March 14, 2009

NFL Player Kills Pedestrian in Miami: Wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who recently signed with the Cleveland Browns after playing for the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, struck and killed a pedestrian in Miami Beach this morning. Stallworth, who was driving a Bentley, stopped at the accident scene and is being questioned.

posted by rcade to football at 02:36 PM - 22 comments

I still hate how these articles are structured.

1. Quick overview (focused more on the NFL player, not the victim) 2. Players contract past and present (not important here) 3. Career stats (which has nothing at all to do with the incident) 4. Details of ridiculously priced vehicle (does it matter?) 5. Damage to said vehicle (Again, does it matter?) 6. Location of incident (oh yeah, and its proximity to ridiculously priced residences) 7. The victim (some guy, blah, blah, blah)

While notable people always seem to drown out the others involved, we're not discussing an adultery case or a crazy bingo night game. Someone died here, I feel that person should be the focus, not the fact that some athlete was involved. I understand why it is the way it is, I just wish it were the other way around.

posted by BoKnows at 03:10 PM on March 14, 2009

I agree 100% with BoKnows.

posted by Doehead at 03:19 PM on March 14, 2009

If the story were written to your guidelines it wouldn't be a story. "Pedestrian Killed by Unspecifed Car Driven by Unspecified Person at Unspecified Place, Which is Worth Reporting for Reasons We Can't Say."

posted by rcade at 03:43 PM on March 14, 2009

No, it would say:

59 year old Mario Reyes struck and killed while on way to bus stop. Then it would tell more about him, his life, his family.

Then the sum up on the bottom would tell about the driver, car, place, etc... I don't disagree completely with the article's content, just the structure. The article above seems to put more value in the NFL player, car, location than where it should be, which is the victim.

Why does the fact that it's a Bentley matter? Or the color of it? Or where the damage is? Why is Stallworth's current contract important? Or his defining season stats? Why is it important that he was near a ferry that delivers the rich to prominent homes? Most of that article was simply fill.

posted by BoKnows at 03:56 PM on March 14, 2009

No offense intended, Bo, but your line of reasoning is crushing my will to live. I am driving my car into the garage, shutting the door and leaving the ignition on.

If this poor guy was killed by another unknown person, it wouldn't be news outside of Miami and might not even be news there. It certainly wouldn't be news here.

Yes, we're all beautiful snowflakes and no one is worth more than anyone else, even if he drives a Bentley and averages 14.8 yards a catch with 32 career touchdowns. But any media outlet that operated under your rules would bore the crap out of its audience and die.

I care about this story because a rich famous NFL player is involved. I wanted to know that he just inked a deal with the can't-catch-a-break Browns. I would like to consider how this will affect his team. Bless me father for I have sinned.

posted by rcade at 04:17 PM on March 14, 2009

Hit the button, rcade, open the garage door, if you go now, how will we ever get the new comments thingy back. But if you do decide to move forward here, can I include the color of your car, the make and model in your obit? How about the model of the garage door itself? Would that really be important?

No offense taken.

Again, I have problem with the structure of the article, not the content. All your interests in this story could still be included. It's the primary focus that I think should be shifted a little.

posted by BoKnows at 04:40 PM on March 14, 2009

I have to side with rcade here, if the story starts out about Mario Reyes I never get past the first sentence. The story IS about Donte Stallworth, and how he hit a pedestrian. It is not about Mario Reyes being run over, at least not on any sort of a national level.

Because the story is about Stallworth, then his career, his car, etc. come into play. Hell, I'm surprised they didn't mention what he was wearing, where he was coming from, or going to. If it were you, or I, that ran the poor guy over, our careers, cars, etc, would be of no interest, and thus no part of the story, and no one outside of Miami would ever hear of it.

posted by dviking at 05:07 PM on March 14, 2009

I'm not drawing a line in the sand here, dviking. We don't need to choose sides. Like I said in my first post, I understand why it is the way it is. I get it. I just don't like it much.

posted by BoKnows at 05:26 PM on March 14, 2009

Well, here's another article.

This one doesn't include the victim's name, and there seems to be a conflict of the victim's age between the two sources.

While those issues are still a little bothersome for me, at least the second article is structured a little more to my liking. Which is:

1. Info 2. Info 3. Info 4. Info 5. Info 6. then the career stats, contracts, etc..

posted by BoKnows at 05:34 PM on March 14, 2009

Sorry BoKnows, but as an editor for several community newspapers, I would have to focus on Stallworth and the accident. The fact a professional football player was involved makes this more of a story as opposed to the average accident. Depending on the victim's life while he was living -- involvement with local groups, someone everyone knew -- this would be the stuff for a sidebar or followup article.

posted by jjzucal at 06:18 PM on March 14, 2009

BoKnows, wasn't inferring that you were drawing a line in the sand, it's clearly not that heated of a topic. I was merely stating my agreement with the reasoning that the story is about Stallworth.

posted by dviking at 07:28 PM on March 14, 2009

Also, since we create headlines for our links here, why did this start, "NFL player kills pedestrian ...?" Probably because if it started, "Pedestrian killed," and oh, by the way, the driver was an NFL player, I don't know how many of us would have opened it. It's the same way in newspapers (and yes, we DO try to sell newspapers; I like my check every two weeks).

posted by jjzucal at 08:48 PM on March 14, 2009

Once again, I get it. I just don't like it, but I get it.

posted by BoKnows at 09:17 PM on March 14, 2009

I would be OK with it if they spent as much time reporting the GOOD stuff that pro athletes do.

I don't mean the high profile NFL ads on TV showing the community service spots. But the things players do every day out of the spotlight without need to call attention to themselves.

Back in the day, when pro athletes made modest money, they took jobs in the offseason to fill out their annual income.

Then they started making serious money, and the talk about giving back to the community, etc. got started in earnest.

Now, we seem to be in a third stage, where we hear more about the less desirable things athletes do with their money, like Pacman the rainmaker.

But the guys that were doing the good stuff haven't stopped. Let's have some balance. So people can see that there are good and bad aspects to having athletes among us who are paid outrageously obscene amounts of money.

posted by beaverboard at 08:36 AM on March 15, 2009

8 years with the New England Patriots? I think not...

posted by wdminott at 09:53 AM on March 15, 2009

Fixed. Don't know why I thought Stallworth was a career Pat until he joined the Browns.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on March 15, 2009

Here you go, bo. Maybe it just takes a little longer to gather the info on us commoners.

posted by tselson at 11:08 PM on March 15, 2009

Wow. That is almost like is was written just for me. Sniff. There is still good in this world, I know it. And tselson, you proved it. Thanks.

(And personally, I think that article is just as readable, interesting and informational as the other versions, but with the correct focus.)

posted by BoKnows at 12:01 AM on March 16, 2009

Tell me, why does it take so long to disprove any alcohol assumptions? I understand the drug test delay, but being under the influence of alcohol is proven on-the-spot daily.

posted by BoKnows at 12:03 AM on March 16, 2009

jjzucal posted this link: Stallworth's accident victim was 'family man'

posted by rcade at 07:36 AM on March 16, 2009

I understand the drug test delay, but being under the influence of alcohol is proven on-the-spot daily.

The blood test is more accurate than the breathalyzer. What's the hurry?

posted by bperk at 10:59 AM on March 16, 2009

I'm in no rush, it just seems silly that they couldn't rule out alcohol immediately.

posted by BoKnows at 01:00 PM on March 16, 2009

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