Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuesday, March 31 class, cancelled

Class, we will not be meeting on Tuesday, March 31. I will be out of town at the Rio Grande Valley on a recruiting trip and judging a UIL high school journalism district contest.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A fond farewell to a great sports writer....David Flores of the San Antonio Express-News

NOTE: Some of you may remember the assignment on Feb. 26 during the class from San Antonio was to listen to long-time San Antonio Express-News sports writer and columnist David Flores. Mr. Flores did not make it to class that day. I had talked to him earlier in the day and he said he had an important meeting to go to at his office downtown. He told me how happy he was that he had been spared by the cuts at the Express-News and how many of his friends had not survived. I could tell, however, by his voice cracking, that he was not sure he was totally safe from the "cuts" and "layoffs." He apologized but said he would love to return another day. Shortly after that talk at 1:45 p.m., Mr. Flores was told he was among the last batch of Express-News employees to be "laid off." Of course, he was devastated, but handled the situation with class and dignity. Today (March 21) his last column appears on the San Antonio Express-News website. It's a tough one, for me, who saw him grow up from a cub reporter at the Kingsville-Bishop Record News to one of the most respected sports writers and columnists in the state and nation. Now his days as a SA Express-News sports journalist are over.....but his legacy will live on. Few San Antonio journalists, in particular Hispanic, have touched as many people as he did with his reporting and his columns. Visit his website (you still have to complete your assignments) and check out his writing. His personal style of writing and ability to convert every thing into a human interest story with poignant personal comments, was singular in Texas sports writing. He will be missed. Buena suerte, senor Flores. And, one final note: It is ironic that our class has experienced the current status of the newspaper industry in the United States first-hand by witnessing the layoffs at the Express-News. While newspaper reporting, and print will survive, the very fact that one of our speakers was impacted with the current state of the economy and news industry serves as a poignant reminder of how fragile our world is nowadays.

This was the original post....
Class, we will have a guest speaker scheduled today. If he does not show up, we will discuss column writing and you will be assigned to read some of his columns. More on this at class. His name is David Flores. He is the senior sports columnist for the San Antonio Express-News. He has a long and varied career in sports writing and has covered every facet of sports, from local high schools to the professional level. An alumnus of Texas A&M-Kingsville, David Flores is known for his crisp, no-nonsense style of writing. His columns are very respected. While his game day reporting is excellent, his column writing is superb. If he shows up (there have been some serious setbacks at SAE-N this week), I will ask him to talk about his columns and how he reaches out to his readers. It's interesting, while he has had many columns of praise for the heroes of sports and life in general, he also is not afraid to write a critical column and ask for change. That is the power of a good column writer. Please be early to class. I will be having class from San Antonio.....bueno, see you soon.
Dr. Manuel Flores

Friday, March 20, 2009

Movie Review Assignment

By now you have selected your movie. Make sure to view and plan to do a report in class and also written. Follow the format below.....


(Cover page: Times New Roman 14 point. Centered. Double spacing.
Review should be at least 2 pages…your call on this)
Review of:
Your Name
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
COMM 4306
Sports Journalism
Month, day, date


(This is Times New Roman 12 point. Double spacing. Flush left.)

Opening: In bullet list form.

Release Date:
Country of Origin:

Narrative: Begin with the title and details of the film; running time, historical items why film was made, if applicable.

Give me a short history of your film.

Review the main them of the movie.

Give a brief synopsis of the plot line.

Cite anyone that you quote.

Second page: Tell me what you found from historical (old) reviewers.

Then tell me what you found from current (recent) reviewers.

Tell me about the studio that produced and released the film – sometimes they are two different studios.

Tell me about the script – who wrote it, or adapted it for the screen, etc.

Tell me about the director and other films he/she directed.

Tell me about the main talent – actors and actresses – and other films in which they appeared.

How does this relate to sports journalism? Was it a protest film? Was it a film about stereotypes? Was it made to send a message or just to be historical? Was it just plain ol’ entertainment?

Third page: Tell me about your own viewing experience – what you liked/disliked, and what you thought worked and what you though didn’t work.

What was your favorite part of the movie? Why?

What were your favorite quotes from the film? Why?

Having seen the film how would you rate it or recommend it to others?

Conclusion: Your final opinion about this film.

