Sports Section


The SPORTS section reflects the Washington metropolitan area’s appreciation for sports by covering the latest in local, national, regional and international competition. 

As in most news throughout the paper, SPORTS articles and features are about people and the events that bring these people together. 

Reporters and columnists capture the challenge and rivalry, the business and promotion, the ethics and sportsmanship of teams and individuals. They observe, interview, record and analyze the statistics-and write on deadline. They enter the realm of pain, perseverance and possibility. 

Specific exercises have been created for the SPORTS section that expand a student’s self-knowledge and reinforce the strategies that assist in developing an efficient and effective reader.

The exercises in this section focus students’ attention on specific features of the SPORTS section. A general overview of this portion of the newspaper, would help students—especially young learners— understand the language of sports, its symbols and how they serve to connect with the curriculum. 

Unlike most other sections of the paper, SPORTS is seasonal. Write the names of the twelve months across the board and work with the class to chart the months spanned by each major sport — baseball, football, basketball, golf. What sport(s)is(are) currently “in season?” Which sports occur all year long? 

Preparation for working with SPORTS might include having students consider the different types of team sports and individual sports. Which sports are considered “spectator sports?” Which are largely participated in without observers? Before students look at the SPORTS section, how many examples can be listed for these categories? This could be a whole class or small group activity. The SPORTS section can then be scanned to verify and to add to the lists. 

The SPORTS section offers cooperative learning experiences and can be used to explore how specificity, action verbs and comparison-contrast lead to constructing meaning from text. 

Similar to the ECONOMY AND BUSINESS section in MAIN NEWS, opportunities for use in math abound with the SPORTS section. Students could be asked to consider how many math applications can be explored in SPORTS. Again, this could be done as a whole class or in competitive small Groups. By demonstrating an ability to communicate mathematically, students will be able to connect mathematics topics with real world experiences. 

Encourage students to think of every possible way math (or numbers) might be encountered within this section. Examples will include scores, points won per goal, number of wins/losses, batting average, individual points per game, weights, lengths, distances, averages, heights, speeds, stadium attendance, jersey numbers, “purses” or winnings, number of players on a team, minutes per quarter, half and number of innings. After student ideas are exhausted, the SPORTS section can be checked for additional math applications. 

For additional study of The Washington Post SPORTS section, please see the following online guides:

This guide includes a Q and A with Steve Wyche who used to cover the Wizards and “Meet the Sports Editor” Cindy Boren.  Shirley Povich, The Post’s legendary sports writer and columnist, is featured. One of the activities included is “Sportswriting by the Numbers.” Want to address sportsmanship with your students? Use “Be a Good Sport.”

This guide encourages teachers to use the Sports section to study the work of Post reporters as models for students to write and to compare ledes, sports news and columns, to prepare charts and graphs using the scores and other data, and to read maps. Post photographer Jonathan Newton’s pointers are illustrated with his photos of high school and professional athletes. Two of Fred Bowen’s Friday sports columns in KidsPost introduce younger students to opinion writing and serve as models for assignments. Student handouts include “Take the Lede,” “It’s About You … and Sports,” and “Out the Door Every Day.”

Highlights of Sports

The SPORTS section is organized by subject and each page is bannered.  Seasonal sports are highlighted each day and the scores are listed separately.  High school sports regularly appear Monday Morning. 


COUCH SLOUCH Norman Chad on sports viewing






Columnists who cover sports in general:



Tom Boswell began his career at The Washington Post in November, 1969 as a copy aide. After his stint there, he became a general assignment reporter for twelve years covering such sports as baseball, golf, college basketball, tennis, boxing and local high school sports. In 1984, he became a columnist. Tom graduated from Amherst College in 1969 with a major in English literature. He was born in Washington, DC and went to St. Stephens School in Alexandria, Va.  He has written many books including “Game Day,” “The Heart of the Order,” “Strokes of Genius,” “Why Time Begins on Opening Day” and “How Life Imitates the World Series.”



Sally Jenkins began her second stint at The Washington Post in 2000 after spending the previous decade working as a book author and as a magazine writer. She was named the nation’s top sports columnist in 2003 and 2010 by the Associated Press Sports Editors.  Jenkins is the author of nine books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers, most notably “It’s Not About the Bike” with Lance Armstrong. Her work has been featured in GQ and Sports Illustrated, and she has acted as a correspondent on CNBC as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered.  A native of Texas, Jenkins graduated from Stanford and lives in New York City.



