View Full Version : shaving down - its a swim thing

January 21st, 2005, 11:19 AM
It's a swim thing, and they don't understand. This picture of one of the boys on the high school team I help coach appeared in yesterday's local paper based on his outstanding performance at the County Swim Meet. The caption under the picture was:

Water Girl


January 21st, 2005, 11:34 AM
Could be worse. I remember a newspaper reporting that I won the boy's 25 Free and the girl's 25 Back. Never a pleasant thing for an 8-and-under (at the time)...

January 21st, 2005, 12:28 PM
Pastor -- The kid is lucky he is good. He's gonna hear about it from some kids in the school regardless, but when you're good (and especially when your picture -- mislabeled or not -- is in the paper specifically because you're good) it's a whole lot easier to brush off the ribbing.

I hope that the paper doesn't try to print a "correction". I can just see it now -- "Correction: The picture of swimmer John Doe we printed on 1/20 was not correctly labeled. John Doe is, in fact, not a girl. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."

Maybe to compensate, they can agree to do a feature article on your high school's swim team. Local interest and all...

Bob McAdams
January 21st, 2005, 12:41 PM
So they thought a girl was wearing a topless swimsuit? :confused:

January 21st, 2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Bob McAdams
So they thought a girl was wearing a topless swimsuit? :confused:
The cap must have confused them!

January 21st, 2005, 10:50 PM
He obviously "splashed his way to victory"

January 21st, 2005, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Bob McAdams
So they thought a girl was wearing a topless swimsuit? :confused:

I was thinking the same thing!

January 25th, 2005, 06:18 PM
This is one argument in favor of splitting the boys/girls seasons in high school swimming, so poor, overworked editors don't get easily confused.

January 28th, 2005, 09:19 AM
Actually, I'm not sure it's that the editors are overworked....I think most of them just don't know diddly about swimming. In our local paper a couple of years ago there was a wonderful picture of a high school swimmer doing a beautiful butterfly and the caption read something like "...John Doe swimming breaststroke".... Then they had a picture of someone standing in a diving position on top of the starting blocks at the beginning of a relay and a caption saying that this was the record-breaking "medley" relay.... And, this is Ann Arbor....a SWIMMING TOWN!! But football and basketball get most of the press.


January 28th, 2005, 01:04 PM
It's probably a combination of the two. Not that I'm making apologies for editors (or reporters, on whose judgement and fact-gathering skills many editors must rely), but you're probably right. Most of them don't know much about swimming or other minor sports. When I was a freelance sportswriter for a time, my first assignment was to cover a volleyball game, and I had no idea what a "sideout" was.

The other thing is that sometimes we have to depend on the willingness of coaches and parents to help us get our facts right, and they're not always reliable. At the paper where I work, we cover one high school and, although we have a good relationship with the school, it's murder getting so much as a roster from some of the coaches at times. Then we either risk running a story that has something wrong, or not running it and getting angry calls from Parent X wondering why we don't write about their child's fantastic season.

I apologize if this sounds like a rant. I mean it all in good fun. :) Just offering my humble $.02 from the other side of the fence.


January 28th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Sparky (Adam),

You make some good points....I hadn't thought about that. Actually, I wouldn't know what a "sideout" is either (I only know that all games involving hitting, chasing or throwing balls are a lost cause for me).... I guess that may explain some of the reason why a lot of press isn't devoted to swimming in many places too....you would be less likely to write much about a sport you don't feel you understand very well...


January 28th, 2005, 03:27 PM
Sports journalism is such an interesting field. In the article accompanying this photograph and caption, the reporter said that our girls team 'nickled and dimed' their way to the County Championship. His comment referred to the fact that our girls won because of our team's depth rather than because of our having superstars who won enough first places. As you might imagine, some of our kids found the reporters choice of words quite upsetting.