Fourth page: Give me your bibliography, with at least three sources (book can be one)

Book Review Assignment

Book Review: One book review is required. The assignment will be both written and oral (presentation before the class). The written review must be submitted in MS Word format. The presentation can be a power point, slide or overhead project presentation. By now you have already selected your book from a list of approved books provided by the professor. Remember, the professor must “approve” the book.

Some suggestions for your book review

Things to look for . . . .

What are the author’s main points?
Again, these will often be stated in the introduction.

What kind of evidence does the author use to prove his or her points?
Is the evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does the author support his or her points adequately?

How does this book relate to the topic of Hispanics in the Media?
Is the book unique? Does it add new information? What group of readers, if any, would find this book most useful?

Does the author have the necessary expertise to write the book?
What credentials or background does the author have that qualify him or her to write the book? Has the author written other books or papers on this topic? Do others in this field consider this author to be an expert?

What do the reviewers say about this work?
Check out reviews on the Internet or journals to get this point.

How successful do you think the author was in carrying out the overall purposes of the book? Review the foreword in the book and also epilogue is some to determine this.

Depending on your book’s purpose, you should select appropriate criteria by which to judge its success. The primary concern is the reflection of Hispanics. Other concerns are its role for Hispanics in the Media and also whether it is of historical significance. Some points to consider: For example, review the foreword, if an author says his or her purpose is to argue for a particular solution to a public problem, then the review should judge whether the author has defined the problem, identified causes, planned points of attack, provided necessary background information, and offered specific solutions. A review should also
indicate the author’s professional expertise. In other instances, however, the authors or author may argue for a theory about a particular phenomenon. Reviews of these books should evaluate what kind of theory the book is arguing for, how much and what kind of evidence the author uses to support his or her scholarly claims, how valid the evidence seems, how expert the author is, and how much the book contributes to the knowledge of the field.

Writing the Book Review

Book reviews generally include the following information; keep in mind, though, that you may need to include other information to explain your assessment of a book.

Most reviews start off with a heading that includes all the bibliographic information about the book. There is a sample below:

Title. Author. Place of publication: publisher, date of publication. Number
of pages. Cost (if you can get it)

Like most pieces of writing, the review itself usually begins with an introduction that lets your readers know what the review will say. This is your opinion and it should be concise, poignant, succinct and to the point.

The first paragraph usually includes the author and title again, so your readers don’t have to look up to find this information. You should also include a very brief overview of the contents of the book, the purpose or audience for the book, and your reaction and evaluation.

You should then move into a section of background information that helps place the book in context and discusses criteria for judging the book.

Next, you should give a summary of the main points of the book, quoting and paraphrasing key phrases from the author. However, don’t tell the whole story. Make the reader want to go and get the book.

Finally, you get to the heart of your review—your evaluation of the book. In this section, you might discuss some of the following issues:

• how well the book has achieved its goal
• what possibilities are suggested by the book
• what the book has left out
• how the book compares to others on the subject
• what specific points are not convincing
• what personal experiences you’ve had related to the subject.
• and, in our case, how it related to our subject matter – Hispanics in the Media

It is important to use labels to carefully distinguish your views from the author’s, so that you don’t confuse your reader. Then, like other essays, you can end with a direct comment on the book (i.e. This book has wonderful examples of how Hispanic have impacted broadcast media and is a valuable resource for anyone doing research on the subject). You should then tie all your comments or issues raised together and come to a conclusion.

There is, of course, no set formula, but a general rule of thumb is that the first one-half to two-thirds of the review should summarize the author’s main ideas and at least one-third should evaluate the book.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

TAMUK Sports Writing Students Extra Credit Assignment

The Sports Writing students at TAMUK have an opportunity to gain extra credit by volunteering to keep score at the TAMUK 2009 Advertising Team's March Madness Basektball Tournament at the Stienke Physical Education Center (SPEC) on campus. The TAMUK 2009 Advertising Team is sponsoring a basketball tournament featuring area law enforcement agencies and fire department personnel in an effort to raise funds for District 10 competition in Houston in April. Tentatively, the tournament is set for March 26 ( i will verify this later). The Sports Writing students will be expected to keep the official score. Jaime and JC, we really need your help here....we will break up into teams of two. The tournament starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. Make plans now....SA students, we will try to think of an extra credit project for you as well as the semester rolls along....okay, post on the blog to comment or call me...I will be in and out of the TAMUK office all this week during Spring Break, but I am taking off Thursday and Friday......Isn't this fun?
Dr. Flores

Sport Column Contest - deadline April 15

Welcome of the 2009 TAMUK & SCSA Sports Column Writing Contest! As part of your course curriculum, you were to write "two" sports columns. Please use the lecture notes provided (about two weeks ago) and use your book as a reference, as well as reading the David Flores' columns and completing that assignment, to write THE BEST COLUMN EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORTS JOURNALISM CLASS!!!!!