Dan Steinberg started at The Post as a part-time agate clerk, news aide and high school sports reporter in the fall of 2001. Since then, he’s covered high school volleyball, college football, the Final Four, two Olympics, the Preakness, the Super Bowl, the National Spelling Bee, the Indianapolis 500, the NBA and NHL playoffs, and the New Zealand curling team. He writes a blog about D.C. sports.



Mike Wise came to The Post in 2004 from The New York Times, where he primarily covered the NBA for 10 years. Born in Napa, Calif., he grew up in Hawaii and graduated from Fresno State University. His in-depth portraits of the NBA’ s Gilbert Arenas and former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear won the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Best Feature Award in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Mike was also cited by the APSE as one of America’s top five columnists in 2007 and 2010. He lives in the District with his wife, Christina, their son, Oliver, and, yes, Looly the dog. He also played college basketball very badly for Hawaii Pacific.



A graduate of the University of Kansas, Tracee Hamilton worked for the Detroit Free Press and Wilmington (Del.) News Journal before joining the Post Sports department in 1993 as the Sunday sports editor. She became a deputy sports editor in 1999 and remained in that position until June 2009, when she was named a sports columnist. She’s directed on-site coverage of seven Olympics, six for the Post.



John Feinstein is the author of 27 books (his 28th is due in November, 2011), including the best-sellers “A Season on the Brink” and “A Good Walk Spoiled”. Aside from his duties as a sports columnist for The Washington Post, he also provides commentary for the Golf Channel and National Public Radio.


Columnists who cover specific sports:



Andrew Beyer has been The Washington Post’s horse racing columnist since 1978 and is considered one of the leading experts on the subject. He has written four books on racing, including “Picking Winners” which introduced and explained Beyer Speed Figures, a rating assigned to every race by every horse in the United States which is incorporated in the Daily Racing Form past performances.


JASON REID  Football Column

Jason Reid joined the Post’s Redskins team in 2007 after 15 years covering many beats at the Los Angeles Times. Reid was responsible for the paper’s daily print coverage of the NFL ballclub for two seasons, then shifted his focus and became the primary writer for the popular Insider blog. In January of 2011, Reid was promoted to a general sports columnist. A graduate of USC (the real one, not the one in South Carolina), Reid is passionate about covering sports for the nation’s best news organization.


PRESTON WILLIAMS Column on Thursdays about high school sports in theWashington area.

A native of West Virginia and graduate of West Virginia University, Preston Williams came to the Post’s high school sports staff in 1998 from the Fairfax Journal. Preston has covered high school sports in the Washington area for more than 20 years and writes the Varsity Letter column on prep sports. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.


TARIK EL-BASHIR Georgetown Men's Basketball, Auto Racing and Hockey Columnist

Tarik joined The Post in 1999 after a three-year stint at The New York Times. A native of the Washington area, he has handled a number of beats, ranging from high school sports to the Capitals, and currently covers Georgetown men’s basketball and auto racing while occasionally weighing in on hockey. He lives in Ashburn, Va., with his wife, Kimberley, and two children.


A Photo Finish


Discuss with students a favorite moment from a game they have recently seen. If team members are in the class, ask them to relate their favorite moments. The photojournalist is present at sporting events to visually report on sports action.

Photographs capture a small segment of a sports event. Display a collection of sports photographs that reflect some of these moments, including coaches, referees, those on the bench and photo finishes.

When is that portion of a second captured on film or in digital form very important in determining the winner of an event? 

Have students scan the SPORTS section to prepare for the following exercises. Exercises can be completed over a one-week period and can be done individually or in groups. 

Additional SPORTS photographs can be found at Select Sports. In addition to action pictures, you will find “The Season in Pictures” and some galleries. 

For further study of the photographs used in The Washington Post, download our online guide "Good Picture." 

1. Over a one-week period, have students clip or print out from e-Replica and save at least one SPORTS photograph which interests them. Have students list as many words as they can to state the emotion that they believe is expressed by the person in the photo. 

Students should respond to the predictions made from the photo study by completing the following sentences.

The person in this photo is (happy, sad, angry) because (she/ he)____________________. If I could talk with (him/her), I would say, _____________________________________

Students should next scan the article to find these words or words that are similar in meaning. Using quotations from the person pictured or statements of the reporter, ask students to determine if they selected accurate words to reflect the feelings.


2. Have students select one photograph of a sports figure. Depending upon the photos carried in the newspaper, the selected figure could be an athlete, a coach or referee, a sportscaster, a team owner or an athlete’s parent(s). Individuals or small groups of students might decide on different types of sports figures.

