Tuesday, August 30, 2005

An Open, um, Posting, to Jack Bell at the NYT

Jack,

I look forward to reading your "Soccer Report" that appears each Tuesday in the New York Times. However, this morning's column, Wizards' Klein is Healthy Again, deflects attention away from THE soccer story of the week - the US WC '06 qualifier this Saturday vs. Mexico. I've read that The Times has asked you not to write too many "rah-rah" pieces about the US and the MetroStars, but if there was ever a week to push your editors, it was this one.

By burying the news about the match until the fifth paragraph, and then referring to it merely as an aside, you did a disservice to soccer in America. While focusing on Chris Klein's desire to get back on the US squad, you ignored many other angles that could have directed attention to match, such as:
  • The convergence of soccer and college football fans on a single day in Columbus
  • The challenge of getting the match televised on live english-language television
  • The wealth of Euro-based goal scorers on the US squad
  • The challenge of creating a US-friendly crowd
  • The sheer magnitude of the match here and south of the border

I know that as a journalist, your responsibility is to the reader, but really, you missed an opporuntity to expand awareness of Saturday's match. And that's a shame.

1 comment:

Demko said...

Jack bell has very strange taste. I often find his story selection perplexing. I wish the ny times had someone a little more ambitious writing that column. he often seems too lazy to even make phone calls.