Sports journalism is a constantly growing aspect of the field, and, in my opinion, an intimidating aspect to cover. Sports journalists not only have to be knowledgeable of AP Style and other aspects of journalism, but must also have extensive knowledge and passion for the sport(s) they cover.
Schools have whole areas of their journalism departments dedicated to the craft of reporting from the sidelines/locker room/other related sports terms. Channels are dedicated solely to reporting sports of every kind. It is an extensive, extensive field; and it’s full of professionals who have dedicated their careers to learning everything from the history of a sport, to the current plays seen in each game.
Many, I daresay, even know the play books for certain sports as well as the players. They must analyze and interpret key moves and plays for their readers, and recap the game in such a way that readers feel as if they were present in the stands.
Sports journalism can go even further than that, though. Recently, ESPN published an article about Toomer’s Oaks at Auburn University. These massive oak trees once were part of an old Auburn football tradition. The tradition went that every spring football game, these giant trees were “rolled” with multiple rolls of toilet paper by game attendees. Recently, however, a rival Alabama fan poisoned the trees. They have since been removed, as the poison killed these massive oaks. The article took an in depth look at this tradition and the recent tragedy, taking a different approach to sports journalism.
It’s an insanely commendable craft, especially for those like me who do not understand much about most sports. Those interested in this field should begin studying their favorite sports and teams, and look for sports internships.