SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, January 17, 2005

And the Next Mailbag Will Be About. . .

I confess that I read espn.com more than I read usatoday.com more than I read cnnsi.com, but since I consider the SI piece to be perhaps The New Yorker or sports journalism, I peer into the cnnsi.com website every now and then. While it's written more in a style that would befit The Kiplinger Washington Letter than, say, The New Yorker, there are interesting tidbits that you can glean from the contests of this particular website.

Even if you don't read any articles in full.

Because I just happened upon this, and I thought it was worthy of mention.

But not for what it says.

For what it is.

Because I'd love it if some of these high-powered sports websites would share with us their counter statistics as to how many people want to know what is going on at the Australian Open. I mean, I envy L. Jon Wertheim's gig, getting to go eat some shrimp from the barbie and quaff some Foster's while the rest of us in SI's greater geographical area are enduring zero-degree wind-chill factors. Great work, if you can get it.

If anyone from SI is out there and wants to offer me a mailbag gig, please e-mail me at sportsprof@comcast.net. Especially if I get to follow the sun as the seasons change around the globe.

But is anyone reading this stuff? Quick, name the top 5 American male tennis players? The top 5 women?

You can't do it unless a) you're employed by the tennis tour, b) you're related to one of the players on tour, c) you're a tennis beat writer or d) you're someone who plays tennis at elite clubs and can hold a mean conversation about who could be the next Andy Roddick and why Vince Spadea never emerged as a top-tier player.

In other words, not many people. Which makes SI's quest to cover all of the seemingly major sports admirable, but my guess is that they'd get better attention if they covered NASCAR in more detail, if they happened to give more coverage to European basketball, bass fishermen or cricket.

Okay, so cricket's a stretch unless they started a version of SI for residents of the former British Empire, and unless they wanted to run features of Brian Lara, Courtly Ambrose, Jimmy Adams and the rest of the West Indies team in their publication. But I would argue that covering great fresh water fishing spots and European basketball would draw more interested readers.

But tennis?

Tennis, anyone?

Anyone out there?

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