10 December 2012

Get Me Elbow Patches, Stat!

Special Blog Announcement: I'm teaching a sports journalism class at Georgetown


I suppose it was inevitable. My parents are both college professors, and pretty soon, I'll be joining the family business. I'm happy to announce that I'll be teaching a sports journalism class next semester at my alma mater, Georgetown University.

I had a chance recently to meet a half-dozen of the students who will be taking my course -- they seem like bright and curious kids, and it will take some effort on my end to really challenge them. (I felt a bit badly, however, after I spent much of a guest lecture discussing why I feel that high school and college football won't be around in 30 years, and then one of my future students informed me he plays for the Georgetown football team).

Anyway, it should be a lot of fun, and way more work than I'm anticipating. (Note: I anticipate a lot of work. I grew up in an academic household, amid piles of grant applications and as-yet-ungraded assignments). I'm especially looking forward to teaching some of sports writing's classics ("Resurrecting the Champ"; Charlie Pierce on Tiger Woods; Gary Smith on Richie Parker), as well as some under-appreciated gems (Jeff MacGregor on Don King; "The Power and the Gory"; Darcy Frey's "The Last Shot"). I also plan to rope some unsuspecting friends and fellow journalists into guest-lecturing and/or coming by to share their stories and tricks of the trade. (If you're interested, drop me a line).

Anyway, here's the course description:

JOUR 365 – Covering Sports

In this course, students will learn the basics of covering sports – and how to think about sports coverage – both on and off the field of play. Topics will range from news and game stories to column and blog writing to magazine-style narrative features; when possible, the class will eschew droning lectures for introducing and developing practical skills, such as building trust with reluctant sources and how to successfully pitch freelance story ideas to overworked assignment editors. Instruction will be a mix of analytical and hands-on learning, with students expected to: (a) write; (b) read and discuss assigned material; (c) show up to class, pay attention and be engaged; (d) have fun. Guest speakers will include working sports journalists. There will be several short reporting and writing assignments, classroom exercises, a midterm examination and a final project.

(Patrick Hruby is a writer for the Washington Times and has covered and written about sports, society and culture for more than a decade. His award-winning work has appeared in media outlets including ESPN.com, Washingtonian magazine and The Atlantic online. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University.)


Hoya Saxa, everyone.