Embracing change on the sports page

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Way back in the 1980s, I remember helping my parents carry in cameras and cannisters of film to record the Pilot Point football games.

After the game, my father would make the 35-mile trip to Sherman to help process that film, along with dozens of others. He’d then make the trek back to Pilot Point before dawn and deliver the film to coaches for the Saturday morning session with players.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

It was a process that took hours of labor and travel that is now completed in seconds. With today’s digital technology, coaches can start watching film as soon as they can get to a computer or television. In the last half-dozen years, I’ve actually had coaches point to a play on video in the post-game interview.

As that technology has changed, so has the game on the field. Gone are the days of the wishbone and games that are over by 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Today the ball is flung around the field to attack defenses, and teams pile up points and yards with games often ending around 10:30 p.m. to the stress of sportswriters.

And in the stands, besides a win for their hometown team, what the fans want has changed, too. Instead of waiting to read a 20-inch breakdown of the action on Saturday morning, you want live updates and tweets while the game is happening.

We’ve worked to meet that demand with our live blog on Friday nights, but we’ve been reluctant to change the coverage in the paper. We’ve continued with our long recaps, along with box scores and only a few incredible Joe Duty photos.

While slow to change, outside forces are driving us to catch up with the times. We switched printers, moving our deadline up an hour to make the Saturday mailing, so starting Friday, we’ll be changing our coverage, which had become somewhat dated.

We’ll still bring you plenty of stats and even more pictures from our talented photographers. There will be less drivel from us as we go to concise recaps, along with a Game of the Week.

As always, you can contact me or our editor, Kristen Tribe, with any concerns or comments.

Like anything, change can be hard, and it will take time to adapt. But like the old film and wishbone, soon we will realize the new way is far better.

Richard Greene is the sports editor of the Messenger.

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