Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

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Jub
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Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-22 02:18pm

I'm a huge hockey nerd so I've been tracking my team's stats in five game chunks as the season has gone by. The posts don't get a ton of interaction but they're designed to be interesting now and useful as a tool for looking back at the season a few years down the road and seeing where the ups and downs were.

Given that I enjoy writing them I could see myself upping my game for next season and trying to get them published on a sports site somewhere but to do that they shouldn't just be a table full of numbers and a couple paragraphs recapping the team's stats over the past 5 games. I have a few ideas myself such as folding in a couple of paragraphs about that week's key players as well as including goaltending in my analysis but this forum is usually a good sounding board for honest feedback so I figured I'd ask here and see if anybody has something else to offer.

Here's a link to the thread. I'd copy a post here but the formatting breaks so badly it's not worth the effort.

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Gandalf
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Gandalf » 2020-02-23 02:12am

Ooh, sports stats!

I can't speak to the hockey side of it, but I'll start with a question; what sort of articles do you want to write? Because sports data journalism is a thing, though you'll need some decent data skills to find the numbers that other s may not see. If you don't want to go down that path, there's always viewpoint based articlea, where in addition to reporting the numbers, you add your own insights.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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Jub
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-23 02:04pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-02-23 02:12am
Ooh, sports stats!

I can't speak to the hockey side of it, but I'll start with a question; what sort of articles do you want to write? Because sports data journalism is a thing, though you'll need some decent data skills to find the numbers that other s may not see. If you don't want to go down that path, there's always viewpoint based articlea, where in addition to reporting the numbers, you add your own insights.
If I were able to go back to school I'd take some stats and writing courses and go that data journalism route. As it stands I have to go for more viewpoint and opinion based style.

My current ideas for what to add would be one to two paragraph recaps of each game in the set. Pick a couple of rising and falling players and talk about that. Then cap off with the team stats and my closing thoughts.

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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-23 03:22pm

Here's the start of the write-up for the next 5 game segment, we've only played one game so far otherwise I'd show you more:

-----

The Canucks started this five-game segment on a night when Ovi scored his 700th goal and the Leaf’s lost to an emergency backup goalie who happens to drive a Zamboni for their AHL affiliate. While those events are record-breaking the Canucks own effort was no less notable as we beat the Bruins 9 -3 with goals from Stecher, Horvat, Gaudette, Pearson, Eriksson, Pettersson, Toffoli (x2), and Virtanen.

Breaking things down further let’s dig into the team stats. The Canucks won in terms of his (31 to 29), faceoffs (36 to 30), takeaways (16 to 6), blocked shots (18 to 5) while giving the Bruins the advantage in shots (37 to 35), giveaways (4 to 12), and PP% (50% to 33%). As a whole, the stats don’t tend to matter in 9 goal blowouts but these stats look pretty good for the Canucks.

Our next game in Montreal started off a 4 game road trip...

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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Gandalf » 2020-02-23 07:50pm

I like your writing, and as a non-hockey person I find it easy to follow even if not all the words make sense. Though I would encourage you to take your interpretation further. The stats are communicated well, though what would you add that makes it your article? Find your unique selling point. Perhaps go to a hockey site, and find their gaps. If that matches with what you're doing, then go for it.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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Jub
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-23 08:52pm

Yeah, finding my voice is going to be the hardest part.

Once the team has played their next four games and I have a segment of games to work with I'll see what comes to mind as far as sumarizing the stats and editorializing the results goes.

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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Gandalf » 2020-02-23 11:19pm

Jub wrote:
2020-02-23 08:52pm
Yeah, finding my voice is going to be the hardest part.
It always is. It'll take practice and all sorts of grinding. Do you have a favourite team/player/phenomenon on which you would like to focus? Because if you start there, perhaps some passion can shine through and help you find that voice.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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Jub
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-23 11:45pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-02-23 11:19pm
Jub wrote:
2020-02-23 08:52pm
Yeah, finding my voice is going to be the hardest part.
It always is. It'll take practice and all sorts of grinding. Do you have a favourite team/player/phenomenon on which you would like to focus? Because if you start there, perhaps some passion can shine through and help you find that voice.
My team is the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL's Pacific Division.

Our last major run at the championship ended in heartbreak in 2011 from there we tailed off, dropped to the bottom of the league, and might make the playoffs for the first time since '14 - '15 on the back of strong play by some young players. Our fanbase is split because our GM hasn't managed our salary cap situation very well and the NHL is a hard cap league.

