Sunday, November 02, 2008

Coverage of the Breeders Cup..or lack thereof

I have been a subscriber to Sports Illustrated for over 25 years. Like the change in seasons, Sports Illustrated comes reliably delivered to my mailbox on a weekly basis.

But I find myself reading it less and less. The Time Inc. owned weekly magazine has gotten thinner and thinner every week, with less and less ads, and in my opinion, lesser quality articles and photographs. I remember as a young sports fan, 2 decades ago, looking forward to the feature length articles and photographs in Sports Illustrated each week.

They covered all the major team sports but also were known for excellent articles and photographs on the Olympics, Horse Racing and Boxing.

William Nack, in particular, was noted for his lengthy and illuminating articles on the big horse races of the year-the Triple Crown races, the Breeders Cup, etc accompanied by brilliant photographs.

No more. The issue of Sports Illustrated coming out after the Breeders Cup, dated 11/3/08, has a ½ page article (see photo above) with one tiny photograph measuring 2.5 inches by 2 inches of Zenyatta with 2 thumbnail size photographs of Raven’s Pass and Curlin. The entire article is a mere 4 paragraphs. The article only mentions 2 races-The Breeders’ Cup Classic and Ladies Classic and only mentions 3 horses by name in the entire article.

Paul Moran, writes in Paul Moran at the races that “Sports Illustrated, embroiled in an absurd dispute with Breeders’ Cup officials over ownership of photographs, declined to cover the races at Santa Anita.”


Anonymous said...

SI isn't your father's SI. It morphed into a cultural journal, rather that a sports recap. Gender and race themes are more important than thrill-of-victory ones.

It employs writers who seem to look down their noses at sports, as if they were doing sports a favor by bestowing them with their brilliance.

The final straw for me was their coverage of the Duke lacrosse non-rape fiasco. Their writer Feinstein approached it arrogantly and lazily, propounding PC talking points while completely ignorant of the underlying facts. Did he apologize for his errors after the NC Attorney General announced the players' innocence? No, he ramped up his attack against them.

SI is undergoing reader shrinkage for the same reason that all newspapers are doing so: their writers aren't normal people, and have lost connection with those who are.

Anonymous said...

I cancelled my subscription in less than 2 years of beginning it because I noticed in that short period of time the developments of the magazine. It is like Football Illustrated. They send me the letter pouting how they want me to re-subscribe...with football stickers as a bribe. Their racing coverage sucks, and the Smarty Jones cover will probably be the last horse racing SI cover.

Anonymous said...

Sports Illustrated, much like many other publications of late have adopted the "instant gratification" syndrome. They try to compete with the instant information available on the internet. Short, headline based stories, poor quality in photography and advertising. I cancelled by subscription two years ago after twenty years. I would suggest you look at a new mag out the Thoroughbred Style. Great articles and the best photography I have seen in years.