Thursday, March 8, 2012

Obsolescence Week: save the game lead

Posted By on 03.08.12 at 02:00 PM

Derrick Rose: Is a video worth 1,000 words of game lead?
Call me old-fashioned—now there's an insult—but I still like sitting down with the standard game lead over the morning paper, especially when I didn't actually see the game the night before, as with Wednesday's 106-104 Bulls win in MIlwaukee.

The conventional wisdom in the newspaper business these days is that nobody reads game leads online. And in considering and researching the topic today, with the Bulls' win as Exhibit A, I have to admit there's something to that.

I was looking for a description of Derrick Rose's game-winning, buzzer-beating shot, but who needs it when the video is right there alongside the printed story, as in the Tribune with K.C. Johnson's account?

Johnson emphasized how a last-second game winner makes everyone on the team a kid again. The Sun-Times game lead was a little more elegant, opening by comparing coach Tom Thibodeau to Sir Georg Solti in orchestrating plays, then cutting to Rose improvising everything himself in the final seconds, with Carlos Boozer describing it afterward: “This is the play: Get the ball to D-Rose, and everybody else get out of the way. And it works every time." (Though I had to go to the print version to determine for certain that beat writer Mark Potash had written it, because his byline was left off the online version.)

In the game lead on the Bulls' official site, former Tribster Sam Smith tried to capture Rose's magic by calling it a step-back jumper, but even that failed to suggest Rose's shimmying shake-and-bake that led up to it. Smith's post, too, is accompanied by an even pithier video of Rose's final shot, punctuated by TV color man Stacey King calling him "the Windy City assassin."
But I don't know; I still like the words. Nobody else mentioned how Rose's legs went straight in his fadeaway leap, with a little scissors kick as he fired the shot, which caromed crisply off the back rim through the net. I guess that's for everyone else to notice in the video. Just run the tape, and all writers get out of the way.

More of Obsolescence Week on the Bleader.

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