The written word

So as a lot of people know, I’ve spent the past few years trying to create an eSports news site. Pretty much all of it has failed, for whatever reason, and since I couldn’t care less about gaming now, I’ve thought about giving it one more stab. This time, however, about real sports, not eSports.

I’m pretty happy with my radio job I have, and I hope it turns into something even greater in the near future. However, yesterday was one of those days where a lot of reminders slap you in the face about what you were “meant” to do. I didn’t study broadcasting in school, I studied the written side of journalism. Yesterday on the afternoon show I worked with, we had two guests who taught me a lot about the profession, mostly writing.

@LarsAndersonSI is a college football and auto racing writer for Sports Illustrated, and taught one of the last classes I took at Alabama. He’s probably one of the best sports writers ever, and taught a lot of tips and tricks in his class on how to succeed in the field. I probably learned more in that one class than I did in the other 13 years I was in college. Then we also had a call from @Ian1033, who is currently a radio show host for ESPN Dallas in the afternoon. He was in Birmingham for a while on a show at another radio station that I interned at. He gave me a nice plug on the air, and then said I should be writing because it’s where my skill truly lies.

I have thought about trying to write some. I had a couple of possible opportunities to write over the end of my college career, but they slowly fizzled over time leading up to graduation. About a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking what it would be like if I took all the energy I put into gaming, and put it into sports instead. Basically, take what I did with GN, and do it with sports instead. Drop Gears of War for college football and Starcraft for the NFL.

The rise of sports blogs kind of happened already, but they are still probably the best source of information over a site like ESPN. However, many of them have turned into silly entertainment blogs instead. Two of the best were Deadspin (from Gawker) and SportsbyBrooks.com, but they’ve all turned from just getting the news out there first (by not having to jump through hoops to get a breaking story out there), to simply breaking down some of the goofy things in sports and trying to make them entertaining (see Deadspin’s pieces on LeBron James). It’s almost turned me off from ever going there, or using that as my sources of information, but it’s hard to get breaking news from ESPN or Yahoo when they are almost an hour late on stories now because of all of the fact checking, and editors approval. I know it’s what needs to be done, but it also makes you late to the party.

There was a site launched a couple of months ago here in the south called Outkick the Coverage which covers primarily college football in the SEC. It’s a strictly opinionated site run by @ClayTravisBGID who used to be a guest on the radio show I worked on, and is a pretty big college writer in the south. His columns are usually pretty edgy, but also he makes very good points, and spits the truth that people don’t want to hear. It’s become almost controversial, and he’s done a good job in bringing the idiots out in the south. I love it.

He also has a 3 hour radio show in Nashville. Further proof that both can be done. I really want to start a site up like this, but not really sure on how to go about starting it up in a field that is already so big. There is a lot to cover, and a lot that needs to be covered – but covering it right is the key. I’ve already started looking into site designs and branding, but I don’t think it’s something I can just start on my own.

So it’ll be a process, but one that I have started over the last week or so, and solidified yesterday. We’ll see where it goes.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.