Magazine article Information Today

Manna from Heaven

Magazine article Information Today

Manna from Heaven

Article excerpt

In normal-folks parlance, Sportspages.com is the archetypal links page or Web directory.

But to those of us engaged in the communications business--that's a fancy way of saying we toil at word factories--Sportspages.com is the biblical manna from heaven, an on line movable feast, a wellspring from which all that is good (and sometimes not so good) in the business flows.

Where else can you check up on what America's most literate sportswriters, like Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, are writing about every day? (A recent example: the story of a mother who sued the city of Stamford, Conn., because her 2-year-old cut himself on some city playground equipment, thus hurting his modeling career. As Dave Barry once said, I am not making this up.)

Where else can you find, in one place, links to writers like Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post? ("It's dirty pool to try to keep a relocated team out of this area by fielding a lousy, unwatchable team in Baltimore," he recently observed about the Orioles' battles to keep the Montreal Expos from moving to Washington, D.C.)

Or even The Denver Post's Woody Paige, who sent Salt Lake City residents into a tizzy during the 2002 Winter Olympics by writing bad things about their city and state? The offended Utahans found out, in large part, because of online readership.

I only recall Paige's exploits because he was staying in the same highly inflated-rate fleabag that the San Antonio, Texas, delegation inhabited in Salt Lake, and we were all quaking in our cowboy boots that someone was going to find out and torch the place. Paige, grumpy old man that he is, would have simply gone home. We Texans would have had to pitch tents.

But Sportspages.com has more than just links to columnists. It also includes links to a hulking percentage of the nation's daily newspaper sports sections, including those from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, and the Asbury Park Press.

And while you may scoff at the thought of reading the aforementioned Avalanche-Journal, recall that Captain Personality (aka Bobby Knight) is the basketball coach at Texas Tech. Although he doesn't get the kind of grilling he might get from, say, writers at nypost.com, his many foibles are well-documented at lubbock-online.com.

Sportspages.com's links are organized by region, although it may take some mental gymnastics to ponder the fact that El Paso, Texas, and Charlotte, N.C., are in the same geographical sector. The international category might be the most entertaining, for pure serendipity. The following is a headline item from the Irish Independent:

   Craft against graft, Hampstead
   against Hampshire, Antti Niemi
   against an array of athletic and
   stylish visitors, the differences were
   immediately apparent and Arsenal's
   elegant class was confirmed by the
   build-up and climax of their sweet
   first-half strike from Robert Pires.

Your guess is as good as mine about the subject there.

Sportspages.com also has the Webmasters' picks for the best stories of the day and a headlines section with three choices: sports, real news, and technology. Now this is a site that knows how to slice through the electronic baloney.

News by sport--mostly professional--is also available, with links to everything from Major League Baseball (which proudly proclaims, "Information at this site has not been subjected to major league baseball censors") to Thoroughbred Times (The "2004 Stallion Directory" is now available). …

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