You should be. Here's a chance to write your opinion, analysis and slant on any sports story - from the pros and major leagues to the university teams and even local high school happenings. Remember, a column should not be a glorified human interest story or feature must have a POINT or a SLANT and must be provocative....almost always.....Even if the column praises someone or some team, it must promote, also, the character and feelings of the writer. You can use "I" in a column, but most good columns just sort of "talk" to the readers through their writing and avoid the use "I". Get it?

So, the assignment (2 - dos - columns) is due April 15. They must be turned in by that day. The columns will be judged by professionals at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, San Antonio Express-News and Alice Daily Echo News. Buena suerte (good luck) Now, like every good contest..there will be prizes.

1st Place - $25 Gift Certificate to Academy
2nd Place - $10 Girt Certificate to Whataburger
3rd Place - $5 cash.

If any of you can find another "sponsor", put it in and we will add it to the pot...okay?

Bueno, good luck. And, we are meeting as a class again next Tuesday. Take advantage of this time to catch up with the baseball games.....there's plenty of acation out there...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Break Schedule

Here is the schedule for Spring Break.....

TAMUK-System Center San Antonio Spring Break is Monday, March 9 through Sunday, March 15. The students in San Antonio will not have a class meeting March 10 or March 12. They will receive blog assignments for their classes March 17 and 19 but do not have to show up to class since the Distance Learning personnel at TAMUK cannot "make the connection with SA." They are advised to follow the blog for the book and movie review assignments and to keep up with their reading. We will meet as a class again March 24 and 26. In the meantime, there are plenty of baseball/softball games to cover. How about it?

The TAMUK Spring Break is Monday March 16 through Sunday March 22. The TAMUK students will meet as a class in Cousins Hall Room 121 on March 10 but not March 12, which is an assignment date to cover baseball. The TAMUK students will not meet on March 17 and 19. We will meet again as a FULL class March 24 and March 26. Watch for those book and movie review assignments on the blog.

Please call me if are confused about this. Again, here is the schedule

MARCH 24 - Back to norma

Book Reviews - Please Check

Class, I lost my notes on the movie and book reviews when I went to San Antonio. I left them in one of the classrooms....I'm sure they are gone by now. Can you please review this list and post your name and book so we can update? If you don't have a book yet, please choose will be first-call, first-served basis from now on for these booka and the book must be a book on this list.....the time of your posting will be used as a guide for this. As soon as the list is complete and every one has a book you will get the format for the assignment.

Sports Illustrated Top Books That I Recommend

"Paper Lion" (George Plimpton)1965
"Fever Pitch" (Nick Hornby) 1991 - Tania Garcia - TAMUK
"Cosell" (Howard Cosell) 1973
"Season on the Brink" (John Feinstein) 1986
"The Fight"(Norman Mailer) 1975
"When Pride Still Mattered"(David Maraniss) 1999
"Muhammad Ali: Life & Times" (T. Hauser) 1991
“The Boys of Summer” (Roger Kahn) 1971 - Shaun Springfield, TAMUK-SCSA
"The Sweet Science" 1951
"Veeck as in Wreck" (Bill Veeck) 1962
"The Natural" (Bernard Malamud)1952
"Ball Four" (Jim Bouton) 1970
"Everybody’s All American"(Frank DeFord) 1981
"No cheering in the press box" (Holtzman) 1973
"The Glory of Their Times" ( Ritter) 1966
"Friday Night Lights" (H.G. Bissiner) 1990
"Semi-Tough" (Dan Jenkins) 1972
"A season on the brink"(John Feinstein) 1986
“You Know Me Al,” (Ring Lardner) 1914
“The Game” (Ken Dryden) 1983