Students are to prepare a list of ten questions they would like to ask this individual. The article accompanying the photo will help generate questions. Not all of the questions must relate to the article’s topic.

Using a question from each group, model how these questions can be incorporated into the text of a letter addressed to the pictured sports personality. Students then create letters carrying their own questions.

Have students employ their keyboarding skills to prepare the final draft for mailing. Discuss whether the letter should be in an informal or formal style. Each group may need to go online to secure mailing addresses. Ultimately, the letters are sent to each chosen sports celebrity.


3.  Have students follow one sport for two weeks — reading the articles and cutlines, clipping or printing out the photographs and studying the statistics. At the end of the study, students will prepare a pictorial representation, a montage, of the sport. Students can use charts, graphs, headlines, player and team names to “compose” their presentation.

Using the montage as a visual, students should make a presentation supported by an analysis of the sport from the point of view of the players and the spectators. This analysis should reflect on the individual natures of team sports. Students may answer such questions as:

•What are the characteristics of football versus basketball versus baseball versus hockey?

•While the physical requirements of the players might be similar, why would one choose to play football over ice hockey? One sport over another?

•Why is football more popular than ice hockey or soccer?

•What is the unique attraction of basketball for the ticket-buying public?

•What effect do TV coverage and players’ salaries have on the sport?

•Which sports “for women” receive the greatest fan following?

•Is there a “good” side and a “bad” side to each sport?


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will identify and use text features [illustrations and pictures, photographs, drawings] to facilitate understanding of informational texts.


English, The student will create artwork or a written response that shows comprehension of a selection.

Washington, D.C.

Visual Arts, Subject, Symbols and Ideas, Each student will choose and evaluate a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas to communicate meanings in artwork.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interacting

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Identifying, locating information, decision making, analyzing, developing visual imagery

What’s In a Name?


Discuss the name of your school’s teams. Does it reflect your geographic area, its history or a concept? Do you have a mascot? What is it? Does it have a name? 

Have students scan the SPORTS section to prepare for the following exercises. For Level 1 exercise, students work in a group. For Levels 2 and 3 exercises, students can work in groups or individually.


1.  Using students’ current knowledge of sports as well as information gleaned from reading the SPORTS section, lead a discussion of the basic elements found in most types of sports. Though others might also be identified, a few standards follow: 

•A goal to be accomplished

•A time limit

•Special equipment or dress

•Points awarded for accomplishing the goal


•Penalties for violating the rules

Divide the class into four groups. Given the class’ identification of these and other standards, have each group of students create a new sport, either serious or zany. They are to name the sport and suggest names for some of the teams, giving the cities in which they are hosted. Is this sport co-ed? The explanation of the new sport should include a descriptive section for each of the elements identified. 

Each group is to present their sport to the rest of the class.  You may wish to invite several members of your school’s staff or from your community to act as financial backers of sports endeavors who are looking for a new sport. If feasible, the presentation of the new sport could include illustrations depicting the action and/or procedures or, if possible, the presentation might include a live, PowerPoint or videotaped demonstration. You may wish to close with an “awards” ceremony. 

Extension: Using the team names above, the type of sport and the team characteristics, students could design uniforms for these fictitious teams. A team mascot could be chosen, drawn, named and outfitted appropriately.


2.  Lead students in a discussion considering the origin of  competitive sports. If it is an Olympics year, you might  use examples from the first Olympics. Lacrosse, the oldest sport inNorth America, is another good example. (Go to for background on lacrosse.) The point should eventually be made that sport had its origin in exercises designed to increase skill in hunting and/or combat.

Have students scan the headlines as well as the SPORTS articles themselves for samples of sports vocabulary that echo this origin in survival and/or military exercise. Washington Post writer Peter Carlson wrote, “As comedian George Carlin pointed out years ago, football is the most warlike of American games — each team tries to conquer the other’s territory (sometimes with ‘bombs’) while defending its homeland.” Terms would include “defense,” “offense,” “capture,” “squad,” “overpower.” 

Select several such words from the current SPORTS section headlines and/or articles. List these at the top of the board or on a large tablet. Ask students to offer as many synonyms as possible for each word (for example: defeated — “beat,” “clobbered,” “stomped”). After several have been identified for each word, have students re-read or rewrite the headlines and/or sentences substituting synonyms for the original vocabulary. Lead a discussion of the changes in imagery, meaning and connotation brought by a change in the words used.

