Saturday, August 25, 2007

One sided sports reporting

This was the capsule that the Herald web site published about the game between Christopher Columbus and Belen Jesuit last night:

Columbus 13, Belen 12: If Columbus fans were wondering if Jakhari Gore had another standout season in him, Friday evening's performance versus neighborhood rival Belen showed them just that.

Gore ran for 146 yards on seven carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Explorers against the Wolverines in front of 7,000 fans at Tropical Park Stadium.

''We have a good thing going with Gore and [Jaren] Jones,'' Columbus coach Chris Merritt said. ``Over the spring, we implemented a successful two-back system from Wake Forrest and it showed tonight.''

Jones, a senior, had 92 yards on nine carries while senior transfer quarterback Dan Parker added 55 yards in the air to a variety of Explorer receivers.

The Explorers' defense also shined behind senior linebacker Derrick Crumpton, who complied 10 tackles and a crucial fourth quarter sack.
Full disclosure, I'm a Belen alumnus which is the only reason I was interested in seeing the Herald's coverage. But if you read those four paragraphs not one Belen player is mentioned by name, nothing about Belen scored or Belen's statistics.

As a bit of background, both Belen and Columbus are all-boys Catholic schools. The schools have produced many influential and successful alumni. But Belen is a much smaller school known more for academics than sports. This game was only the 3rd meeting of these schools on the gridiron ever. This series was established in 2005 and has been a huge success in raising money for both schools. Columbus won the first meeting in 2005 by a score of 21-7. They won going away in 2006, 28-0.

In short, Belen is huge a underdog anytime these two schools meet in football. Which is why it's unbelievable to me to see a capsule of the game that doesn't describe how David almost beat Goliath. With about two minutes to go in the game Belen stopped Columbus on 4th and goal and took control of the ball on their own 1 yard line. Belen then marched to about mid field before they were finally stopped and the game ended. The game could not have been closer. A one point loss against a team with a much bigger reputation and several state championships in a higher division and the Herald doesn't think any of that is worth mentioning. I shouldn't be surprised to see the Herald miss the most intriguing angle to the story, but I am.


Anonymous said...

The Herald has no money for covering high school sports. Those stories are usually supplied by unpaid stringers. For most sports, the winning team calls in the score and they usually only have names and stats on their team.

Why should the local newspaper with declining ad revenue and circulation cover a preseason football game between two small private high schools? I'll bet almost none of the parents at those two schools even subscribe to the paper.

Henry Gomez said...

Why should the local newspaper with declining ad revenue and circulation cover a preseason football game between two small private high schools?

Well there were 7000 people there. How many high school football games draaw that kind of crowd. And in case you missed it, several TV stations thought it was important enough to send camera crews and cover the game. Maybe the Herald has no clue as to where the stories are.

Henry Gomez said...

Oh and by the way, paid or unpaid, if you have someone there, GET THE STORY.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to belen and columbus, the division, the championships, they don't matter. The rivalry goes way further than football. Its about that friday night, and nothing else. The game didnt even count, it was a pre-season game. If ur 1 of those 2 schools, just beating the other team makes it a successfull season which is why they didn't mention it, Im a columbus student and i know that no matter what the score was, everyone will hold their head up high come monday morning. the past 2 seasons, the crowd was about twice as big and was played at FIU stadium. It wasnt available this year so they only sold about 5,000 tickets. The herald got the story...columbus beat belen. botomline thats all that matters.

Henry Gomez said...

If you think they got the story, then surely you are from Columbus. How would you like it if the recap of the Dolphins game only gave the stats from the other team? What if the Dolphin were playing against the defending superbowl champs, stopped them on 4th and goal and drove down to within 30 yards of the winning field goal and the next day the only thing mentioned were stats from the other team as if it were a route.

Like I said, only a Columbus person would see that as complete coverage.

Cutiedevil88 said...

Herald "content provider" Oscar Jose Corral is a Belen alumni. Why didn't he report on this? Why isn't he reporting on anything lately? Why is Corral's Herald blog in a coma? What is Corral's defense after his arrest for soliciting barely-legal teenage prostitution?

Anonymous said...

My friend's son is the quarterback at Belen (Nick Platt). He is a sophmore, 6Ft 2inches and could throw the ball over 60 yards in the air. Belen will now start throwing the ball and leave the QB option behind.

I too read the article and wondered if Nick played and was he involved in the scoring.

I already placed a call to his Dad to get the total and fair coverage of the game. Damn you Herald!

Anonymous said...

Sir, you and I may be Belen alumni, but you are also a damn' Gator!


Anonymous said...


Correction, Oscar Corral is NOT a Belen alumn. His brother, Jose Corral, is.

Oscar Corral went to Miami Sunset, don't associate him with Belen.

I share Henry's thoughts regarding the Herald blurb. Irrespective of the backstory, the mere fact that the game was a 1 point squeaker merits equal coverage of both teams' achievements. I also did not like the coverage on the radio, which I found focused only on Columbus.

anonymous 8:32 p.m. --- let's get something straight here... you have nothing to hold your head up high about. Columbus is physically much bigger than Belen (you're not known as BALCO East for nothing), and you have Frank Gore's cousin running the ball. When the game was on the line with two minutes left and a 4th and goal from the 1, you couldn't punch it in. Face it, you FAILED in crunch time. Belen wasn't supposed to win the game, we weren't even supposed to compete, yet we scared the hell out of you. Now bend over and get ready to continue to get you well-deserved whipping in basketball and every other sport.

Henry Gomez said...

Oscar Corral is a Belen alum.

Anonymous said...

Ok, those that do not regularly follow High School Sports Coverage might be confused by this, but, if the Herald cannot send a reporter to the game, the usual modus operandi is for the Coach from the winning team to call the Herald HS Scores and news line, and leave information. That is what happened here... There was no by-line, etc.

Anyways, a Columbus win is expected.. If Belen ever wins, now that will be news.

Henry Gomez said...

Anonymous, again what you are saying would make sense if it were an ordinary game. But it's not. This game has gotten tons of publicity since the series began two years ago. There were several TV cameras there as testament to how interested the community would be. This was, as I said, a case of David coming within a hair of beat Goliath. But Goliath gets the headine and all of the body copy. I thought the first thing they taught in J-school was that there's two sides to every story.

Robert said...

I know this is way after the game, but the Herald Neighbors did run a story on the people who attended the game. They almost exclusively interviewed Belen alumni (in fact I don't remember them mentioning any Columbus people).

It's not the same as the actual game coverage, of course, but a Columbus alumnus could fairly say that the Neighbors article practically ignored their school.

In the end, it's Herald reporting at its best (worst).

Henry Gomez said...

Didn't see the Neighbors piece. I searched for content about Belen and the game on the Herald's search engine for about a week afterwards.