Sports writing is not quite at “Stop what you’re doing and read this” level of bad, but it can get there.
It’s already well into buzzfeed territory.
I’ll admit it’s an attractive formula: make a list, write a paragraph for each point, and voila! You’re done.
I’ve done a few list articles myself in a pinch, but we at Saints Nation draw a line when it comes to slideshows.
Our policy is “NO NEVER NOT NEVER!”
Why? Well I’ll tell you why.
1. Unnecessary Suspense
Say you get see an article titled “5 players who could benefit from supplemental life insurance.” Alright, now your interest is piqued. The suspense is killing you, so you click the link and DAGNABBIT! A slideshow! You can’t wait, you’re going to throw up.
It’s like the friend who asks you if you can do them a favor.
“What is it?”
“Say yes first.”
A slideshow is a bad friend, and they’re probably going to ask you to do something illegal.
2. It’s Attention Seeking Behavior
That might not seem like a big deal. If you’re part of a sports website, don’t you want attention? Yes, but it doesn’t mean the way you get it can’t be annoying. Having to click for the next slide is tantamount to girl on your friends list who posts “Ugh, worst day ever!”
“I don’t wanna talk about it.”
Son of a bitch.
3. It’s Really Shitty Bragging
Remember in elementary school when a class learned their multiplication tables one week before everyone else, and then proceeded to grill everyone at recess?
“What’s 9 x’s 9?”
“Mrs. Carroll said we’re doing multiplication next w…”
But this is even worse. Math is just a fact. A slideshow is bragging that they know something you don’t, but they made it up. How would I know that?
4. Everything is Contrived
A slideshow needs 5 points at minimum, but there isn’t always 5 valid points. So then what happens is the writer has to start stretching points beyond where they can reasonably apply. Their analogies are a reach at best. They might even employ humor to distract the readers from the fact that this list was poorly conceived. So then they’ll start to ramble on. People don’t read the entire article nowadays anyway right? It starts to be clear that they really don’t have a point. You start wondering “Why are they still going? This is embarrassing. Just stop dude!” But they won’t, because it’s all about them 5 points. They’ll keep typing, because they’re committed at this point, but they wish they didn’t have to. They wish they could stop, but it has to look like a decent sized paragraph.
It’s sad really.
5. The Last Point Always Sucks
Amiright? Hi five!