Extension: What games were played by the native Americans who lived in our area? Download the guide “Our First Families.” Use the handout, “Growing Up in the Potomac Valley.” How did the four games prepare participants for hunt and/or combat? For what contemporary sports might these have been a foundation or show similarity?


3.  Lead students in a discussion of team names. The names of the local junior varsity and varsity teams can be used to prompt a discussion around names given to professional sports teams.

Have students use the SPORTS section headings (for example, Basketball, College Football, Baseball) to categorize the names of all the teams found within the SPORTS section. Use the chart in the reproducible to compile data (What’s in a Team Name? #1).

After the names have been collected, lead a discussion of  what images about a team’s ability are reflected in their  name. What qualities do the names suggest? Speed? Power?  Cunning? Do the names suggest something about the sport  played by the team? “Orioles” is a baseball team; “Falcons” is a football team. What are the differences between these two birds? Are these differences reflected in the type of sport played by each team? Have students record the qualities for the teams in the three cities they selected (What’s in a Team Name? #2).

Ask students to do the next question (#3). Discuss their responses. Should these team names ever be used? 

Are team names ever inappropriate? Can some team names be disrespectful or disparaging of a group? Some teams have had law suits brought against them because of their team names. Locally, in 1992, a legal battle about the name Redskins began in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and courts. 

•A 1946 federal law prohibits the government from registering a trademark that disparages any race, religion or other group.

•Native Americans who have filed the suit against the Redskins, say the team’s name and feather-wearing Indian mascot trivializes a tragic time when Indians were victims of genocide and forced off their land by settlers andU.S.soldiers.

•Pro-Football Inc., the corporation that owns the Redskins, stated in July 2003 that “in the 21st century, the beloved hometown team has changed the connotation of the word ‘Redskins’ to one that is ‘powerfully positive’ — associated more with touchdowns than tomahawks.” 

After background is given and discussion takes place, ask students to write a statement to persuade a judge to allow Redskins to remain the name of the team or to require that a new name be given to the team. (What’s in a Team Name? #4)

Extension: In addition to team name, the team’s mascot and its visual representation (logo and costumed figure that appears in community parades and at pep rallies and games) can be the source of pride, association and debate. Ask students if they would want to be the Gophers, the Eagles, the Fighters or the Rebels. What connotations are associated with each name? What image would they use for each? What costume would their mascot wear?

Give students a copy of “For Mascots, Schools Flocking to the Pack: Popular Images Crowd Out the Unusual.” This is a sports-related article found in the METRO section. The article relates the process of selecting a school’s mascot, image and costume. 

After reading the article, questions might include: Do students agree that a mascot is “simply a good luck charm”?

What other reasons are there for having a mascot? Does your school’s mascot need updating or is tradition more important?

To meet The Post reporter, download the guide “INSIDE Journalism: The News Story.”  Christina Samuels answers your questions.


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will assess the effectiveness of details, organizational pattern, word choice syntax, use of figurative language and rhetorical devices ….


English, Grade 4, The student will use knowledge of word origins; synonyms, antonyms and homonyms, and multiple meanings of words.

Washington, D.C.

Reading/English Language Arts, Grade 8, Language as Meaning Making, The student recognizes and understands figurative language, including metaphor, analogy, irony, simile, personification and hyperbole.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interpreting and Performing a Task

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, categorizing, decision making, critical thinking, drawing conclusions, analyzing

Stats, Please


A good starting place in reporting about sports is getting the numbers. Nothing anchors a sports story or gives it authority more than statistics. Students should use the SPORTS section to understand the many ways numbers are needed and used.

For more information on using numbers in sports writing, use “Sports Writing by the Numbers” and “Figures or Words?” found in the online guide, “INSIDE Journalism: The Sports Page.”

For a math and geography connection to SPORTS, check out “Circumnavigation.”  Students follow the route of the Volvo Ocean Race around the world. The challenges to safety and health during endurance races are also examined.


1.  Have students think about numbers in SPORTS. Ask them the following questions: 

•What is the most impressive stat of the day?

•Why? How did you come to that conclusion?

•How are certain stats derived? These might include ERA in baseball, goals against coverage in hockey and total rebounds in basketball.

•Discuss salaries – four million over five years is how much a year?

•Why are there no standards and measures in sports? Football uses “yards” but in basketball a player takes a “20-ft jumper,” why?


2.  Assist students in studying the SCOREBOARD feature. Do students know what STAT means? As a result of their noting the type of information contained in this section, lead students to a definition of “statistic.” The following definition may be appropriate: a measure of some kind of performance which is expressed in numbers.

