The Unindividual Same


I read two articles about sports writing and the need for everyone to get their own voices back… to not be Just like everyone else. To not cover the same story everyone else will just because… simply put, everyone else will. I see this is about more that just sports writing… It’s about life.

The two articles were “Back to the future… How sports writing can recapture its relevance” by Gary Andrew Poole and “A sports writing rough draft” by Joe Posnanski. Although they were writing about sports, for the sports lover or writer… There is so much more in between the lines…. As deep as a question in human nature itself. But we won’t dig that deep… yet. This “toy department” of news signals what is going on in the more general world of news.

So many times I turn on the television to watch the news and newscast after newscast, different anchors were reading the same words, same stories, same expressions. Was there no other news going on in the large city of Chicago? Yes the stories were written sligjtly different, the visuals may be from another angle. But when it’s all said and done how much can be said about a woman tripping in a sinkhole in her front yard? How many different live shots can you shoot next to it… Or in it? But everyone is doing it. So why not, we have to as well…. Right?

This reminds me of being younger and begging my mother for certain items. I wanted a Barbie jeep just like everyone else, i wanted to wear my hair down, like everyone else, I wanted to get second holes in my ears… Why not? Everyone’s at it! My mother would simply reply…. (And I know you all have heard this before:) “if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?” of course I’d say no… But did I really feel that way? I know at least once I pondered the question and decided it depended on who all jumped. But i digress…

Why doesn’t the news give us something different? And by different I don’t mean one or two investigative stories or a soft segment about shopping but something more? What ELSE is going on in Chicago/(insert city here)? What can YOU make a viewer care about?

Therefore it is important to point out that “no one scoops anymore” (Poole). So what’s the big deal? There isn’t usually a huge race to break a story in the paper or during a news anymore, the Internet does this. News needs to stop shoving the same info people can get on every other news channel down people’s throats. Or if you have to do what everyone is doing, differentiate it or make it short/simple and toss it to the website. Nowadays people don’t want to see the same thing on every channel and they don’t have to.

This can also boil down to human nature. As I said, with some things everyone’s at it… Do you want to be like everyone else? Off the top of your head I’m sure you’ll say no… But that’s why many people are into fashion trends, wearing what very one else is wearing. Just like we see the same news story on every channel, we see the same hair, same clothes, same makeup, on everyone– whether real or fake.

Although this started with articles in sports writing calling sports writers be once again dig deep and be an individual, it is ending with a call for human nature. Individuals, Should be just that–Individuals. Have we lost all capacity to be creative? To have our own style and personality? Or is what we see and read create us? Even the radicals that say they are against the mainstream, have a “style” they follow. They are not individuals either, they are part of a different unidividual collection. So why not be creative with life? Rather than doing what everyone else is doing… Let’s all– sports, news, and individuals– do something different.


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