Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2006

You Be The Sportswriter

Dan Lewis, a contributor to Pro Football Prospectus 2005, and has started a new sports wiki called ArmchairGM with some of his friends. The site is in pre-beta right now, but here is the idea: Live, fan-written game recaps, where everyone contributes as writers and editors of the same article.

Dan writes: "The site is not ready to 'go live,' as they say, but I want to give FO readers a chance to prove the power of, well, a community of football fans. One of my friends insists that, if you get enough fans together, they'll write a much better game recap that the AP reporter will. He's probably right, and I'd like to put it to the test. We have the playoffs this weekend, and that means, we're all watching the same game. That means hundreds of FO readers, each of whom are more knowledgeable than Jason Whitlock, will be seeing the same thing and, hopefully, drawing interesting conclusions throughout. We want them recorded.

The link goes to the Jaguars-Patriots page, simply replace the date and teams to find the other three pages.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Jan 2006

13 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2006, 12:15pm by OMO

Comments

1
by Dan Lewis (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:58pm

Two other things -- please, don't edit any pages other than the four for this week's game. We're trying to get everything ready and we don't need setbacks.

Also, in editing, you're going to get "edit conflicts." These occur when two (or hopefully more) people try and edit the same page simultaneously. We have no good solution for this, and welcome suggestions. Our best idea, as of yet? Make quick, brief remarks, and after the game, turn them into prose. For example, instead of writing

"With 2:04 left to go in the first half, Player failed to get out of bounds. This cost Team a play."

write

"2:04 Player not o-o-b"

Or something like that.

2
by Shannon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:52pm

The email addresses on the About page aren't working (the accounts don't exist) so I'll post this here.

I'm a rabid Pats fan, and probably wouldn't be a very good commentator; but I'm also an experienced web developer, and would be interested in helping you get this off the ground if you could use the help.

It looks like you're using MediaWiki, I've hacked around with that a bit in the past.

3
by Shannon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:54pm

The email addresses on the About page aren't working (the accounts don't exist) so I'll post this here. I'm a rabid Pats fan, and probably wouldn't be a very good commentator; but I'm also an experienced web developer, and would be interested in helping you get this off the ground if you could use the help. It looks like you're using MediaWiki, I've hacked around with that a bit in the past.

4
by Brian (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:04pm

"That means hundreds of FO readers, each of whom are more knowledgeable than Jason Whitlock, will be seeing the same thing and, hopefully, drawing interesting conclusions throughout."

Wow, talk about damning with faint praise.

5
by Dan Lewis (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:07pm

For those who wish, I'm dan@dlewis.net.

Shannon, that goes for you as well. And even rabid Pats fans can contribute to the game pages! Remember, there are four games, so if you don't want to comment on Jags/Pats, do so on the other ones.

6
by Dan Lewis (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:35pm

Brian:

The point of my Whitlock slur is to show, or at least argue, that "the best analysis" and "ESPN" are hardly synonyms :)

7
by Darrel (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 9:32pm

Hey, Armchair! What's up, it's Jack of Arcades. Good to see you around. I'm definitely going to contribute.

8
by Shannon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:22pm

There is now a category page for the 2005 Wildcards that's probably a better jumping off point than the Jaguars/Pats game. Could the link above be updated?

9
by Steve Sandvik (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:25pm

Maybe you can encourage people that if they have something to say that takes more than a few seconds to type, to write it in some text editor and then open the wiki and copy/paste it to minimize the risk of editorial collisions.

10
by King Kaufman (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 4:13am

One of my friends insists that, if you get enough fans together, they’ll write a much better game recap that the AP reporter will.

If you get enough people together, you can do anything better than anybody. But can your friends write a better game recap than the AP reporter *and file it within 10 minutes of the final gun?*

I think the site's a wonderful idea, but I just felt I had to defend my profession a little.

11
by Ted (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 5:58am

Am I the only guy here who actually kind of likes Jason Whitlock?

12
by DNL (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 11:27am

Steve -- excellent idea. Of course, you have as much ability as I do make the encouragement. Simply go to the page and type in your suggestions.

King, or his supporter -- given that AP reports are filed 10 min after the game and then hit the web, while ours hits the web in real time, I think this is again our advantage.

The other point is that I don't think any of us could, individually, write a recap as well as a professional. But we're not doing it individually! :)

13
by OMO (not verified) :: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 12:15pm

Re: #10

1) Skip Bayless
2) Jason Whitlock
3) Peter King
4) Don Banks

Your honor, the defense rests.