Statistics express speed, distance, quantity and frequency. Questions that statistics answer include:

•Does the information say how fast something was done?

•Does it tell how far?

•Do the statistics say how often something was done?

•Do statistics reveal records and pace?

•Who is the information about? A team? An individual?

Lead students in a consideration of what statistics can be charted about the class. These are examples of some easily obtained class statistics:

•How many TV programs were watched by each student the previous Saturday morning? Who watched the most? The least?

•How many books have been read by each student within the last month? Who read the most? What is the average number of books read by students? How many in the class are above average in number of books read?

•Beginning with a closed textbook, what’s the fastest time for a student’s finding an index entry announced by the teacher?

•Who can skip rope the greatest number of times before missing?

Statistical data (number of TV programs viewed, number of books read) can be organized into STAT OF THE DAY-type charts or graphs.


3.   Have students create a clipping or print out file from the SPORTS section of a sport of interest to them. After a two-week period, group students into three to five teams. Both previous and new knowledge can be used to create a Sports Math Bowl to be played with the class. 

Each team will pool their clippings to write ten questions that require math skills to complete and answer. Teams will rotate giving a question to different teams each round, with each team having the opportunity to answer one question in each of the rounds.

Teams score one point per correct answer given and minus one point if their answer is incorrect. A team receives a minus two, if it has an inaccurate answer for the question it wrote.


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Mathematics, Statistics and Probability, Students will collect, organize, display, analyze or interpret data to make decisions or predictions.


Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, The student, given a problem situation, will collect, analyze, display and interpret data in a variety of graphical methods.

Washington, D.C.

Mathematics, Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability, The student collects, organizes, represents, evaluates and interprets data.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interpreting

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, finding the main idea, identifying, drawing conclusions, analyzing, critical thinking

Sports Jargon


Whether you call it slang, vernacular or jargon, athletes and sports writers have a vocabulary that is particular to each sport. Sports writers have to balance the use of sports terms with clarity of expression. 

Students should use the SPORTS section to understand sports terminology. This exercise can be done individually or in groups.


1.  Headlines are summaries of the news. They must be short and accurate. In SPORTS, headlines are also lively grabbers of a reader’s attention. Lead students in a discussion of how sports article headlines often use sports jargon. Use two or three examples from the current SPORTS section as illustrations. Examples from past issues include: “McDonald Runs His Mark To 5-0,”“Jacoby Glad To Be Back In Trenches,” “AndersonFacesU.S.Team In Argentine Squeaker,” “Flynn Mows Over Field,” “Late Rally Helps Cannons Rout Keys.”

What are such headlines actually saying?

Guide students in a reading of the first portion of an article having such a headline. Based on the information from the reading, work with students to compose a “translation” of the headline into “standard English.”

Point out several more examples in the section and ask students to rewrite the headlines in “standard English.” For example, “Hampton Enlivens Giants” becomes “Rodney Hampton plays extremely well for the New York Giants.”


2. and 3.  “Vernacular” is the language or dialect native to a region. It is also the language or expression of a group. So there is a vernacular of the tennis group, the soccer group and a vernacular that is native to other sports. 

“Jargon” is confused and unintelligible language. It can be very technical and sophisticated, but cannot be easily understood by the outsider. For example, computer experts are said to speak a jargon, but to each other, the words are clear expressions. So what is common, or vernacular, to the golfer, can be jargon to one who doesn’t know a tee from a putter. 

Explain these distinctions to students. Then use the following examples of jargon or Sports terminology in SPORTS news stories.

“Holdsclaw (24 points) and Stacey Dales-Schuman led the charge, and Dales-Schuman, for one, feels the Mystics are still in position to contend during the second half of the season.”  —“Mystics Get Back Into the Sting of Things,” July 18, 2003

Using the above paragraph as an example of what they are to do. What does “led the charge,” “position to contend” and “second half of the season” mean? What sport are they playing? 

Here is another example: 

“In a match that capped a drama-filled third round—five of the eight matches were undecided after 17 holes—Sung birdied the 17th to even the match then made a par on No. 18 as Texter’s par putt rolled past the hole, helping the medalist avoid the upset with a 1-up victory.” —“Sung Meets Match, Prevails,” July 25, 2003

Define “match,” “round,” “birdied” and “par putt.” What sport is played?

Give them the “Jargon in Plain English” reproducible to complete. If students have trouble with the terms, see if context clues can assist them. Students will need to write answers on their own paper.


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will identify how language choices in writing and speaking affect thoughts and feelings.


