    Lecture/discussion: So, you want to be a sports writer/broadcaster … What is APSE and AWSM? ... The secret formula for writing perfectly structured game stories every time (you do not want to miss this lecture!).

    Guest speakers (Thursday): How do I gather information? Where do credentials come from? What is professionalism in the press box? What is CoSIDA? SID Maureen Nasser of the GMU sports information office.

    Assignment #3 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What are the three most important things you learned from Maureen Nasser and the GMU sports information people?

    Assignment #4: Write a 2-page (500-700 word) game story off a television or radio event (due before class Feb. 3).

    Assignment #5: Using the website (which provides up to two weeks of free archives), read stories by sportswriter Alan Goldenbach and prepare (in writing) at least three questions for the class of Thursday Feb. 5.  This is a typewritten, double-spaced assignment to be handed in before the start of class.

    "Best American Sports Writing 2008": "The Legend of Bo," by Joe Posnanski, pp. 103-109.

    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    WEEK #3, FEB. 3 & 5:

    Lecture/discussion: Reporting, interviewing, quotes, attribution tags and transitions.

    Guest speaker/discussion (Thursday):
    Washington Post sports writer Alan Goldenbach on writing the take-out feature. Make sure you read "A Gripping Tale" before this class.

    Assignment #6 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Alan Goldenbach's presentation?

    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    WEEK #4, FEB. 10 & 12:

    Lecture/discussion: More on how to cover a game or event.

    Guest speaker/discussion (Tuesday): Jim Ioveno, News4 website editor. Also, sports blogging on the side (see Jim's hockey blog).

    Assignment #7
    (in Tickle Me Gunston):What were the three most important things you learned from Jim Ioveno's presentation?

    Guest speaker/discussion (Thursday): Jon Denunzio
    , prep sports editor of the Washington Post, on how to get started in the business, internships and how to write a basic sports story -- the building blocks of growing as a sports reporter.

    Assignment #8 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Jon Denunzio's presentation?

    "Best American Sports Writing 2008": "The Kick Is Up ... a Career Killer," by Michael Lewis, pp. 123-139.

    Special reading: "The Ballad of Big Mike," by Michael Lewis.

    WEEK #5, FEB. 17 & 19:

    Lecture/discussion: How to write sports analysis stories ... review and catchup ... speakers.

    Guest speakers/discussion (Thursday): BJ Koubaroulis
    , Washington Post prep reporter and multimedia journalist.

    Assignment #9 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from BJ's presentation?

    "Best American Sports Writing 2008": "The Old Ba' Game," by Eli Saslow, pp. 212-219.

    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    WEEK #6, Feb. 24 & 26:

    Lecture/discussion: How to write cover a press conference.

    Guest speakers/discussion (Thursday): Mock press conference with GMU Assistant Vice President/ Director of Athletics Tom O'Connor on the school's athletic program or the NCAA men's basketball selection process.

    Assignment #10: Write a news lede and 2-page story on Tom O'Connor's in-class press conference (due Tuesday March 3).

    Assignment #11 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Mike Wise's in-class presentation?

    Coverage (game/event story) #1 is due Thursday March 5 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Early deadline is Feb. 26.

    WEEK #7, MARCH 3 & 5:

    Lecture/discussion: More sports writing and editing basics ... writing on deadline ... beat writing ... women in media and all about AWSM.

    Guest speaker/discussion (Tuesday):
    Former USA Today sports assignment editor Don Collins, a former sports editor in Little Rock, Ark., will talk about managing a sports staff and how stories are assigned.

    Assignment #12
    (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Don Collins' in-class presentation?

    Guest speaker/discussion (Thursday):
    Former assistant sports editor Julie Ward of USA Today.

    Assignment #13 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Julie Ward's presentation?

    Coverage (advance and game/event story) #1 is due Thursday March 5 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    BOOK REVIEW is due by Thursday April 2 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

    WEEK #8 MARCH 7-15: No class (Spring Break)

    WEEK #9, MARCH 17 & 19:

    Lecture/discussion: How to make sense of March Madness (and other Big Events like the Masters, the Summer Olympics).

    Guest speaker/discussion: Audio tape presentation by Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press and ESPN (and author of "Tuesdays With Morrie"), "Facets of Creativity."

