Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Giving Our Writers a Sporting Chance

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Giving Our Writers a Sporting Chance

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bob Cuffe

And so the summer is definitely here ( the rain is so warm. And for us in newspapers we have the annual problem of what to do with the sports writers, specifically the football journalists.

Sport is vitally important to us at The Journal, so we employ the finest expert minds for all the key sports. For minor sports, like rowing, basketball and the like, we just hand it over to those who make it all up. We pay them in out-of-date strong cider.

We have posh, very well educated people who cover rugby, cricket and golf. They've been brought up proper, they speak proper and they write proper.

We have great big blokes with tattoos who cover boxing and fishing. Sometimes we multi-task them, leading, quite literally, to men boxing pike. We have small, balding, middle aged men who cover motorbikes. I hate these men on motorbikes. The ones who drive up your backside.

And then we have the football crew. How can I describe them? They're pleasant enough, but a bit slow. They all still live at home, and their mums dress them funny. They have their names in their coats, and bring their bait box into work every day.

They have photos of their pets on their desks. They ring their mums to check what's for tea when they get back. The boxing and fishing correspondents bully them mercilessly. Very entertaining, it is, too.

From August to May our football crew are as happy as Larry. The trouble is Larry is incredibly depressed. They're proper fans. They love their teams, and to prove it often have fist fights at the derby games.

We raised this as an issue with their mums at the last Parents and Staff evening we had. We have these every year, inviting in parents to discuss with them how their children are progressing, and agreeing the appropriate home-school networking to address any ongoing issues.

During the season our team are able to fully indulge their journalistic skills, vigorously and rigorously reporting on the big build-ups, and the matches themselves. …

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