Monday, February 04, 2008

Giant Despair

That's the fun thing about living in a hotbed of newspaper competition: Another day, another round of the vigorous, issue-driven dust-up that is the Marketplace of Ideas. And the 1A choices today could hardly have better captured the two streams of thought that dominated America's Front Pages:

Freep:
GIANT UPSET

Detroit News:
PERFECT UPSET

Tough call, huh? We're going to have to go deep into the tiebreakers. The Freep has two "celebrates" cutlines on the front page, to one for the News. But the News manages some annoying italic emphasis ("'Shock' is a word overused in sports, but this truly was a shocking victory") and is just out of bounds with a "delegate-rich Calif." hed next to the centerpiece.

But the Freep has ... Albom!
What had they done? What had they done? Had they really pulled off what the rest of the world just witnessed?

Freep by a nose.

Wherever you are around the country, you seem to have seen something similar, which doesn't say a lot for the legendary independence of the U.S. press (or the alleged creativity of the sports side). Here's some of the "Giant Upset" camp:
Mobile Press-Register
St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Tribune
Hartford Courant
Portland (Maine) Press Herald
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Oklahoman
Philadelphia Inquirer
The (Columbia) State
Greenville (SC) News
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Houston Chronicle

Yes, the variants count too: "A Giant upset" (Omaha World-Herald), "Giant upset!" (Asbury Park Press, San Francisco Examiner), "A Giant upset!" (Burlington Free Press).

The "Perfect upset" camp was smaller:
Northwest Herald, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Baltimore Sun
Detroit News
Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
Charleston Post and Courier

("A perfect upset" showed up on the Florida Times-Union, the Louisville Courier Journal and the
St. Paul Pioneer Press.)

And perennial contender "Bowled over" had its adherents in Mattoon and Doylestown.

Cutline-wise, there was a whole lot of ... oh, stop it:

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates Sunday after his 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
(Way to go, Northwest Herald! That's the sort of detail that'll put 'em right back to sleep)

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates his game-winning touchdown pass, capping an 83-yard drive during which the Super Bowl MVP barely avoided a sack to make a key reception.

Eli Manning celebrated after his 13-yard game-winning pass to Plaxico Burress in the fourth quarter last night in Phoenix.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates after his 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress late in the fourth quarter.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates his Super Bowl-winning touchdown pass.

Quarterback Eli Manning, 10, celebrates with his teammates as the final gun signals the end of Super Bowl XLII.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram


New York quarterback Eli Manning celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy alongside Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (right) and Fox TV’s Terry Bradshaw after the Giants defeated the New England Patriots.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts to a third-quarter sack, one of five he suffered Sunday.
The Kentucky Enquirer sneaks in a "react"!

New York Giants teammates Michael Strahan, left, and Eli Manning celebrate their defeat of the New England Patriots Sunday night.

New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan celebrates after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday.

New York Giants’ Kareem McKenzie (67) celebrates Sunday after the Giants scored in the fourth quarter to beat the New England Patriots 17-14 during Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.


There's almost nothing good to say about all this, but a few commendations are in order. Charlotte and Raleigh both managed to use a celebration shot without using the Verb of Satan. And Richmond actually came up with a novel centerpiece hed:
18 and ... no

Other than that ... ecch. Please, no more.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

So the WaPo squeaks by with its "Giants win perfect stunner"?

At least Feinstein wrote a nice column on it.

8:30 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Brian Cubbison said...

It looks like you're going to have to give the editors an alternative to "celebrates" ...

Jubilates?

9:02 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Denise said...

Re: independence of the U.S. press -- there was a home across the street from the newspaper that was broadcasting the game on a giant projector screen in their back yard. We sent a great feature photographer over there, who came back with a dark, cool, artsy photo of a little boy in front of the clearly obvious game on the screen.

The discussion of whether it should go 1A lasted about 1.5 seconds and ended with "nah, see if sports wants it." Duh, they want a gamer -- and instead of walking our endless talk of thinking outside the box and acting locally, we ran the same photo as half the papers in Florida, including our nearest southern competitor. *headdesk*

12:23 PM, February 05, 2008  
Anonymous rayb said...

Columbus Dispatch had pedestrian 1A hed, but the sports guys dug deep for Giant Killer, which sorta stretched the idea too far.

1:22 PM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger fev said...

Indeed -- as Word Wolf or somebody noted elsewhere (Wolf is a merciless critic of her local fishwrap; check her out if you haven't), the trouble with Giant Killer is that the giant loses in that one.

2:02 PM, February 05, 2008  

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