    Assignment #14 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from today's in-class presentation?

    Guest speakers/discussion (Thursday): Mock press conference with former Georgetown men's basketball coach Craig Esherick on March Madness.

    Assignment #15: Write a news lede and 2-page story on Craig Esherick's in-class press conference (due Tuesday March 24).

    "Best American Sports Writing 2008": TBA.
    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    BOOK REVIEW is due by Thursday April 2 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

    WEEK #10, MARCH 24 & 26:

    Lecture/discussion: Where did sports journalism and the sports section come from, where is it going, and are you going with it? Also, sports and race.

    Guest speaker: Audio tape presentation by Robert Lipsyte, New York Times sports columnist, from "SportsWorld: An American Dreamland" (great book to read for your book review if you can find it!)

    Assignment #16 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Robert Lipsyte's presentation?

    Guest speaker (Thursday): Nate Ewell, director of media relations for the Washington Capitals of the NHL.
    Assignment #17 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Nate Ewell's presentation?

    Special reading: "The Emergence of 'Sports and Spirituality' in Popular Culture."
    "Best American Sports Writing 2006": TBA.
    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    BOOK REVIEW is due by Thursday April 2 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Coverage (game/event story) #2 is due Thursday April 2 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Early deadline is March 26.

    WEEK #11, MARCH 31 & APRIL 2:

    Lecture/discussion: How to write a sports column.

    Guest speakers/discussion:

    Tuesday: Mike Wise
    , Washington Post sports columnist.

    Assignment #18 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Mike Wise's in-class presentation?

    Thursday: Jeff Zillgitt, online sports columnist,, reported from the Winter Olympic Games in Torino in 2006.

    Assignment #19 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Jeff Zillgitt's in-class presentation?

    Special reading: Mike Wise, "The Psychic Scars That Shaped an NBA Star," and "Arena's Summer: Bizarre and Absurb."
    Additional readings:
    Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    Coverage (game/event story) #2 is due Thursday April 2 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!
    BOOK REVIEW is due by Thursday April 2 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

    Alternative schedule (depending on availability):

    Lecture/discussion: More sports writing and editing basics ... writing on deadline ... beat writing ... interviewing, using quotes, proper attribution.

    Guest speaker/discussion (Thursday): Len Shapiro
    , former Washington Post NFL writer and Washington Redskins beat reporter, current golf beat writer, on everything you could possibly want to know about covering a beat, writing on deadline, covering Tiger Woods, writing a take-out, and the Super Bowl.

    Assignment #20 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Len Shapiro's presentation?

    "Best American Sports Writing 2006": TBA.

    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    WEEK #12, APRIL 7 & 9:

    Lecture discussion: So, you want to be a broadcast journalist …

    Guest speaker/discussion: Greg Toland, WJLA-TV Weekend Sports Anchor.

    Assignment #21 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Greg Toland's in-class presentation?

    Assignment #22: Choose a Metro Washington area sportscaster and write a 2-page critique (due before class of April 713) of their daily sportscast (i.e., Lindsay Czarniak or Greg Toland are both scheduled to visit class).

    "Best American Sports Writing 2006": TBA.
    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    WEEK #13, APRIL 14 & 16:

    Lecture/discussion & video: Sports and gender.

    Guest speaker/discussion: Lindsay Czarniak, NBC News4.

    Assignment #22 (in Tickle Me Gunston): What were the three most important things you learned from Lindsay Czarniak's in-class presentation?

    "Best American Sports Writing 2006": TBA.

    Additional readings: Combination of online reading and e-mail.

    MOVIE REVIEW is due by Thursday April 23 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Coverage (game/event story or feature) #3 is due Thursday April 23 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Early deadline is April 16.

    WEEK #14, APRIL 21 & 23:

    Lecture/discussion & video: Sports, sportsmanship, sports as folk religion, and hero worship.

    Lecture/discussion: Covering pro sports and professionalism on the job.

    Video: Frank Deford
    on writing.

    "Best American Sports Writing 2006": TBA.

    MOVIE REVIEW is due by Thursday April 23 in class -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    Coverage (game/event story or feature) #3 is due Thursday April 23 -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

    WEEKS #15-16 April 28 & 30, May 5:

    Lecture: Careers in sports and the real world.

    Book and movie reviews: Class presentations.

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