English,Reading/ Literature, The student will apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, and idioms and will use analogies, metaphors and similes to extend vocabulary development. 

Washington, D.C.

Reading/English Language Arts, Grade 8, Language as Meaning Making, The student recognizes and understands figurative language, including metaphor, analogy, irony, simile, personification and hyperbole. 

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interpreting and Performing a Task

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, catergorizing, decision making, critical thinking, drawing conclusions, analyzing


How “Fan”tastic


Generate a conversation about sports. Why are sports important? Do sports have a role in society? Why are some sports (soccer, for example) more popular in other parts of the world? 

What does it take to be considered a fan? Does one have to attend sporting events, know statistics, recite the athletes’ life histories or just enjoy reading the SPORTS pages? 

When is sports taken too seriously? Should fans be controlled so they don’t become like the hooligan soccer fans inEngland? Or cause harm as when the Columbian soccer player was killed after the 1994 World Cup. 

Have students scan the SPORTS section to prepare for the following exercises. These exercises can be extended over a period of time and can be done individually or in groups. 


1.  Lead students in a discussion that focuses on the audience for which the SPORTS section is intended. Obviously, this part of the paper is meant for readers who, to one degree or another, are interested in sports. What about the person who has little or no interest in sports? What might attract this person to the SPORTS section? How could some interest be kindled in a non-sports-oriented person? 

Have students brainstorm some persuasive strategies. Students should use the entire SPORTS section to generate and/or illustrate a strategy; include copies of Monday Morning from Monday’s Post. What parts of this 2003 addition to SPORTS meets this criteria? A few examples follow. 

•Some “non-sportspersons” might be interested in the mathematics of sports (current statistics, comparisons with sports greats). What part(s) of this section would interest them?

•Others might be looking for ideas for gifts to give their “sports fanatic” friends or family members. What part(s) of the SPORTS section would they find interesting?

•Yet other readers of the MAIN NEWS section might be interested in how some news events reverberate within the sports field. Are there articles which illustrate this?

•Some readers like to read the comics, the writings of satirical columnists and other humorous text. Is there something in this section for them?


2.  Have students choose a sports personality or team from a reading of one or more editions of the SPORTS section. They are to imagine that they are working as an agent representing this person or team. Their responsibility is to enhance their client’s visibility and image. 

Students should use the next two weeks’ editions of the SPORTS section as well as any other resources to gather information, illustrations and statistics about their client.

Their promotional campaign is to center on the development of a brochure, poster series or other advertisement device. Students determine if it is for a TV or radio spot, music video or sports talk show appearance which features their client in a positive, exciting light.

Extension: Should the agent representing an athlete or team get to know the sports writers? Are sports writers objective writers or are they cheerleaders for the home team and local athletes?


3.  Discuss ethics in sports. This may be a more philosophical discussion but it is an important one. Both fans and hopeful, wanna-be professional athletes need to consider these issues. Read the SPORTS columnists for their viewpoints. 

•Role of public figures vs. private figures – are athletes public figures? If they receive a traffic ticket or are involved in disorderly conduct is it the public’s right to know? Does newspaper coverage of this behavior tarnish an athlete’s reputation in the minds of fans?

•Should athletes be involved in social causes? Use their celebrity to gain supporters?

•Should athletes endorse products that are very expensive? When crimes take place to get some of these items, should the athletes who endorse the products speak up?

•Are athletes above the law?

•Do athletes “owe” their fans good behavior on and off the playing field? 

A resource to use to stimulate discussion is “The Athlete as Role Model: Sportsmanship and the Extent to Which Athletes Must Speak.” Athletes as role models or not, as spokespersons or not, as good citizens or not — all are considered in this article with activities. Many examples are provided. In addition, a copy of Sally Jenkins’ column “Life,Libertyand the Pursuit of Nothingness,” is included. In it she presents an argument for athletes taking a stand on issues. Download the guide "INSIDE Journalism: The Sports Page." 

Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will compose in a variety of modes by developing content, employing specific forms, and selecting language appropriate for a particular audience and purpose. 


English, Grade 9, The student will develop narrative, expository and informational writings to inform, explain, analyze or entertain. Plan and organize writingto address a specific audience and purpose. 

Washington, D.C.

Reading/English Language Arts, Language as Meaning Making, Students comprehend and compose a wide range of written, oral and visual texts in the process of making meaning.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Developing Positive Attitudes and Personal Interests 

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, identifying, evaluating, analyzing, decision making, critical thinking