Sports editor calls a timeout and NBA summaries are back
If you're an NBA fan, put me down for a turnover and an assist. But at least the assist came late in the game.
As sports editor of The Seattle Times, I'm paid to make tough decisions. One of the toughest is when I have to decide what makes our newspaper and what doesn't. As most of you have undoubtedly noticed, our print edition has been shrinking as we've had to bring expenses in line with shrinking revenues. Newspapers across the country have had to make similarly difficult decisions.
As the NBA season finally resumed after the holidays after a contentious lockout, I was faced with what I thought was a very tough call. Should we also continue running the NBA scoring summaries as we had for decades or use that space to cover local sports teams?
I had compelling reasons on both sides, and weighed them carefully. I tallied up the reasons for and against, talked to my staff and even my wife. And then I made the wrong decision.
I decided not to run those NBA stats. I figured I'd get a few phone calls and emails. I was ready with a carefully worded answer, which I dutifully sent to each person who complained.
The first two days, I received about 10 or 12 complaints. That was less than I expected.
But after a week without the box scores, the calls and emails kept coming. And what surprised me more than the complaints was the passion behind them. People were missing their box scores, sure, but they also felt strongly that we had taken something that was rightfully theirs away from them. Just like the Sonics, I guess.
I started to feel guilty. After I totaled the number of calls and sat down and took a second look at our Sports section, I realized I had to call a timeout and a technical.
Then I reversed the call. Starting Thursday, the NBA boxes were back in your printed edition of The Seattle Times. And they'll stay there the rest of the basketball season.
My staff has started talking to me again. I've even gotten several nice emails from readers thanking me for listening to them and reinstating their NBA summaries.
And me? I'm convinced that I finally got it right. All I needed was a few phone calls and emails.
Heck, I didn't even need a replay.
If you'd like to write a Take 2 post, email Sports Editor Don Shelton at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com