A new way to teach sports journalism, inspired by a really bad example

With an assist from Fox Sports, I am thinking about revamping the way I teach my sports writing class. Here’s the idea:

  • Cancel all classes except the first and last ones

  • Cancel all readings and all assignments except for one

  • The lone assignment is that students must watch every minute of Fox Sports’ “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” sports talk show starring Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe

  • On the last day of class, I walk in, look every student in the eyes and dramatically intone: “Don’t. You. DARE. Do. ANYTHING. That. Skip. Bayless. Does. Ever.” Then I walk out.

I think it would be the most effective sports writing class ever.

Here, Skip Bayless slams Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors for not trying to play with an injury that turned out to be a torn ACL.

Here, Skip Bayless slams Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors for not trying to play with an injury that turned out to be a torn ACL.

Here, Bayless predicts the future and brands Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors as a quitter because he might exercise his free agent right to play elsewhere. When you seek to be constantly controversial for the mere sake of being constantly controversial – because you have no other act -- you cannot have credibility. Add in loudness and pomposity, and you become odious beyond tolerance.

Here, Bayless predicts the future and brands Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors as a quitter because he might exercise his free agent right to play elsewhere. When you seek to be constantly controversial for the mere sake of being constantly controversial – because you have no other act -- you cannot have credibility. Add in loudness and pomposity, and you become odious beyond tolerance.