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Old 07-31-2004   #5
aj.
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I like reading the daily newspaper. One subscription out of over a half-million circulation does nothing to them. It hurts me more than it hurts them if I quit subscribing to "prove a point." They are a monopoly in this city.

I don't like other NFL teams continually getting routine and prominent features in HOUSTON Chronicle Sports. I know why they do it as I've exchanged letters with them several times. As long as I'm a subscriber and as long as I see half page articles of another team that I could care less about in my paper (that cuts into the coverage of our own team), I will continue to ***** about it. It may be futile but that's the way it goes.

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I just do not understand why we get the less experienced and more milquetoast offerings from the less experienced and arguably less talented writers for the local team. Seems fairly backwards to me.
The Chronicle's perspective is that the NFL writer gig should be reserved for the most experienced and seasoned writer (as is McClain). McClain has tons of contacts around the league and his experience would be wasted here as a local beat guy. The problem to me is the priority/focus/emphasis (call it what you want) of what the NFL beat guy writes about. He should be more focused on the general NFL and less focused on the Cowboys and Titans. I'm not talking about his notebook, I'm talking about features. Did you know that McClain is at Cowboys camp all week and will be covering EVERY Cowboys away game this season? I submit that it's the focus that's screwed.

My best example of that lack of focus was last season (or was it '02?) when Peyton Manning returned to NO to lead the Colts against the Saints in Prime Time. What a perfect opportunity for an article of great NFL interest for Houston Chronicle readers. Do you remember what we got from the Chronicle's NFL beat writer that week? It was a throw down article titled "(Jeff) Fisher is one of the best." Harrumph....

What about Portis in Washington - how's he doing? What about Champ Bailey in Denver - how's he doing? What about Kenechi Udezi, Duante Culpepper, Randy Moss, Michael Bennett and the forever underachieving Vikes? What about Byron Leftwich and Reggie Williams? What about Lovie Smith in Chicago? How long will Norv Turner last? Will it be Rivers or Brees......There is so much more out there for NFL fans than the "regional coverage" we get from our NFL guy, i.e., north Texas and middle Tennessee region.

The local beat is typically covered by less experienced guys. I've met Duarte. Super nice guy but he's a young guy and (then) admitted inexperience. He told me at camp in '02 that it was his first time to cover football and that he was a more of a "baseball guy" (he was probably still in college when the Oilers were last here in '96).

Last edited by aj.; 07-31-2004 at 08:07 AM.
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