Books that I recommend

“Always Dream” (Kristi Yamaguchi) 1998
“Amazing Women Athletes” (Jill Bryant) 2002
“Babe Didrikson: Athlete of Century”( Knudson) 1985 - Sasha Rodriguez, TAMUK
“Big Girl in the Middle” (Gabriellle Reece) 1997
“Game Face” (J. Gottseman, Penny Marshall) 1998
“The Girls of Summer” (Jere Longman) 2000 - Alisa Reynolds, TAMUK-SCSA
“Go for the Goal!” (Mia Hamm) 2000
“In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle”(Madeline Blais) 1995
“Let Me Play: The Title IX Story” (Karen Blumenthal) 2005
“Living the Dream” (Dot Richardson) 1997
“Mighty Jackie” (Marissa Moss) 1998
“Still Kicking” (Katie Hinda) 2006
“A Whole New Ball Game” (Sue Macy) 1995
“Raising our Athletic Daughters” Zimmerman & Russell)1998
“Brian’s Song” (William Blinn) 1972 - Katrina Alejandro, TAMUK
“The Frailty Myth” (Collette Dowling) 2000
“Games Girls Play” (Caroline Silby, Shely Smith) 2000
“Superwomen” (Jodi Buren,Donna Lopiano,Billie Jean King) 2005
"Good Enough to Dream," (Roger Kahn) 1985
"Juiced!" (Jose Canseco), 2002 - Carlos Alvarado, TAMUK

Movie Reviews...please check

Sports Illustrated Top Movies That I Recommend

Movie and Student Assigned to Review

Class, I lost my notes on the movie and book reviews when I went to San Antonio. I left them in one of the classrooms....I'm sure they are gone by now. Can you please review this list and post your name and movie so we can update? If you don't have a movie yet, please choose will be first-call, first-served basis from now on for these movies and it must be a movie on this list.....the time of your posting will be used as a guide for this. As soon as the list is complete and every one has a movie you will get the format for the assignment.

Top SI Movies

"The Natural" 1984 - Jaime Gonzalez, TAMUK
"Jerry Maguire" 1996
"Bad News Bears" 1976 - Lisa Lane, TAMUK
"Hoosiers" 1988 Jacque Hutton, TAMUK
"North Dallas Forty" 1979
"Field of Dreams"1989 - J.C. Reyes, TAMUK
"Rocky" 1976
"Fat City" 1972
“Damn Yankees!” 1958
“Slap Shot” 1977 - Tania Garcia, TAMUK
“Raging Bull” 1989
"Bang the Drum Slowly" 1973
"Breaking Away" 1979
"Friday Night Lights" - Noe Longoria
“Requiem for a Heavyweight”1962
"Tin Cup" 1996 - Joe Hamon, TAMUK
“The Hustler” 1961
“Chariots of Fire” 1981 - Alissa Reynolds, TAMUK-SCSA
"Bull Durham" 1988

Auxiliary List of Movies That I recommend

"Rudy" 1993 - Mary Beth Cleavin, TAMUK
"White Men Can't Jump" 1992 - Mark Molina, TAMUK
"We Are Marshall" 2006 - Lorraine Rodriguez, TAMUK
“League of Their Own” 1992 - Shaun Springfield, TAMUK-SCSA
“61*” 2006
“Victory” 1981 - Greg Stelfox, TAMUK
“Cool Runnings” 1993
“Grand Prix”1966
“National Velvet” 1944
“Enter the Dragon” 1973
“Lady Bugs” 1992 - Carlos Alvarado, TAMUK
“Caddyshack” 1980 - Andrew Harper, TAMUK
“MajorLeague” 1989
“Hoop Dreams” 1994
“The Longest Yard” 1974 - Katrina Alejandro, TAMUK
“Remember the Titans” 2000 - Cristina Garza, TAMUK-SCSA
“Brian’s Song” 1971
"Invincible" 2006v- David Mendez, TAMUK
"Happy Gilmore199? - Emmanuel Dixon, TAMUK
"Goal!" - 2004 - Sasha Rodriguez, TAMUK

Column Writing Assignment - both due March 26

Part I: Please review the chapter in your book about column writing. Also, please go to - the website for the San Antonio Express News - and pick two columns by veteran E-N sports columnist and reporter David Flores and tell me the style he chose and what your take on his writing style is. Is Mr. Flores opinionated? Does he have a point or is he just writing a feature (human interest story). This should prepare you for the next phase....

Part II: Write two columns of your choice. Choose your style from the textbook. The column should be at least 750 words. These will be published either online or in The South Texan if the editors deem them to be worthy. Good luck...this is not due until after the TAMUK spring careful and be safe....if you need ideas, call or email or post something on this blog....And, by the way, he is not related to me.

Dr. Flores