This week I’m analyzing an article from The Oregonian‘s online “Blazers Beat,” where they give analysis on the Blazers/Suns playoff series. Joe Freeman gives a creative spin to the traditional sports reporting with his article on the Blazer’s LaMarcus Aldridge. From the start, Freeman’s article is riveting as it places his audience in the shoes of the NBA superstar. While giving all the necessary background information, Freeman gives his story meat by profiling Aldridge and focusing on the pressure felt by high-profile games in the playoffs. His use of quotes is something that I really learned from, because he uses really interesting quotes from Aldridge that really match the attitude of the rest of the article. Freeman also utilized great quotes and information from Blazers coach Nate McMillan, which added another dimension to the article.
Freeman altogether does an impressive job of staying completely neutral in this article and analysis, which is something that I think is hard to find in the world of sports reporting these days. Rather than adding opinion, he gives a fair take on Aldridge’s performance and looks to his teammates and his coach for feedback, which makes the information seem more legitimate. He juggles the profile and analysis of Aldridge with the overall performance of the Blazers in a way that keeps his audience interested and not overloaded with information. The piece wraps up perfectly with a quote from Aldridge’s teammate that almost sounds like a challenge, leaving it to the superstar to up his game for his eager fans. With this article, Freeman captures the part of sports that always proves to be the most intriguing, the “heart.”
Freeman is one of the two main contributors to the Blazers Beat, which includes countless information on the team, commentary, blogs, videos, and links to their social media. For all things Blazers, I can’t imagine a more informative and comprehensive site. I am very interested in sports reporting myself, and I learn from following this beat about how to write for this audience and how to capture the attitude and energy of sports.