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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Gandalf » 2020-02-24 05:39pm

Interesting. Do you think the GM was just clumsy, perhaps haphazard in valuing players, or perhaps someone trying to beat the system in a Quixotic quest?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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Jub
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-24 06:50pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-02-24 05:39pm
Interesting. Do you think the GM was just clumsy, perhaps haphazard in valuing players, or perhaps someone trying to beat the system in a Quixotic quest?
It's Jim Benning's first time as a GM and the Canucks needed a rebuild. The team had a unique set of stars from the championship run in 2011 that essentially couldn't ever be traded (Google the Sedin twins if you're curious) but it's speculated that the owner wanted a retool for the playoffs instead. There was some friction between him and the team's president, Trevor Linden; '94 cup run hero for the team who hired him. Long story short, the GM stayed on and President Linden left the team. Among some fans our GM is known as Dim Jim and some of his facial expressions are used as memes.

His main flaws are fixating on the player he wants and overpaying (either in trade assets or contract term/dollars) to acquire or keep them. He's also had some questionable pro scouting though that trend has been reversing over the past few seasons. Some sources of contention are Loui Eriksson (34 years old, makes $6 million against an ~83 million dollar hard cap, has scored 12 points in 42 games this season), Jay Beagle (34, $3 million for 2 more years, also doesn't score), and Brandon Sutter (31, often injured, makes $4.375 next season, was given the first ever retroactive No Trade Clause). The NHL has guaranteed contracts and some of them are signed in a way that the usual cap relief options essential don't work.

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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Gandalf » 2020-02-25 03:08pm

Cool. Now in your mind what are the implications of this, short or long term, narrow or wide?

A good writing tip in a space like this is to write in two colours. One for when you're making your argument, and another for when you're relating facts.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

User avatar
Jub
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Re: Help Me Turn These Into Articles Worth Reading

Post by Jub » 2020-02-25 10:21pm

I haven't yet tried your different colors suggestion, but there was another game played tonight and I think I've managed to make things slightly less dry. It's not perfect, and I suspect that my style will always tend toward being dry and technical, but it should read a little less like VRC instructions now.

----

The Canucks started this five-game segment on a night when Ovi scored his 700th goal and the Leaf’s lost to an emergency backup goalie who happens to drive a Zamboni for their AHL affiliate. While those events are record-breaking the Canucks own effort was no less notable as we beat the Bruins 9 -3 with goals from Stecher, Horvat, Gaudette, Pearson, Eriksson, Pettersson, Toffoli (x2), and Virtanen.

While the game was enjoyable to watch there’s only so much to say about a blowout win, especially one that I missed catching live due to other engagements. So rather than wax poetic, let’s break things down further and look into the team stats. The Canucks won in terms of his (31 to 29), faceoffs (36 to 30), takeaways (16 to 6), blocked shots (18 to 5) while giving the Bruins the advantage in shots (37 to 35), giveaways (4 to 12), and PP% (50% to 33%). As a whole the stats don’t tend to matter in 9 goal blowouts but these stats look pretty good for the Canucks. That’s the good from this game, the bad is losing Markstrom for 3 to 4 weeks.

The Boston game and Markstrom’s injury lead us into the trade deadline. Our major move, picking up Toffoli for Schaller, Madden, and a 2nd was done before the TDL so our deadline day consisted of swapping minor league goalie Zane McIntyre for the New Jersey Devil’s goaltender Louis Domingue. Domingue is the better goalie than McIntyre and it seems likely that New Jersey made the move to clear both real dollars and cap hits from their roster after retaining on Hall and Simmonds in other trades. From the Canucks PoV they pickup a backup goalie to support Demko until Markstrom recovers. Beyond that Domingue will likely find himself in Utica helping the Comets make a playoff push or enjoying life in the press-box as a third-string NHL goalie.

My final verdict for the TDL is a B. Picking up Toffoli was the correct choice with Boeser injured and trading for Domingue cost nothing and gives the team a viable back-up option until Markstrom returns. We also avoid obvious trap trades such as picking up Simmonds or trading additional future assets beyond those already expended on Miller and Toffoli.

Our next game in Montreal started off a 4 game road trip by allowing the Habs to go up by a pair of goals before the game was 10 minutes old. Then Horvat scored on the PP to bring it to a single goal deficit. Another goal by Edler in the second had the game knotted at 2 going into the third. A gut-wrenching goal by Weal less than a minute in saw the Canadians back on top and a flurry of activity bent the Canucks to near breaking. Then 5 minutes later Virtanen put one past Price once again tying the score. This deadlock would last into overtime.

Overtime gets its own section because, as much as it doesn’t resemble 5-on-5 play, 3-on-3 OT can create some memorable moments. In this game, it was 1:35 seconds of the Canucks owning the puck the Canadian’s flailing trying desperately to clear their own zone and change and Tyler Toffoli winning the game on a perfect pass from Bo Horvat. Not perfection, but it was enough to make me smile.

The team stats in this game once again tell the tale of the Canucks being outshot (34 to 40) and winning anyway. Faceoffs (30 to 27), Giveaways (15 to 16), Blocked Shots (17 to 11), Takeaways (13 to 10), and Power Plays (2/2 vs 0/1) all favored the Canucks. The Canadians lead in hits 28 to 19 to stop this being an entirely one-sided affair.

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